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Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship Paperback – 5 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (5 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159448435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594484353
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Whyte is also the author of seven books of poetry, including River Flow: New & Selected Poems.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. W. James on 29 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
I really appreciated this excellent book by David Whyte. His poetry and beautiful prose, his deft insights into the need for soulfulness and creativity, along with David's well crafted gift of storytelling make this a deeply satisfying read with lots of food for reflection. Reading this book was like being healed on a deep level and is full of thoughtful reflections about how to live a truly human life with balance and depth. I find many pop psychology books not very emotionally deep - I think there is more to life than turning your self into a self-improvement project! For those who want something wise and with emotional depth this book is a tremendous guide.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Peter Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is David Whyte at his best. He has written this book well, describing how we are constantly balancing ourselves between work, self and relationships. He points out that we have personal relationships to each component- to our sel, to our work, to our relationships. Whyte argues against trying to compartmentalise our lives too much. There is not time to divide our life into chunks, or to become different people in different settings.

What he's basically arguing for is development of character and depth, so producing stable and effective relationships in whatever context we are. His argument is for presence in whatever we are doing now.

Whyte is a fascinating writer who blends many themes into a helpful synthesis. This is a great book and ranks well alongside his earlier classic The Heart Aroused.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather A on 21 Feb 2012
Format: Hardcover
Just love the way David Whyte writes. If his words were chocolate they would be smooth and velvety and yet he is taking you to the very heart of what it is to be human and to places that aren't so smooth and velvety! Every sentence resonates on a deep level, evoking what you already knew and inspiring you to be who you really are. Love all the references to great poets and their poems, he has opened my eyes to the magic of poetry. In fact if all I got from this book was the start of a wonderful journey into the world of poetry I would be more than satisfied but that is really just an extra bonus on top of learning how to be truly authentic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark B on 14 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A phenomenal insight into integrating the different aspects of self, relationships and work (in whatever sense that may be).

I was already a fan of David Whyte's insightful poetry, but this book is spectacularly practical, as well as inspiring. I don't mean practical in terms of worksheets or techniques for time prioritisation, but in terms of philosophical outlook and providing a framework within which to reconcile the conflicting, sometimes paradoxical demands of the different areas of our lives.

Highly recommended for anybody wishing to reflect on themselves and their lives.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
"Most Marriages are Dynamic, Moving Frontiers" 12 Feb 2009
By M.E. Estabrook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In 'The Three Marriages', author and poet, David Whyte says, "Most marriages are dynamic, moving frontiers, hardly recognizable to the participants themselves, moving frontiers that occupy edges of happiness and unhappiness all at the same time." (pg. 241). This is the kind of intelligent and useful insight one finds throughout Whyte's most recent book. What is unique about this statement, and many of the ideas developed in this work, is that you could apply this idea to any of the three marriages, the marriage to another, the marriage to one's work, and the marriage to oneself. I believe this is a unique and very helpful way to imagine the relationships in our lives. It is not a question of balance or choosing, but a question of seeing each of our 'marriages' as love affairs in their own right, with all the ups and downs one experiences in a love affair with another person. The way that he illustrates his ideas is not only through is own life experiences, but through the lives of great writers, spiritual teachers and ordinary brave people, such as Jane Austen, Dante, Emily Dickenson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Pema Chodran and JK Rowling to name a few. This makes for a lively, interesting and adventurous read. In the final chapter, "Not a Question of Balance: A Marriage of Marriages", he gives us some new ideas about how we can bring it all together. I won't spoil any secrets, but leave it to your own enjoyable read.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The Three Marriages 11 May 2009
By K. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
David Whyte weaves the stories of Dante and Beatrice,Robert Louis Stevenson,Jane Austen and others to illustrate the interconnections of relationship with self, work and marriage. I used to think these worlds were separately spinning spheres but each is informed by the other with the relationship with self providing the clarity for the others. Whyte takes the idea of work life balance and turns it on its head to get us to someplace where we understand connection. It can be dense to read at times but he has done a great job of breaking the book up into chapters, sections and reviews at the end of chapters to capture the salient points.
I highly recommend the book to gain insight into personal relationships(I was wondering why I was stuck in a lousy job and a lousy relationship), to discuss as a work group or to discover with a loved one.It would also be a great book group discussion.
Also discover (or rediscover) how poetry can put into words these complexities, particulalry David Whyte's poetry which can be found in other of his books.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Some Pretty Terrific Stuff Here! 25 Feb 2010
By Michelle Alberigi McKenzie - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
David posits that we have three very important marriages in our lives: marriage to a partner, our marriage to our work, and that ultimate marriage we should be having with ourselves. He says these things are so closely tied to who we are, that we must look at all three. (probably OFTEN.) He also says we can't expect a perfect balance, and explains why that just doesn't work in the real world. (what a relief!)

I downloaded the audio version and listened to it twice. He addressed so many important areas, using wonderful stories and poems, that finally, after listening to it twice, I ordered a copy of the book so I could highlight all the good stuff I wanted to remember. I'm a happy camper.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Do not buy the CD version! 31 Mar 2011
By R. Yamada - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a review of the CD audiobook version and has nothing to do with the content. Each of the CD's has something like a hundred tracks; each approximately 40 seconds long; some only 20 seconds. And the tracks aren't even divided in logical places; some end/begin mid-sentence! Whomever produced this audiobook did the worst job I've ever experienced and I have hundreds of audiobooks.

Most CD audiobooks are like music CD's - each track is in the five minute range and it's easy to find specific sections of the book by hitting the chapter forward/reverse buttons. It's even better on a computer where I can title each track to reflect the content of the track. I can't do that with this audiobook. There's way too many tracks and they're too short. I chose (and paid extra), for the CD version over the MP3 CD and the Audible versions so I could listen in my car without the hassle of making my own CD's.

I'd definitely recommend purchasing one of the other formats.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Enlightening - a different method for viewing WORK ! 21 Mar 2011
By Reen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Whyte takes you on an in-depth journey to what you are really about and establishes the words to define how committed we can be to our work. I find I am a sponge just soaking up what he is laying out before the reader. Examine it, see what fits for you, how you define yourself for all 3 levels. I never thought of a marriage to "self", but that is part of our journey throughout our lives. The exploration and acceptable of ourselves does take a commitment - a marriage of sorts. Then there is the "self" that is defined by work, our careers, the companies we work for and colleagues we spend so much time with during the work day. We are always asked "what is it that you do"? at parties, the hairdresser, at a church meeting - every where! I feel I have made my marriage to work my own path. Yes, I followed the rules, but added in what I like to do to make things better, with my colleagues and being true to myself along the way. After 30 years of working, I find this book bring me to a new horizon. How can I re-commit myself to all three and how do I shape the years ahead for me and those I mentor? Enjoy the journey for we are always growing up!
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