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Grown-Up Marriage: What We Know, Wish We Had Known, and Still Need to Know About Being Married

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  137 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Although marriage is for grown-ups, very few of us are grown up when we marry. Here, the bestselling author of Suddenly Sixty and Necessary Losses presents her life-affirming perspective on the joys, heartaches, difficulties, and possibilities of a grown-up marriage -- and no, that's not an oxymoron!
Featuring interviews with married women and men, the findings of couples
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 23rd 2008 by Free Press (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone considering marriage, or already married or in a long-term relationship
My mom gave this book to my husband and me when we were engaged. She thought it was so important and the lessons so valuable that we each got our own copies - and good thing, since I highlighted the heck out of mine! She was right - it is a wonderful book about marriage and relationships, and it's now my go-to gift for all my soon-to-be married friends.
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: couples who are married or getting married
After nineteen years of marriage, I'm convinced that we've done something right. But, and this is a big qualifier, I do recognize that a marriage is something that both need to work at, 'til death do us part. When you become complacent and start taking each other for granted, things can start to derail. By reading this and other books about marriage, I hope that I can continue to remind myself of the importance of nurturing our relationship.

This is a quick read (I actually read this over the co
Mary Alice
I've been married 27 years and I'd like to think that my husband and I have an almost grown up marriage. I recognized some things from the early chapters as what was happening to us maybe 15 to 25 years ago. Fortunately, I learned those lessons without the benefits of this book.

Some of the lessons Viorst teaches are obvious. I read the growing old together section with the most interest, but most of those lessons I've already started to think about.

I got the most insights from the middle section
Aug 05, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book (I admit, because I like the title of this book), but Judith Viorst writes in the strangest way, I found it difficult. She rambles, goes off on tangents, she talks about poetry and literature a lot, and generally loses me. I read the whole book, but now I can't remember anything that it actually said. The title is better than the content - which is a bad sign for a book.
Rebecca Rosenblum
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of good simple advice, although a few bits are rather antiquated, and some of the later chapters weren't personally relevant for me--how to deal with retirement and so forth--though interesting to know what's ahead.
Fantastic book. I've developed such an appreciation for Judith Viorst, and the topic of this book was perfectly on point for me. A delight!
While I agree w other reviewers that some of the notions (especially toward the beginning) are outdated, the author recognizes that, and it's part of her story- to explain thinking from her generation (while acknowledging how times have changed). However, as a divorcee and someone who has subsequently been married over 40 years, as well as having had a couple sets of in-laws and being a mother-in-law and grandparent, she has the experience to give thoughtful advice and perspective from many angl ...more
May 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I like Judith Viorst (Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Alexander and the Wonderful Marvelous Excellent Terrific Ninety Days), and this book promised an overview of marriage as a cultural phenomenon. It isn't, though. It's a little bit of Viorst commenting on her own marriage and a little bit of her talking with therapists and other couples and a little bit of her reading a lot of books on marriage and a little of her own poetry and stories about marriage. I dipped in and ...more
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far so good, actually... I've read a lot of self-help books, and I like this one because it's pretty real. It doesn't try to pretend that a "happily ever after" marriage is easy...or even truly attainable (even the best marriages have their ups and downs. But I think Viorst does a good job of flagging some common difficult issues that (at least in a young marriage) you might be able to preempt by doing some conscious thinking about your preconceptions regarding the nature of marriage and fami ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who is married, might one day be married, is considering marriage, or is engaged to be married ought to relate to the stories, problems, joys, frustrations, and realizations of the real life people who author, Judith Viorst interviewed. This is readable and real with a wonderful balance and breadth of information about marriage and--more importantly--and understanding of what a grown-up marriage is and tools to achieve that optimum state. Besides case studies, Judith Viorst has the creden ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh - found a recommendation on a blog I really liked. I guess if I was younger this would be a good revelation for me, but basically it's a long book that says relationships are sometimes hard and people need to be intentional about them. Nothing that rocked my world or challenged my thoughts. Not terrible, just not amazing like I was expecting. I think I was most disappointed because it was all observations but no recommendations for actions.

Kirsten Kowalewski
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kirsten by: my mother
eh... she has some good stuff to say, but she's not writing for my generation. If young marrieds are her targeted audience, I think she's missing the boat. My mom thought she was right on, though.

Not quite what I expected from the genius behind Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Cynthia  Scott
I learned a lot from this book by Judith Viorst, who is so well-loved as a chilren's writer. It is full of the wisdom of her many years of marriage and motherhood, and had a lot of surprises. I gained the most for the final chapters on long-term marriages and growing up and older together. It has a lot for all stages of life.
Christine Slocum
The writing style is hard to follow. Heavy on fluff, light on content, and a rambling, preachy way of writing which didn't prioritize substance. I wish there was more research and less random, distracting poetry.
Jul 13, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I received this as a wedding gift, opened it up, and found it to be not a self-help book as a very interesting examination of the reasons why people get married, the benefits of marriage, the unique qualities of marriage compared to other human relationships...I really like this so far.
Self help and children's books go hand-in-hand (in a good way), so I was interested in this book by the author of "Alexander and the no good very bad horrible decrepid [sic] day." Good book for putting trivial concerns into perspective, not much else.
An interesting book. This isn't a how to ...but a realistic look at what a grown up marriage should look like and the many pitfalls that exist. It really doesn't offer any answers or fixes, but definately gives you food for thought.
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Assumes that infidelity is routine part of healthy, long-term marriages. Not something that I think many books about "grown-up marriage" would argue these days. Made it seem a little dated to its 1970's / "Ice Storm" / key party-era publication date.
Jun 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm with the reviewer who thought the title was promising but was disappointed with the book. Of all the fluffy self-help books I waste my time with, this one's the fluffiest. I don't think she says anything, at all.
Elizabeth Ruth
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've started observing that a lot of the intellectuals who wrote the best children's books of the 1990s also wrote excellent work for grown ups. Viorst is a great example. Much to be savored and learned here. Sort of owners manual for a relationship, a dry funny one.
I'm not married (and don't really plan on it), but my mom bought me this because she thought it would be funny, and because I loved Viorst's kid's books when I was little.
Made a mistake... wanted to put on to-read. Never let anyone over 65 use this site!!
May 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
Essays for a married audience. Good writing. Not a self-help book.
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book on relationships I have come across. Clear and positive.
I did enjoy. Very well written and very informative.
Stacy M.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Good advice until Viorst talks about cheating like its just one of those things we all do. Put it down shortly after that; don't plan on picking it back up.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Viorst always has lots of good ideas without making you feel like she's lecturing, and she makes you laugh. So much better than things like "If Life Is a Game."
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though not written by a professional, she provided a number of excellent insights and things to think about.
i read this one when we started to talk about becoming engaged. it was interesting and funny if not overly helpful.
Nazish Salahuddin
May 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in a committed relationship
i found it very relevant. normalizes the bumps that come up. gave me a new perspective (i.e., that i'm not right ALL the time) :) well-written, interesting, entertaining.
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Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies. Ms. Viorst received a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, and she is also a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institu ...more
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