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The Secret Lives of Wives Hot Conversation

Iris Krasnow’s new book, The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married has hit the stands.  And, unlike this writer, the stands are sitting down to read it.

Krasnow estimates that about 70% of married women have considered leaving their spouses once a month, if not every six months.”  These episodes have usually coincided with trash night, any sports playoffs, visits from a husband’s unemployed college buddy, and finding pubic hair in the shower.

According to Macleans, “Krasnow spoke with more than 200 women, married between 15 and 70 years, who report taking separate holidays, embarking on new careers, establishing a tight circle of female friends, dabbling in Same Time, Next Year-style liaisons and adulterous affairs, and having “boyfriends with boundaries.” Yoga and white wine also feature predominately.”

Krasnow dishes her secrets to staying happily married:
1. Make out with old boyfriends Krasnow insists she isn’t condoning adultery, unless it just sort of happens and is a whole lot of fun
2. Go on separate vacations Krasnow hasn’t vacationed with her husband in eitght years.  They are usually several states (geographically) apart.
3. Get yourself a platonic boyfriend  (When asked if they would consider a platonic relationship with a married woman, 80% of all men said they would, as long as they could f—k her also.)
4. Lower those expectations Krasnow tells The NY Post, recalling a particularly fraught time in her own marriage when she was homebound with four young children. She was ready to walk out herself when a friend advised her, “Oh, Iris, just lower your expectations.” That advice, she said, saved her marriage.  (Stating it in print, not so much.)
5. Choose Mr Predictable (One wonders if Angelina feels that way about Brad)
6. Keep secrets from your spouse According to Krasnow, a secret is different from a lie.  (Yes, it is.  The lie is a secret that someone has asked you about.)
An example in the book is Cynthia, a 68-year-old woman in a 45-year “committed marriage,” who goes out to lunch every other month with her college boyfriend, who is also married and has no intention of leaving his wife. Usually their outings end in a hot and heavy “petting session” in his Mercedes. Sometimes, he rubs Jean Naté lotion, the scent Cynthia wore in college, onto her legs and compliments her beautiful feet. Cynthia says they’ve never consummated their relationship, nor do they intend to.  She describes her time with her non-consummated lover as a “balloon lift off.”

The 58-year-old Krasnow, an author and journalism professor at American University, writes she was “stunned by the secrets and shenanigans” in her journey through American marriages. She, herself, admits to occasionally “loathing” her husband of 23 years. She credits her marital stability with summers spent apart, separate hobbies and her “close relationships” with male buddies.

Krasnow’s husband, when asked how life has changed his wife since she became a bestselling author, replied, “Well, I’ve never really seen that much of her anyway, during our marriage.  In fact, I have only seen her once since July 15 of last year.  I’m thinking she really hasn’t changed at all, except I swear the last time I saw her, she was smelling a lot like Jean Nate.”

What do you think of Krasnow’s advice? What would YOUR tips be for sustaining a happy marriage?

Posted in books & entertainment, family & relationships, Our Blog Circle.

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12 Responses

  1. Generic Image SecretID58 says

    I don’t think the subject of this posting is a very happy person.  In fact, if I had to do/feel most of these things to stay married, I might just leave.  Maybe she stays for money or some sort of social prestige not discussed in the article.  Or maybe I just don’t understand.  I’ve only been married for nine years compared to her 45 years.  

    She doesn’t sound very happy to me.  And I could not neck and pet without going all the way.   Sounds too frustrating to me.

    2 like

    • Renee Renee says

      Although I certainly understand that people of box sexes find fulfillment outside of marriage, I find it surprising that such a high percentage of the women the author interviewed did.  And, like you, I think foreplay would be way too frustrating without going all the way.

      0 like

  2. Jeannie Jeannie says

    As a woman who has been married 32 years and found out 2 years ago that her husband (who she thought was faithful and wonderful, as did everyone else) was having 2 long term emotional affairs and 2 physical/emotional relationships – one with an ‘escort” I am appalled at the views of this author and her frivolous attitude towards marriage.  I will not read this book.  This author should take a good look at her life and grow up.

    3 like

    • Renee Renee says

      After having seen Krasnow on the Today Show, I see that she did have some sensible words to impart in her book.  But I feel that a lot of what she wrote was geared toward getting noticed, and she is certainly doing that.

      0 like

  3. Generic Image Sandpal28 says

    I found this article to be in very poor taste. I am sorry but this person is not happily married she is living in a marriage where they just tolerate each other. A happy marriage is one where you enjoy being together and love going on vacations and exploring new places or old.  A happy marriage is when you can sit on the couch in sweats and enjoy a good movie together and not care what the other person looks like.  Making out with an old boyfriend that is cheating I don’t care what you say and if you feel that need then your not in love with your spouse.  We all day dream about our first love or some boyfriend  but you know in your heart you would never really want to be that person because you love your spouse.  A happy marriage is taking the good with the bad and knowing you will grow old together not taking separate vacations that’s not a marriage. I understand sometimes you go places with the girls or go away with out your spouse he may have a fishing or golf trip and you might have a girls weekend that’s fine big difference from going on speperate vacations. The person who wrote this article isn’t happy not at all and if she really sat down and thought about her marriage she would realize that it’s not a real marriage.  
    I have been married 41 years and I love my husband for all the good and all the bad through the ups and downs and we always travel together and we really enjoy that.  
    I don’t think Vibrant Nation really should have even posted this article

    4 like

    • Renee Renee says

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.  The “article” is actually a book, and my post about it was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.  When I read about Krasnow’s book, I wasn’t appalled, so much as thinking “Well, this author certainly found a way to sell books.” That’s why I decided to make fun of it.  Infidelity isn’t a bahavior to be admired, and Vibrant Nation isn’t condoning going outside of marriage for satisfaction. 

      1 like

  4. Itty Bitty Boomer Itty Bitty Boomer says

    IMHO I believe (right or wrong) that women look outside their marriage primarily when they feel hopelessness in their marriage. 

    After marriages (23 chaotic years ending in his passing away) (9 years ending in divorce)  I have come to the conclusion that at my age now (61) I am looking for completely different expectations in a marriage.  My partner (we are considering marriage after almost 4 years) and I are first and foremost best friends; we acknowledge and accept that as much as we enjoy spending time together, we both need our own time as well both socially and in solitude; we encourage the best in each other and support each other through challenges; we respect and trust each other implicitly.  We accept each other’s imperfections. We wake up every morning with the expectation that we will spend a few minutes just holding each other and that starts the day off with a “snuggly, secure” feeling …  

    Seems so simple and kind of … “Well, Duh!”  but isn’t the reality that we seldom actually find someone like this?  It is for me … I know what it’s like to not feel secure in a relationship – to wonder how much more I can take in a chaotic or abusive or simply empty relationship. 

    Would that we all had loving, fullfilling relationships …. wouldn’t the world be a more perfect place?

    2 like

    • Renee Renee says

      Thanks so much for these comments.  Yes, I do believe that at a very basic level, we all want a loving, trusting, secure, sexually-satisfying relationship, one that gives the “friends with benefits” phrase a new meaning.  Friendship, trust, and shared values are the bedrock of any marriage.  And, like you, I believe that many people never get to experience the “perfect” relationship.  But, and I think this is important, a marriage can be solid without it being “perfect.” It takes two people who are committed to the marriage and each willing to give 100% (not 50%) for it to continue.

      1 like

  5. Generic Image avocet says

    I read about this book review this morning and quite frankly, find it disturbing.  It is often said that integrity is “what one does when no one else is looking.”  If I started playing a game of deception in my marriage, what else might I do when no one is looking? 

    Furthermore, if if I felt that we had to reach outside of our marriage in the ways documented by the subjects in the book, I’m not really sure of why we would stay married.  Afterall, we don’t live in a third world country where our actual need for food and shelter depends on the marriage and children who can help tend crops and animals.  If my husband and I needed to have emotional and physical affairs outside of our marriage, why wouldn’t we just get a divorce so that we could have complete freedom to roam?  We’ve had our ups and downs like most married couples and I must admit that I’ve been tempted at times.  But I really don’t think a marriage can function without trust and therefore can’t imagine why anyone would bother to stay in some of the marriages described in the book.  Even at an advancing age in a horrible economy, this great country still offers work and living options for those who are creative, courageous and willing to work hard.

    4 like

    • Renee Renee says

      You nailed this.  Trust is what it’s all about.  I believe marriage can survive a lot, but without trust, it is difficult, indeed.

      3 like

  6. Generic Image Nickibri says

    I can’t believe what I just read.  Very inappropriate.  What she says is everything that marriage is not.  The whole point of being married is to be with your spouse, sharing time at home and away.  If you’re going to do everything separate from your spouse and have affairs, then why the heck are you even married?!

    3 like

    • Renee Renee says

      Agreed.  And, as I’ve said to others, I do think Krasnow was more about selling books than about providing a prescription for a healthy marriage.

      2 like

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