“We should not feel embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure to grow anything beautiful from them.” Alain De Botton
In his poetic and powerful book, The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship, David Whyte says,
There is that first marriage, the one we usually mean, to another; that second marriage, which can so often seem like a burden to work or vocation; and that third, and most likely hidden, marriage to a core conversation inside ourselves.
For too many of us we feel like we are going up and down on a teeter-totter with our work and love lives competing for our attention while our personhood often gets battered underneath both seats. David Whyte offers us all a great service when he suggests this basic reality:
Each of those marriages, is at its heart, nonnegotiable. We should give up the attempt to balance one against another, of, for instance, taking away from work to give more time to a partner, or vice versa, and start thinking of each marriage conversing with, questioning, or emboldening the other two.
Yet, even understanding the importance of empowering the three primary aspects of our lives and committing to a partner, our work, and our true selves, it often seems impossible to succeed having a successful marriage of all three.