Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galápagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

Award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony. 

 A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means.


My thoughts

I’m very skeptical about books that discuss marriage because I really don’t agree with the way a lot of people view marriage. However, Piazza’s book is not only captivating, but practical.

She discusses her marriage and relationship with her husband (who I really came to like barely halfway through!) very openly, from their fast courtship to the marriage that left her a bit unsettled especially as someone who views herself as feminist. She had to look closely at what feminism means to her with regard to letting her husband lead and letting him help and take care of her.

Piazza travels, sometimes with her husband, to many countries including India, Tanzania, Kenya, France, Denmark and more to explore their ideas of marriage and what it takes to build a strong marriage and keep it alive. The variety of responses makes for a very insightful look at different cultures from sister wives in Kenya to French women who insist on working hard to remain mysterious to their husbands. I like that she sifted through all the advice and at the end of the book makes her own list.

Their marriage also has to overcome her discovery that she carries the muscular dystrophy gene, a disease which her father died from and which she will, according to her doctors eventually suffer with. Also discussed in depth is how couples can work through having differing relationships with money and why regardless of the fact that two become one in marriage, each partner also needs to have alone time and time with their own friends.

Overall, a very informative and fun read! While I will not be taking alll of the advice from this book about marriage, as I already have a superior guide, this book is definitely worth a read for anyone contemplating marriage or just curious about making a long term relationship work!


Favorite Quotes:


I didn’t want being married to become the most important thing about me. I felt all tangled up inside when my engagement received more Facebook likes than that time I got a great job, or when I sold my first book, or made that excellent meme of Liz Lemon eating French fries with Leslie Knope. Everything else I’d done paled in comparison to the fact that I. Was. Getting. Married.

It is both essential and nice to have one best friend in a hostile world.

Marriage experts call the first year of marriage “the wet cement year” because it’s the time when both members of a couple are figuring out how to exist as partners without getting stuck in the murk, without being trapped by bad habits. It’s a time to set and test boundaries and create good habits that will continue for the rest of your marriage.

couples who dance well together tend to feel more emotionally and psychologically connected.

“You need to learn to talk. Never stop communicating. The second anything feels weird, you talk about it. That’s what went wrong with my marriage. We stopped talking.”

Post wedding depression is a thing and no one talks about it because no one wants to seem like an ungrateful twit right after everyone just shelled out a lot of money for those rustic barn benches no one ever got to sit on because of a thunderstorm.

“Be a witness to each other’s solitude, man” Bobby concluded in his best spiritual adviser voice. “You each need to live your own lives. And you need to be able to communicate about that life to your partner”

Continuing to adventure and try new things helps remind a couple of the feelings that made them fall in love in the first place.

Marriage can be annoying, overwhelming and stifling. But like with most difficult situations, those feelings are often fleeting. Mostly marriage is lovely, a guarantee that you always have someone in your corner… So gratitude is important to work through the little annoying [stuff] so it doesn’t fester, grow and start to infect all the good stuff.

Your spouse can’t be your everything. Amazing friends can still feed your heart and soul in a different way, a way that ultimately supports the health of your partnership. 


My Rating: 4/5



What do you think about spouses being your everything? Do you think you’d enjoy this read? Let me know!


*featured image from PureWow