I'm a reading machine these days. Book club coupled with a library membership coupled with loads of free time = moi happily consuming book after book after book. My best reading happens on those beach days, and when I went this past Sunday, I brought along my newest NYPL acquisition: Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies.
Like most of my books, I found this one by flipping through a magazine (probably O). When I googled it and realized that Isabel Gillies pays Detective Stabler's wife on SVU, I was even more intrigued. This story is a sad one... but the way Gillies writes it feels so alarmingly real (and at times, even funny) that I could not put it down. It's a story about a young, happily married couple with 2 young boys... and about how one-half of that couple (the husband, of course) leaves his wife for another woman.
I'm neither married nor have I ever been involved in an affair, but this story really struck a chord with me, and I was crying and devastated when I finished it (later that same night, bien sur). It's just so... real. It does happen every day, and it's devastating in every sense of the word. You truly feel for Gillies as you see her acknowledge that her husband has checked out of the marriage, as she suspects that the beautiful new female professor in her husband's department is getting entirely too close, as you watch her plead with this woman to leave her husband alone! I think she handled everything with amazing strength and resilience. The story is sad, and it doesn't end with a fairy story ending (although her real life, I think, did), but that's because the story is real. It's truth. It's the reality that happens to women all over the world every single day.
Which brings me to my next point. When I was young, an important female in my life gave me some advice: "You must always be with a man who loves you more than you love him." And to this day, I believe it to be wise and oh so very true. Last night at our dinner party (and over 4 bottles of wine), my friends and I discussed it in greater detail, and most everyone agreed it's good advice. The fact is, it's too easy for men to leave, especially when it involves another woman. Marriage, children, none of that will stop them, whereas women may think twice or thrice about throwing lives away. I realize this is a gross generalization, but I stand behind it 90% of the time. I'm curious, what do you think? Do you think it's unfair to characterize (most) men this way? Do you know a couple in which the woman is more into the man, and the relationship works out long-term??