Ready to Launch!!

You’re invited to the official launch of The Five-Year Marriage ®: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm. It’s on March 3, 4-6pm in Wayne PA. I’ll be giving up some “behind the scenes” stories and reading a little bit. Joseph might even chime in with some of his stories. And then we’ll celebrate with food and wine and, of course, great desserts. So that I could keep track of how many people are coming, I set the book launch up on eventbrite – so get your tickets here: Five-Year Marriage ® Launch

The Five-Year Marriage® Update

Annmarie and Joseph - married just 5 years at a time

People have been asking when it’ll be available, so here’s the latest: The book is finished and is onto the next step: the cover. I got a couple sample covers already, but I’m not happy with any of them. It’s funny…when my first book, Victorious Woman: Shaping Your Challenges into Personal Victories was at this stage, the guy who did the cover art had already read the book. I think that makes a difference. After reading the book, he sent me one cover idea; I didn’t like it. He and I talked about it and, based on our conversation, he sent a second cover – and that was “the one.”

So far, between two designers and seven cover ideas, I haven’t gotten a cover that I would even post on FB to get feedback from all you.

Meanwhile, the interior design is going on.

I’m still planning a launch for February. And I’m still hoping that you’ll be able to order the Five-Year Marriage® in November….just in case you have someone who should have the book for Christmas.

AND…I’m speaking about The Five-Year Marriage® , on October 12, 6-8pm, at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia. The cost is $12 and includes heavy hors d’ovres.

So come, enjoy, and find out more about The Five-Year Marriage® .The Pyramid Club is at 17th & Market, 52nd floor, Philadelphia, PA. If you hate driving into the city, take the train.  It’s only about a block and a half from Suburban Station. Register Here: Meet The Author

Will Gettysburg Fix My Writer’s Block?

Civil War Winter Ball

Writer’s Block – the curse of anyone who writes anything anytime. And I got it. I really thought that, since I wrote the first draft of Five-Year Marriage™ a long time ago, this would be easy. Well, writing isn’t easy – good writing, that is. But I didn’t think it would be this hard!

Last week I realized that there have been a lot of distractions. Between enjoying Thanksgiving with my cousins and celebrating Christmas – with all the social events that go with it, I had to many distractions. I simply haven’t been concentrating.

So, this week, I took myself to Gettysburg. It’s a beautiful place, peaceful with all the souls who died during this famous battle and are buried here. I like coming here – usually during the spring or fall. Though one year I was here in January for the Civil War Winter Ball – which was so much fun!

Not this time! I’ve sequestered myself in this room and asked that no one come in to clean. That’s because I have papers all over the 2nd bed, the dresser and the desk. I don’t want anyone disturbing anything. I’ve been going downstairs for breakfast and, in mid-afternoon, I drive around the almost-deserted battlefield. Last night I walked down the road where there are outlet stores. I thought I get some good after-Christmas deals. But I found nothing.

This morning I met a sweet woman who was traveling from New York to Florida. She was celebrating her 50th anniversary with her spouse. Their road trip was designed to take them to all the places that they kept saying they wanted to go…but never did. Gettysburg was one of them.

I feel I’m making progress. But I’m anxious to go home. And I don’t have anything to wear for New Year’s Eve – the first opening night of the Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester. I hope I get through this dopey writer’s block before I leave.

In Maine, Restarting the Book

Today I’m sitting in the living room of Windward Cottage#5 in Town Hill. I know this is vacation, but a lot happened recently about The Five-Year Marriage™ book, so I took the original manuscript (which I copyrighted in 1995!) with me to see what I want to do.

What happened is that I’ve been getting nudges to bring this book out of mothballs and do something with it. It started in 2009 when Professor Lisa Jobs asked my publishing group for a project for her publishing class at Rosemont College. Since Victory by Design came out last year, I was going to give the class that or something to do with Victorious Woman.

At the last minute, I decided to give them Five-Year Marriage™. I unpacked it from the box it’s been in since I moved in 1998. I found the original book proposal and from that put together the information Lisa asked for. I visited the class in late September and again in December. The class did good work and was encouraging. Also that year, journalist and author Helen Goltz wrote an article about the need for five-year marriage™. It was published around the world, including in the New York Time.

You would have thought that would have been enough to give a kick in the butt. It wasn’t. I was taking care of my mother and Joseph was taking care of his. I forgot about it.

In the past two years, I’ve had more nudges than I can count. A few weeks ago I had breakfast with friend and publisher Donna Cavanagh. She was pushy about getting it done.

So, here I am on the sofa, looking out at the beautiful Clark’s Cove. I just read a couple passages from the 1995 version. Joseph read them back than, but after 20 years, it was like reading them for the first time.

So…I’m restarting. Let’s see where the writing takes me this time!

Why a Five Year Marriage® ?

Love and marriage - keep it happyWriter Judith Viorst once said, “One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you maybe fall in love again.” I agree! There are times when, during any five year period, you can fell totally disconnected from your spouse. Sometimes it’s because you have problems at work or maybe because your children or parents are taking up so much time that you’ve forgotten to make space for your relationship. And sometimes it’s for other reasons. It’s natural in any relationship, and really likely in marriage.

Kristin once told me that, in her case, they got involved with a religious sect. Both she and Tim, her spouse were deeply involved and even brought their son along to meetings. As she told the story, she described different events, including one particular request made by the head of the sect. Kristin thought things were starting to get “weird” and she didn’t want to be involved. She and Tim argued about it and a disconnect happened. They got divorced. A couple years later, Tim also decided to leave the sect, and for similar reasons.

By the time Kristin told me, twenty years had passed. During that time, she’d dated other men but never remarried. But that wasn’t the reason for the sadness in her voice. “The thing was,” she explained, “there wasn’t anything going on that couldn’t have been worked out. We were young and didn’t know what else to do but get a divorce. I think if we would have waited it out, we would have worked it out.”

It’s not the only time someone has told me they wished they’d given it more time. At the same time, I know many couples who stay together without any positive change and squeeze the life and soul out of each other.

One of the tenets in the Five Year Marriage® is that, except for abusive, illegal, or immoral behaviors, you agree to stay together and work things out. Chances are, if you really loved each other once, and get some help (counseling, mediation, etc) the season of disconnection will pass. As you formulate the next five year contract, you can use the “disconnection” event to help discuss and create a more purposeful agreement between you.

And if, at the end of five years, you’ve done what you could (and still haven’t worked it out, then split. But at least you won’t wonder if you should have stayed – or be sorry that you stayed too long.