When Cheryl Jarvis was thirty-six, a wife, mother and TV producer, she was asked to work halfway across the country for three months. After pleas from her sons, she declined the offer but made an unsettling discovery: She had really wanted to live and work alone for a while. She had really wanted to go. Twelve years later, she made another discovery: A dream deferred did not mean a dream diminished.
The Marriage Sabbatical begins as her story, an absorbing account of her three months away from home and the powerful discoveries made as a result. But it is far more than a personal narrative. Based on her interviews with fifty-five women, Jarvis breaks new ground as she asks a bold and to some a radical question: What happens when married women take some time and space away?
The Marriage Sabbatical is a journalistic exploration of married women leaving home to pursue a dream, conquer a challenge, nurture a talent, or find themselves. They hike the Appalachian Trail, drive cross-country, teach overseas, join a dig. In solitude they paint, write or study. Eloquently describing how desire becomes a departure date, how women reconcile their decision with family obligations, and finally, how they come home again, Jarvis examines what a marriage sabbatical means in the context of a committed relationship, explores its role as a catalyst for personal and marital growth, and provides new understanding of the psychological conflicts it stirs.
Placing married women "leaving home" in the larger context of female independence, Cheryl Jarvis proposes that a married woman's need for time away from her husband is not a dismissal of him but a redefining experience for her.
Describing a concrete and creative way that some women have found to keep both their marriages and themselves, she shows how nurturing individual dreams can strengthen self, enliven relationship, and modernize an age-old institution. For the women you'll meet in this moving book, a marriage sabbatical is a planned and finite period of time in which to leave their ordinary world for an extraordinary experience, a journey ultimately meaning not only rejuvenation but empowerment.
Im sitting at the dining-room table making phone calls, struggling to get a job in a city where creative opportunities are limited. The right side of my neck aches from my prolonged, hunched-over position. A pain shoots its way down my arm. Im longing for a shoulder rub when the phone rings. Its the senior producer of the television show I worked on before it moved east. The producer who replaced me isnt working out, he says, and her successor cant start for a few months. Will I come to Connecticut to fill in?
By the time Im off the phone, Ive forgotten the pain. I start to feel light-headed as I think about how luxurious it would be to focus on the job without feeling pulled in all directions. Before, when I was at work, I was thinking of home; when I was at home, I was thinking of work, my loyalties divided always. Rushing in late to the office, after negotiating breakfasts and schedules and last-minute school projects, ...
If you liked The Marriage Sabbatical, try these:
Families of Two takes us into the lives of fifteen childfree couples and provides important answers to many of the questions faced by couples who are in the midst of deciding whether or not to have children, and those couples who have already made the decision to be 'childfree'.
This intellectually vigorous and gripping historical analysis of marriage sheds new light on an institution most people take for granted, and that may, in fact, be experiencing its most convulsive upheaval since the Reformation.
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