New Book Alert – “Why You’re Not Married…Yet”

Hello World,

Now that the summer is FINALLY here, it’s time to get our summer reading on! Although I’ve probably read too many relationship books over the years, I’m always a sucker for a new relationship book that offers an interesting perspective or fresh insight…And I think I’ve discovered a new book that qualifies…Have you heard of “Why You’re Not Married… Yet?”  Tracy McMillan, a writer for TV’s “Mad Men,” wrote the book after her Huffington Post blog piece “Why You’re Not Married” went viral last year…Even an ex-boyfriend e-mailed it to me…An excerpt of the original article is below…

It basically comes down to this: I’ve been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister’s son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated — traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I’ve become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships — someone who’s had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

But I won’t lie. The problem is not men, it’s you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they’re not really standing in your way. Because the fact is — if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on. So without further ado, let’s look at the top six reasons why you’re not married.

And here are a few of the six….

2. You’re Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.

6. You’re Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

I see this at my son’s artsy, progressive school. Of 183 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you’re trying to be. They’re attractive, sure. They’re just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.

Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something — it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession (use your imagination) — and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway — because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self — you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love

And now that she has a book out, McMillan has added four new reasons for an even Top Ten…the more interesting new reasons below…

8. You’re Crazy. Crazy is where you LOVE INTENSITY. You want life to bring the exclamation points!!!!!!! Normal people, and relationships? Big, noisy YAWN. You think of yourself more like Angelina Jolie when she was with Billy Bob. Crazy is where you use your cell phone like an automatic weapon. You meet, have sex, fight and break up — all by text message. Another sign you’ve got the crazies is if you are constantly telling long, involved stories in the break room about what happened this past weekend. You think your listeners are wowed and they are, but to them it’s like watching an episode of “Fear Factor.” Who doesn’t want to watch another person eat bugs? In fact, a sure-fire way to know you’re crazy is if more than one person has told you you’d be great on a reality show — and you agree with them.

10. You’re Godless. Remember how I said that marriage is a spiritual path? Well, we’re there. The point where I suggest something totally radical and punk-rock as a way of transforming whatever it is you have going on (or don’t have going on) in the area of relationships. And here it is: I want you to get a god. Wait, come back! It’s not necessarily what you think. What do I mean by god? Well, I don’t mean a bearded dude in the sky who is going to give you a Mercedes and a husband if you’re good and punish you if you’re bad. That would be Santa Claus. I mean I want you to cultivate a sense of SPIRIT in your life, a relationship with the intangible, the unseen — the power behind the oceans, gravity, chocolate and the Beatles. You know, the thing you experience in life where the hair stands up on your arms? The Big Something. You could just call it Love. Whatever you name it — it’s the game changer. Because when you mix the idea of spirit into your relationships, it no longer matters how many men are, technically, out there. No more demographics, no more short guys and tall guys or chicks with cankles or ten extra pounds. There are no more lists of things you think you have to have in a mate. There are only two people on a spiritual assignment: TO LOVE EACH OTHER.

So does she make any valid points? Do you plan on checking her book out? What are you reading this summer?

Any thoughts? (I love her hair!)

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5 thoughts on “New Book Alert – “Why You’re Not Married…Yet”

  1. I don’t plan on picking up her book, but I always appreciate that people are talking openly about relationships. I am not sure what else is on the list, but hopefully something to the tune of “Its just not your time” OR “God has a BETTER live for you as single and satisfied.” I don’t like that pp are often judged by their marital status as if those of us who are married have it all together or are somehow better. Perhaps, I have just had enough of my brillant, beautiful, capable, non-slutty single friends getting endless questions like “what’s wrong with you …” Thanks for the post Jackie. I am looking forward to the summer list, but I will not be adding this one.

  2. Two fiction novels at the top of my stack now. Just finished The Things We Do for Love. Can’t remember the name of the one I am starting next week. Then I have something on the green belt movement, memoirs by Elizabeth Edwards and Laura Bush, something by Tavis Smiley. I think that’s it. :-).

  3. Hmmm….Have you read “The Warmth of Other Suns?” That book is masterful…probably the best book I’ve read this year….I’ve been wanting to read “Game Change” about the 2008 election since it came out…still pondering other selections…I’m a non-fiction reader…but I’m considering some fiction books too…

  4. Game Change is in my stack (see pic posted on FB). I haven’t read The Warmth …. my list seems to grow each day :-). I think I am maxed out for the summer, but hoping to get through at least 2-3 great reads during winter break. Starting Broken for You. While I love non-fiction, I enjoy the occassional escape in non-fiction.