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Portrait of Our Marriage

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Fun • Sexy • Intense • Hot • Compelling • Thought Provoking, and So Real you may find it Shocking, even Disturbing.
Inspired by an episode on Oprah from years ago that dealt with men addicted to porn, a dream, and information from 8 women's lives, Portrait of Our Marriage, is a story you don't want to miss. Nicky, embarks on a journey to find herself and become her own per
Kindle Edition, 251 pages
Published September 1st 2012
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  222 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Delena Silverfox
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book yesterday and had to let myself sit and think about it before writing this review, mainly because it stirred up so many emotions in me that I had to wait for them to settle before I could approach this.

My background is in psychology, and I found Brett's years-long descent into porn addiction to be accurate in how it changes behavior, sexual performance, and how it slowly encroaches and erodes the trust and emotional connection within a relationship. The metamorphosis from ch
Aug 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Christoph Fischer

Another one of those mystifying books with 294 ratings and a 4.04 average rating. Horrible writing. Unbelievably boring story. The author is writing about how a husband's porn addiction damages a marriage, yet a big chunk of the preview is the wife's own porny description of a sex act. (All the porny sex in these self-published books reads exactly the same. I think they're all just plagiarizing and replagiarizing each other.)

"...his thumbs tweaked and toyed until my nipples were hardened peaks..
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Looking at memories in a digital photo frame might revive a marriage, and looking at porn on the internet might destroy it. Both come together in Martha Emms’ fictional tale Portrait of our Marriage, which marries graphically sensual romance with the harsh realities and imperfections of life. Just how imperfect can a marriage become before it’s time to call it quits? And where is the line between being selfish and being true to oneself?
Outwardly Nicky has it all. After a somewhat repressed child
Brenda Perlin
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Maybe there will be a part two. I hope so. I would love to know what happens with the characters in this story. Emms is a terrific writer whose story is straightforward and easy to digest. It was very easy to get into Portrait of Our Marriage right from the start. The characters came to life and I could relate so some of the main characters frustration over her failing marriage. Her story was touching and realistic.

I wish this author all the success in the world. She deserves to become a househo
Nicole Russell
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
This was such an IMPORTANT book! The only reason I didn't rate it higher was because it wasn't the kind of book that I would keep in my 'Treasure Chest' of books... Not something I would want to read again... It's hard to even say it was a book I 'enjoyed' either... But I'm SO glad I read it and would recommend it to ANYONE! It was very well written, and so interesting. This is the kind of book that teaches you something... Leaves an impression on you... Very thought provoking... And SO VERY REA ...more
Chris Rose
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The black and white reworked into a kaleidoscope of complex colour.

Portrait of Our Marriage very cleverly draws the line between what should be acceptable in a relationship and what shouldn’t be. The clever part, though, is how faintly the author traces that line. Let’s face it, don’t we all love to convince ourselves – particularly one another – every other day, in some form, that we have a strong handle on what we perceive to be a perversion? And, in some cases, sexual perversion. It may be th
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow... just oh my... not for the faint of heart... makes you wonder about people and their addictions and how much pain they cause... I am not usually one to stray from the HEA romance but I think I actually saw this episode on Oprah years ago.
Martha I think you did this subject well and with brutual honesty. Thank you... this book just might help somebody out there.
B.R. Snow
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What do you do when a relationship based on an intense love heads south and turns into a chaotic mess of mistrust and broken promises? When does one finally summon the courage to say ‘enough is enough’ and walk away? These questions, and more, are the basis for Portrait of our Marriage . This well-crafted story traces the relationship of Nicky and Brett; two well-drawn characters seemingly well-suited for each other and a lifelong marriage and family. Ms. Emms’ book, her first, is a thought-p ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
For the first time, I think I feel bad about my rating - only because I'm thinking this wasn't...wasn't....in my age group? If I ever read a book that screamed, "40 to 50 year old, divorcee mom," this is it. The writing wasn't bad; it was obvious the writer knew the mechanics and technicalities of writing...but that is only half the battle (if that) with a successful book. The scenes and dialogue were so anti-climactic - For content to be so boring, it literally put me to sleep, there wasn't eve ...more
Vicky Whedbee
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Intense book!

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book and even still had to go back to the beginning when I had finished to see if it was based on a true story. That's how realistically it was written!

I was happy to find it was work of fiction, as parts of it were off the charts the picture of perfection as far as a marriage could be, the parts that became the ultimate demise of the marriage were incredibly painful!

I was glad to know that this poor couple had not actually been throu
Wendy Janes
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nicky is looking back on her relationship with her husband, Brett. Their attraction for each other has always been strong, but over the years her trust in him has been eroded by his escalating addiction to pornography. Can her love for him endure?

The author makes Nicky and Brett’s relationship very believable: from their instant attraction to their developing love, through to the darker days that follow. Their exotic wedding and the birth of their first child illustrate their happy days, but alo
Christoph Fischer
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Portrait of Our Marriage" by Martha Emma was an unexpectedly emotional and gripping reading experience. Like Nick, the narrator and many of her friends in the book I fell in love with the idea of that perfect and happy marriage, the man of her dreams: dead sexy, considerate and loving.
Like her I led myself to believe that it was her overreacting and would have given her exactly the kind of advice all the friends in the novel gave her.

This fictional memoir is particularly apt in its portrayal o
Claire McRoberts
Jul 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
I've never given a one star rating before, but I have to here because this was literally one of the worst books I've ever read. ("Read" isn't even accurate - I skimmed 75% of it just because I'm incapable of not finishing a book, no matter how terrible it is.) I chose it because it sounded like an interesting idea for a book and goodreads had rated it at a 4.34. Rare miss for goodreads, but man was it a big miss! The dialect is on about a 6th grade level, as is the author's understanding of writ ...more
Sass Cadeaux
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This novel has it all. Steamy romance, budding relationship, growth, family values, life lessons and yes ... that unexplainable feeling of being alone while being in the arms of the one you love. The plot was clear and concise. This story from beginning to end had me empathize with each and every character.

It isn’t a story about good verses evil … it’s a story about life. This story takes you out of the norm and places you into forbidden territory. There is a reason why things happen behind clo
Judy Churchill
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is difficult to rate. I was ready to give up after the first quarter of the story. The writing was awkward and the story didn't seem to be going anywhere. After the main character met the man she would marry the pace of the story picked up. I do share the feeling of one reviewer that the author's description of their sex life approached pornography and perhaps it was to lay the foundation for what was to come. When Ms. Emms got to the meat of the story I was mesmerized. She did a wonde ...more
Stevie Turner
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
I can empathise well with the writer. I too have written a book in a similar vein, finding it very therapeutic, and wonder if Martha (like myself) has based her novel partly on personal experience? Martha, if you're out there in the ether, give us a shout! ...more
Tara  Niland
Dec 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
A disappointing read I must say.
Delinda McCann
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a bittersweet story of love and addiction. Nicky and Brett were the perfect couple. They were popular in the neighborhood and had some close friends to go camping and skiing with. They loved to snow ski. In fact they met on the ski slope where Brett was a member of the ski patrol and Nicki skied into him.

Martha Emms tells this story beautifully from the moment the couple first met and how they came to fall in love. Nicky was from a repressive background and trying to learn how to live a fu
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Portrait of our Marriage, by Martha Emms, is an emotionally graphic, sexually explicit, no-holds-barred portrayal of addiction to pornography. Told from the point of view of the wife of an addict, it is heart-wrenching. The story unfolds, as it so often does in life, slowly and painfully over years, clearly capturing the rationalizing and minimizing that partners often do when they hope beyond hope that a problem isn’t really a problem, or will just go away on its own.

Nicky is madly in love with
Sahara Foley
First off, I thought the use of a digital picture frame to fill in back story was a pretty unique approach. With each new batch of pictures, we advance through the timeline and are also shown the deterioration of Brett's obsession with porn. I must admit, at the beginning, I thought Nicky was a little overboard with her concerns about the magazines and VHS tapes. Most households have them. When I was younger, my parents had pornographic comics. And of course, us kids found them, and reading them ...more
S.R. Mallery
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing

At what point in an adult couple’s relationship does one person’s private, sexual addictions become too intrusive for his/her partner? Who gets to decide what sexual standards/practices a person should engage in? How does one’s upbringing affect his/her sexual acceptance, repugnance, and/or enjoyment? In Martha Emms’ frank, pulls-no-punches “Portrait of Our Marriage,” these important and not often talked about questions are extremely well presented. Not only
Susan Day
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love the honesty in this book. We all strive for a perfect relationship but it isn’t always possible. If we add the stresses of pornography and Nicky’s struggles to appear normal to everyone outside her marriage, it’s no wonder the marriage is on the rocks. And yet the love and passion the couple share is deep and meaningful, not to mention, beautifully portrayed by the author. I think Nicky’s decision to stay or to go will resonate with many women. She has her memories of her and Brett’s earl ...more
Nance R
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Compelling and Sexy!

This book is an account of a marriage that has gone wrong. In the beginning it was magical. Nicky met her future husband Brett on the ski slopes. They fall in love immediately. Flash forward a couple of decades and they are on the verge of divorce. Why? She discovers a disturbing secret about her husband.

I enjoyed the author’s method of storytelling. Nicky relives the past through a series of photos. They tell the story of her life with Brett. Nicky is remembering the wonderf
Mar 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Good idea. Appalling writing. First time I've ever read a highly rated goodreads book that was bad and this was awful - lots of anecdotes that went nowhere, adolescent writing style, horrendously written sex scenes (and from a character that had a problem with her husband's porn addiction - no credibility). Sorry. ...more
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
This book I enjoyed. Some parts however went into fine detail about events that I just wanted to skip over as I didn't think they were relevant. I just wanted to get to the heart if the issue and the nitty gritty. It made you think about your own life which are the parts I liked the best, ...more
Heidi Sp
Jul 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Apparently this book has a lot of graphic sex scenes in it but I wouldn't know because I couldn't even get through the first chapter. The writing is so unbelievably bad she made the EL James look like Shakespeare. ...more
Sarah Trumpinski
Dec 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is horrible. I was intrigued by the topic but didn't even finish it because it was so poorly written. After reading about half of the book I had zero interest in the characters. ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jana Petken

Reviewing the paperback edition as well because I heard it was better. It wasn't.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great read!
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding portrayal of a dream marriage that unravels

This book should be read by every woman who is struggling and in terrible pain because she cannot understand what has gone wrong in her marriage. The author zeros in on an exploding issue for women today, namely the impact on marriage when a spouse turns from his wife to the sensuality readily available online. Martha Emms does an outstanding job of tracking a relationship from a mutually satisfying and supportive team, into a slowly deterio
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