Toward Commitment

A Dialogue About Marriage

Publisher: Knopf
With extraordinary candor and generosity, Diane Rehm, the nationally known Public Radio broadcaster, and her lawyer husband, John, open up for the reader their marriage of forty-two years, revealing the strong and passionate bond between them as well as the conflicts and turmoils that can overtake a relationship. In a series of highly charged dialogues, they grapple with their pronounced differences of background, attitude, and expectation, so that we actually watch them working to understand each other and themselves, and to resolve issues that even after their decades together have remained hurtful and destructive.

Their book is divided into twenty-six chapters, each centered on a difficult and important issue: the expression or repression of anger; strong disagreements about money, about family, about religion, about raising children; temperamental differences—she gregarious, he a loner; the complexities of sexual relationships, and the dangers of sexual estrangement and of the intrusion of a third person into a marriage; challenges arising from professional conflicts, from retirement, from aging, from illness.

What makes Toward Commitment so fascinating is the opportunity to overhear a husband and wife bravely anatomizing their relationship and confronting their points of discord. What makes it so extraordinary—and so valuable—is their total honesty. These perceptive and searching discussions will resonate with any two people who care enough about each other to reach painfully deep inside themselves in order to resolve their difficulties and emerge closer than ever.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Assumptions and Expectations

John


Looking back to the time before our wedding in December 1959, I am shocked by the naïveté of the assumptions I held about the experience we call marriage. In the ardor of intimacy, sexual and otherwise, I gave little thought to what lay ahead. I assumed that...
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