Our current understanding of work-life balance is too simplistic. The ways we think about our work, relationships and inner selves seem to frustrate and exhaust us. In The Three Marriages, David Whyte, the bestselling author, poet and speaker asks us to think about them 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 word are overused, overrated and in many ways self-defeating. Happiness, Whyte says, is possible but only if we reimagine 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.
Drawing from his own struggles and exploring the lives of some of the world's great writers and personalities - from Dante to Jane Austen to Robert Louis Stevenson - Whyte shows the ways these core commitments are connected. 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.
In prose that's both lyrical and inviting, Whyte investigates these captivating ideas for bringing a deeper satisfaction to our lives, one that goes far beyond our previously held ideas of balance.