You know the story: Two people meet, fall madly in love and throw a romantic, Pinterest-worthy wedding. But then what? Everything we usually read about marriage has to do with attracting the right partner or, on the flip side, dealing with divorce. But what about the stuff that comes after the wedding? What about how to be married?
Those are the questions answered in How to Be Married, a new book by Jo Piazza (a journalist and the co-author of the hilarious best-selling novel The Knockoff). Here, Piazza takes us behind the curtain of her first year of marriage, but with a twist. Rather than spend the year picking out curtains from Pottery Barn and trying out the Whole30 diet together, Jo and her husband, Nick, decide to travel to twenty countries to research how actually to be married.
The chapters are broken down by the countries Jo and Nick visit, and are peppered with funny anecdotes and wise lessons. Some will make you LOL, like when they compete in an annual wife-carrying competition in Maine. Others will have you taking notes, like when Jo advises that "Being a team means not eating all of the delicious chocolate the two of you bought on your honeymoon on your own in one go, even though you have your period and chocolate is the only thing that will stop you from wanting to throw things."
Lessons gleaned from other cultures range from helpful (in Denmark, newlyweds stress the importance of hygge) to questionable (in France, they’re told the secret to a lasting marriage is to be your husband's mistress).
The biggest takeaway from their adventures, though, is that everyone struggles to make it work. So why not at least take that struggle on the road?