In her bestselling memoir, "Eat, Pray, Love," Elizabeth Gilbertchronicled the time she spent traveling through Italy, India and Indonesia carbo-loading, meditating and seeking balance after suffering through a bitter divorce. At the end of her journey, she fell in love with a Brazilian man, and as far as readers knew, was off to live happily ever after.
Well, not so fast, as Gilbert's new memoir, "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage" explains. It turns out, after she and Felipe decided to commit their lives to one another sans marriage, the U.S. government stepped in at a border crossing and explained to the couple that Felipe wouldn't be able to re-enter the country unless they were married.
Gilbert, who had sworn off marriage, submerged herself in research on the institution in an attempt to come to terms with it before entering into it again. She interviewed family, friends, and wives in various cultures, and examined the history of marriage and how it's evolved over time.
Elizabeth says, "divorce is the tax we pay for choosing as a culture to believe in love. But I will live with that because I believe in love, but it's also dangerous. We have to turn on the fluorescent light to recognize that marriage may have a fairytale beginning, but a real world ending. That's another reason why marriage is not a game for the young: You don't recognize the differences between affection and reality until you've been banged around a little bit".
I too am a skeptic about marriage. I lived with my husband for over twenty years before we got married. In my book "Don't Ever Call Me Ma'am" one of my favorite chapters is entitled You Don't Complete Me. Anybody who enters into marriage because they think another person has the magic to make you happy will be very disappointed.