Posted by / 14 February 2018 / ,

How to Be Married by Jo Piazza

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Happy Valentine's Day!  I want to share with you today tips for a successful marriage according to Jo Piazza and her book How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) First Year of Marriage and some tips from my own personal marriage journey.  I am hoping that what I share with you today helps you on this special day!

Our wedding day in 1977
This book combines the author's journey through her first year of marriage to her husband, as they travel through five continents.  She shares what she learns from each place she goes, and tells us practical advice from those she meets.  She is a talented writer, weaving her personal story and research together seamlessly and makes you laugh at their antics (see the chapter where they enter a race where her husband has to carry her the whole time.)  Personally, I loved reading the different viewpoints on a successful marriage through different cultures.


My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2017.  For our age group the statistics show that people 50 and over divorce has doubled in the last 20 years.  More men over 55 are divorced than widowed.  We are empty nesters and divorce rates are higher.  Both of us worked outside the home (higher divorce rate.) Monogamy is not a natural state we are told (but neither is reading or coding.)  How did we manage to outlast these stats?

Hard work.  Our marriage is FAR from perfect. There have been long periods of no communication and we struggle even now with effective communication.  In our early years we struggled financially as we pursued education (two masters, two specialists and two doctorates) and raised our daughter to believe that education was imperative (bachelors, masters, doctorate.)  There were a couple of times when divorce seemed to be the right option, until it wasn't.  Both of us made conscious decisions to improve on personal weaknesses and to learn more about each other, to open up to vulnerability and to seek resources, such as The 5 Love Languages.  We have shared interests and separate interests, common friends and separate friends.  We've supported each other's hobbies (bands, bikes and golf/softball/basketball/racquetball for Bob, convertibles, books, and writing for Terri).

Ultimately, it came down to this:  I chose well.  Dr. Laura is famous for saying, "I can't help it if you picked a loser."  I didn't.  I married an intelligent, hard-working and dedicated man with a strong Christian background. When things were grim, it was these things that brought our marriage back. 

I think Jo chose well, too.  Her husband Nick offers much of the insight in this book on how to be a good husband. I highly recommend this book for all couples, those thinking of marriage and those like us who have been working on it for 40+ years.  I learned much from this book and I will keep it close by to refer to in coming years.

Now, go and hug your partner.


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