Love Warrior is a poignant and raw read by Glennon Doyle Melton. The book references the author’s many struggles with food and alcohol addiction but the main focus of the book is working through her husband’s repeated infidelity throughout their marriage, and how they recovered from this. So this one is a very useful and healing one to read if you’ve experienced infidelity yourself or are looking to recover from it.
Glennon’s story is certainly one with extremes but there is so much wisdom that can be gleaned from this book.
There is a beautiful excerpt about pain that reads:
“You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it's hard. Not because you're doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don't avoid the pain. You need it. It's meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you'll burn to get your work done on this earth.”
What the book does, is it takes you through the steps of piecing everything back together and gaining a deeper knowledge of what makes a relationship work. The author brings up some very thought provoking points about how hard it’s become for men and women to be physically, emotionally and mentally intimate with each other and how this stems from an early age.
She talks about how girls tend to get emotionally detached from their physical bodies at a young age due to pressure around image and also, the confusing messages they receive about sex and desire. And how men get detached from their emotions and feelings because of the messages that it isn’t masculine to cry or feel emotions. So essentially, women live in their heads and men live in their bodies. And when it comes to giving and receiving love, it’s hard for men and women to recognize and reciprocate that in a unified, harmonious way.
The book also covers how therapy was a great help and how the author and her husband painfully and messily got to the root of their issues to be able to work though their marriage. It’s incredibly raw and detailed but it really brings home the power of vulnerability. She doesn’t hold back or filter and this makes her more relatable, even if what we’ve been through is completely different.
On this point she says, ”Now, more than ever, people don't want shiny, perfect. Lovely and easy and shiny people are really comfortable talking about their problems when they're over. We're not allowed to struggle until after we've done our victory lap. That's fine, but it's less helpful than hearing from people in the trenches.”
It’s really true - it’s not about coming out of something polished and perfect, but more so what you learn as you’re coming through the pain. It makes us connect as humans. I think that’s a really comforting thing because we can all relate, in some way, to being in those trenches she mentions.
It’s worth adding that after the book was released where they end up staying together, Glennon Doyle Melton and her husband did separate. In the blog post where she announced it, she said, “You wake up one day and realize that you have put yourself back together completely differently. That you are whole, finally, and strong – but you are now a different shape, a different size. This sort of change — the change that occurs when you sit inside your own pain — it’s revolutionary. When you let yourself die, there is suddenly one day: new life. You are Different. New. And no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot fit into your old life anymore. You are like a snake trying to fit into old, dead skin, or a butterfly trying to crawl back into the cocoon, or new wine trying to pour itself back into an old wineskin. This new you is equal parts undeniable and terrifying.”
Which again shows that we’re ever evolving and also, our relationships are, which can be scary, but at the same time, natural and how things are supposed to be.
A heartfelt and truly emotive read - I really hope you enjoy Love Warrior if you do decide to give it a try.