In The Three Marriages, David Whyte, the bestselling author, poet, and speaker, asks you to think about your significant relationship to your partner, your work and your inner self in a radically different way by drawing them into a mutually supportive conversation.
According to Whyte, we humans are involved not just with one marriage with a significant other. We also have made secret vows to our work and unspoken vows to an inner, constantly developing self. These Three Marriages constantly surprise us, and they demand larger and renewed dedication as the years go by. Whyte’s thesis is that to separate these marriages in order to balance them is to destroy the fabric of happiness itself; that in each of these marriages, will, effort, and hard work are overused, overrated, and in many ways self-defeating. Happiness, Whyte says, is possible, but only if we re-imagine how we inhabit the worlds of love, work, and self-understanding.
Whyte argues that it is not possible to sacrifice one marriage for any of the others without causing deep psychological damage. He looks to a different way of seeing and bringing these relationships together and invites us to examine each marriage with a fierce but affectionate eye as he shows the nonnegotiable nature at the core of each commitment. Only by understanding the journey involved in each of the Three Marriages and the stages of their maturation, he says, can we understand how to bring them together in one fulfilled life.