Three Marriages

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The Three Marriages:
Reimagining Work, Self & Relationship


looks beyond the notion of work-life balance to the triumphs and tragedies of human belonging in three crucial areas that most individuals simply can't avoid: in relationship, in work and in all those strange and inexplicable inner ways we belong to ourselves. It looks at what happens along with the way when we become more interesting: when we get out of the dynamics of self-entrapment and fall in love - with a person, a future, a work, or with a new sense of self.

Thinking of work, self and relationship as three marriages offers the possibility of living them out in a way in which they are not put into competition with one another, where each of the marriages can protect, embolden and enliven the others and help keep us mutually honest, relevant, authentic and alive. (Riverhead Books 2009)

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Reading Notes developed by Denis Bourgeois and featured on Quetes.com (Quest) Available in French and English.

Understanding the human need to belong - and expressing, fulfilling, and accommodating it throughout the recurring seasons in a life - has proven to be a central theme in all of Whyte's work. In The Three Marriages, the aclaimed poet-author explores this need in the dynamics of the three core relationships we all negotiate - that of the intimate other, that with work, and that with our self. They are separate yet interwoven life threads, capturing the need to belong to another, to belong to community, and to belong to something larger and deeper within ourselves. Each is vital, and neglecting any one weakens the others. But it's not simply about "balancing" them, Whyte warns. It's a bold lifelong adventure of keeping them in an open and honest conversation. When we allow these marriages to learn from and revitalize one another, we risk becoming vulnerable but we also open to a life that is "innocent, dangerous, and wonderful all at the same time."
                                                     - SHIFT Magazine, Spring 2009