The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship

A radical, "crystalline" (Elle) approach to integrating our work, relationships, and inner selves from the bestselling author, poet, and speaker.

The author of Crossing the Unknown Sea and The Heart Aroused encourages readers to reimagine how they inhabit the worlds of love, work, and self-understanding. Whyte suggests that separating these "marriages" in order to balance them is to destroy the fabric of happiness itself. Drawing from his own struggles and the lives of some of the world's great writers and artists-from Dante to Jane Austen to Robert Louis Stevenson-Whyte explores the ways these core commitments are connected. Only by understanding the journey involved in each of the three marriages and the stages of their maturation, he says, can we understand how to bring them together in one fulfilled life.

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By Cole (The United States) · ★★★★★ · October 25, 2012
A really fantastic book that challenges the ideas of a work life balance being possible, honest or even desirable if it were possible.

The book weaves in and out of stories from the authors life and the lives of interesting people throughout history who struggled and succeeded in creating not a "... ...more
By Rachel Ann (Pittsburgh, PA) · ★★★★☆ · February 03, 2014
I was recently introduced to David Whyte's poetry and fell in love with a few of his poems. Shortly after that, this book was gifted to me. It's a great read. I pretty much dog-eared the whole thing. I would recommend this book to anyone in the midst of a self, relationship, career/calling crisis... ...more
By Brandy (Denver, CO) · ★★★★☆ · January 13, 2011
It's been about 8 months since I started this book, but I've enjoyed slowly picking through it. It came at a perfect time...when I was (and still am) struggling with how to find peace and balance amidst my crazy residency schedule. It gave me a lot of encouragement in understanding that it usuall... ...more
By Gloria (Oswego, IL) · ★★★☆☆ · August 02, 2011
David Whyte arrived at this theme when he was under great pressure, with minutes to spare, to address a large audience ... and he had no idea what to talk about. He chose to speak from his heart.

Here he examines the three prongs of relationship to another person, relationship to self, and relatio... ...more
By Margaret (Plainsboro, NJ) · ★★★☆☆ · March 26, 2014
I loved the premise and many of the examples. I fault myself for expecting a more linear direction in the book- which is of course one of the points, these things aren't linear at all but all three marriages - spouse, work and self- - develop on their own timeframe. I did like his dismissal of th... ...more
By Ward (Richmond, CA) · ★★★★☆ · September 19, 2009
The surprise of recognition on every page. He's a far better poet ... but this remains a fierce and unsettling work of great beauty and insight. Ex: why "Work-Life" balance is non-sense. ...more
By David (Boiling Springs, PA) · ★★★★☆ · January 21, 2014
Near the beginning of this volume, David Whyte reflects on the paradox of being "serious" about something in one's life:
[N]o serious writer ever thinks about English composition, and if he did it would mean he had temporarily lost his mind or his way as a writer. English composition is for those...
By steph (Petrolia, CA) · ★☆☆☆☆ · March 17, 2010
this book is so poorly written, it doesn't get any stars from me. he uses endless run-on sentences, fragments, and otherwise completely inappropriate syntax. his thoughts were not cohesive, the way he presented his 'advice' wasn't organized or connected. a lot of what he said was completely subje... ...more
By Natalie (Lincoln, MA) · ★★★★☆ · March 03, 2010
Can't wait to pick this up; it is recommended by Roger Paine, the wonderful minister that married me and James 10 years ago. We've been exploring how to mark this decade and this is one of the books he has offered up as helpful.

Okay, update: this is a great book; different in style from most self... ...more
By Bill (Huntersville, NC) · ★★★☆☆ · May 16, 2013
A friend introduced me to David Whyte’s poetry last year. Since then I have come across some of his work that rung true for me, in particular some inferences to how we have accomplished a lot more in our heads, in imagined conversations that we have with ourselves, than we have actually accomplis... ...more