"By trying to make their good marriage better, Elizabeth Weil and Daniel Duane tested it."
In December of 2009 Elizabeth Weil wrote a piece in the New York Times about her marriage. "Married (Happily) with Issues" was both revealing and relatable. In the piece Weil discussed her "pretty good marriage" but she admitted it could be better. She decided that she and her husband should apply themselves to their marriage in the same way their pursued other endeavors in their life. As Weil wrote:
The idea of trying to improve our union came to me one night in bed. I’ve never really believed that you just marry one day at the altar or before a justice of the peace. I believe that you become married — truly married — slowly, over time, through all the road-rage incidents and precolonoscopy enemas, all the small and large moments that you never expected to happen and certainly didn’t plan to endure. But then you do: you endure. And as I lay there, I started wondering why I wasn’t applying myself to the project of being a spouse. My marriage was good, utterly central to my existence, yet in no other important aspect of my life was I so laissez-faire. Like most of my peers, I applied myself to school, friendship, work, health and, ad nauseam, raising my children. But in this critical area, marriage, we had all turned away. I wanted to understand why. I wanted not to accept this. Dan, too, had worked tirelessly — some might say obsessively — at skill acquisition. Over the nine years of our marriage, he taught himself to be a master carpenter and a master chef. He was now reading Soviet-era weight-training manuals in order to transform his 41-year-old body into that of a Marine. Yet he shared the seemingly widespread aversion to the very idea of marriage improvement. Why such passivity? What did we all fear?
The couple took marriage education classes, did various forms of therapy and even swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Now Weil has written a memoir about their journey. I'm sure the book, like the article, will cause many people to question their own pretty good marriage.
by Simon & Schuster
For more information about the book read an interview with Elizabeth Weil.