Neither one of us ever read Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love (soon to be a movie starring Julia Roberts) — we were both faintly annoyed by the idea of being along for the ride while some over-analytical divorcee worked through her problems on paper. But then Curtis Sittenfeld’s review of Gilbert’s Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage convinced us that Gilbert was a smarter, funnier, more insightful, and less annoying writer than we’d assumed. She was right: Committed — a sequel of sorts to Eat, Pray, Love — is a compelling take on marriage and its discontents. Sure, at times it feels like being along for the ride while some over-analytical affianced woman works through her issues on paper. In fact, it feels like this a lot of the time — but it is only very occasional annoying. The memoir is likeable for multiple reasons, but here are five of our favorite relationship tips that we took away from it (whether or not Gilbert intended them that way):
- The best way to avoid cheating on your spouse is to avoid confiding in anyone else more than you do in him or her.
- One of the best things about intimacy is talking softly in bed together late at night. Take yourselves back to the early days when that intimacy was still a novelty by picking a word at random — say, fish — and asking your partner to tell you a story that the word recalls for them.