Find Your Perfect Escape../Sitemap/Find_Your_Perfect_Escape_-_Search.html
Guide to Treatments../Guide_To_Treatments/Guide_To_Treatments.html
Latest Escapes../Latest_Escapes/Latest_news/Latest_news.html
Zumba(R) Fitness../Zumba/What_Is_A_Zumba_Fitness_Class.html

I don’t know how she does it. Elizabeth Gilbert does not exactly lead the most predictable or average life, but somehow every time I read one of her books I am suddenly struck by feeling that she is writing intimately about my own life.  (And that’s when I often have a little cry.)

I too have done some soul searching on the subject of marriage.  Her reticence comes from an early failed marriage and a bad divorce.  Mine comes from an even earlier bad divorce - that of my parents.  I have always admired my mother for divorcing my dad, especially because it was at a time when there were very few divorces, and I have to say that no one longs for the end of an unhappy marriage (and the divorce) as much as the children caught in the middle of it.

I’ve been proposed to three times, and the relationships didn’t last much longer than that, possibly because of the look on my face.  I have said yes, for all the wrong reasons, or perhaps the right reasons, to try and keep the relationship going?  But I have never been keen on the idea of marriage.

After the last failed complicated relationship, I was single for a long time, and when I finally did fall in love again I knew that it was time for me to get my head around the idea of a long term commitment, even, shudder, marriage.  So I did.  I worked with my therapist, I studied wedding vows from different cultures, some of which are very beautiful, (and here I take issue with Gilbert as some of her comments about Buddhism and marriage are not wholly accurate, as there exists a strong culture of Buddhist lay people who may be married and have children, but who are often as respected as Buddhist monks.  See Cultivating The Mind of Love if you are interested in this.)

Anyway, I even did the Muriel’s Wedding thing and tried on dresses - just trying to get over my fear of marriage.  And yes, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

But in the end I felt I had got there.  I started to rationalise the concept of forever in the wedding vows, that maybe it didn’t have to mean physical separation wasn’t possible, but once you have that level of commitment that person becomes a part of you forever.

So anyway I embarked on my next relationship feeling a little more confident about my ability to have a strong, committed relationship.  Unfortunately I always have had a tendency to fall in love with foreign guys, and so I found myself in a strong, committed relationship with an Australian who had just found out that, with only a few weeks to go before his visa ran out, his sponsorship had fallen through.

As I read Gilbert’s story I sympathised with her over the complications of marital visa law.  I’ve been there, checking the small print, trying to figure out the loopholes.  I’ve been there, standing in an airport, saying tearful goodbyes on the day that he simply had to get on a plane and leave. 

I know that it wouldn’t have been right for us to get married, but if only there was such a thing as a “we really like each other, but we’re not quite ready to live together, so could you give us another year to figure out our relationship” visa.  I’d have filled out all the forms.

Aside from that horrible irony, as I was reading this I kept thinking of friends of mine with whom I have had exactly the same conversations about marriage (and child rearing.)  The good, the bad and the ugly, it’s all in here - and I think this book is probably as valuable to anyone already married as those considering matrimony.

I am not sure that I’ll ever get married, but it was refreshing, for a change, to read a book by someone as ambivalent (well actually as petrified) as me about marriage who so clearly still adores (and stands by) her man.  Someone who knows what it is like to have a divided heart, to want to love someone for the rest of your life, but to be incapable of clapping your hands and saying “oh yes darling” when he, or the government suggests it.

Eat, Pray, LoveEat,_Pray,_Love.html