How to Be Married

What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage

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Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.
As journalist Jo Piazza began planning her own wedding she realized that American marriage traditions focus more on the perfect dress, the Instagram-worthy decorations, and the menu than on how to make a real, lasting, joy-filled commitment.
What comes after the whirlwind romance and fairy-tale wedding? How do you craft a marriage that lasts in a world where marriage is increasingly becoming obsolete?
A travel editor, Jo finds herself in the unique position of being able to devote the first year of her marriage, to exploring the rituals, customs, and traditions from other countries and cultures in an attempt to learn how to be (happily) married. 
With elegant prose, astute reporting and hilarious insight into the human psyche, this provocative book portrays Jo’s journey around the globe in search of what a modern marriage should look like and shares the most effective advice from hundreds of real women and men on 5 continents.. An extraordinary memoir about what really happens after we say “I do,” Jo and her husband come up against much more than they bargained for in that first year together, from receiving a terrifying health diagnosis to caring for sick parents and losing a job.

Yet, their spirit, curiosity, humor, and love are unflagging throughout as they interview hundreds of men and women on a range of topics from polygamy in Kenya, open marriage in France, sex in Orthodox Israel, and marital equality in Sweden. They conquer a wife-carrying competition in Maine, nearly suffocate in a Mexican Temazcal, investigate a matrilineal tribe in India, learn how to salsa together in Chile, and overpower all of their fears on one of the world’s tallest mountains. Ultimately, this book is a grand experiment that will forever change the way we look at marriage and commitment.


"In Jo Piazza's inspired view, marriage is deeply personal and profoundly political. At the intersection of public and private, her story is impossible to put down, because it is relevant to us all. Whether you're married, considering marriage, or want a deeper understand of the institution, this book is for you. It's a smart, hopeful, timely, and necessary consideration of a practice under pressure. Jo Piazza writes with verve and heart." —Wednesday Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Primates of Park Avenue

"Jo Piazza has penned a poignant and thoroughly entertaining missive on the modern day near-impossible demands, dilemmas and delights of modern day marriage. A must read for anyone seriously considering joining your life to the life of another. You will find this gem of a book to be an enlightening roadmap of the pathway ahead." —Katherine Woodward Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After

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