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The Marriage Sabbatical: The Journey That Brings You Home [Paperback]

Cheryl Jarvis
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 8 2002
Now in paperback, the uplifting, inspirational book that is an open invitation to married women everywhere to go off on their own, follow their dreams and desires, and come back to happier, healthier relationships.

From Harriet Beecher Stowe to Ann Morrow Lindbergh, women have been taking marriage sabbaticals for centuries to explore their sense of self. What is a marriage sabbatical? It is simply a time away from your daily routines to nurture your own creative, intellectual, or spiritual strengths.
In this personal yet practical book, Cheryl Jarvis chronicles the story of her own marriage sabbatical–a three-month stay at writers’ colonies–and the experiences of 55 other women who took time and space away. Through these reflective and empowering ventures, the author illuminates the issues involved: the logistics, the finances, the fears. Whether it’s hiking the Appalachian Trail, holing up in a cabin to paint, or taking a class in another city, a marriage sabbatical can bring new life and understanding to a longterm partnership.

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From Amazon

Any woman who yearns for a break from the demands of home and family to nurture her soul--but thinks she "couldn't possibly"--will discover a healthy new perspective on her not-so-radical desire in this enlightening book. The key is in the book's subtitle, The Journey That Brings You Home. With six simple words, Cheryl Jarvis illuminates her driving message: "A woman who takes time away to rejuvenate, to grow, is in the end bringing that back to the marriage and her family."

Drawing from interviews with 55 women who experienced sabbaticals of various lengths and purposes, Jarvis relates the inspiring stories of those who endured criticism (often from surprising sources like closest friends) to pursue their long-nurtured dreams. True to her journalistic background, Jarvis supports each key point with exhaustive research. Chapters with simple titles such as "Motivations," "Fears," and "Husbands" gracefully justify the need for women to undertake private journeys and are ripe with examples from history, mythology, fiction, nonfiction, religion--the works. (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton all spent months at a time away from their husbands.) But the backbone of Jarvis's book is the personal tale she relates throughout its 300 pages. It's the story of a starry-eyed bride who--like many young women--nearly loses herself (quite willingly) in her mate's professional goals and recreational pastimes, cuts corners in her own successful writing career to raise kids (again, willingly), and then realizes that her family ties are strangling the life out of her. The result: a three-month stint at various writers' colonies, a fresh outlook on life, and a fantastic first book from an insightful--and much more confident--soul. --Liane Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Restless scholars, doctors and artists have long viewed the sabbatical as a positive and even necessary opportunity for rest and renewal. Even the Bible prescribes rest every seventh day and letting the ground lie fallow every seventh year. But what's a wife to do when she gets the seven-year itch? In this fresh and inspiring book, freelance journalist Jarvis provides a comprehensive, thoughtful and inspiring look at how married women can love and care for their families and still find a concentrated period of time to invest in realizing their dreams. Having long deferred her desire for a solo adventure, Jarvis pursued her writing in two writers' colonies and on a secluded Montana ranch over a three month period. In the years since, she interviewed married women who took "solo journeys" to further their education, join the Peace Corps, drive across the country, immerse themselves in another language and culture or work creatively, free from the demands of caring for their husband or families. One woman even spent six months alone in the south of France reading 100 recommended books. Emphasizing that these women carefully planned their leave taking, preparing their homes and families and setting clear goals and return dates for themselves, Jarvis clarifies the differences between sabbaticals and vacations or trial separations. In a practical and thoughtful tone, she also reviews the cultural, logistical and psychological obstacles that keep married women from arranging sabbaticals, offering suggestions on how to handle them. Although none of the women here left while their children were young, the author asserts that "there is no good time for a woman to go," and once the desire takes hold in her mind, she can find ways to overcome all obstructions. Agent, Lisa Bankoff, ICM. (Jan. 7) Forecast: Graced with an appealing jacket image of a woman in joyful mid-leapDand supported by a 50,000-copy first printing, eight-city author tour, 20-market radio tour and first serial in RedbookDthis original and refreshing book should reach its publisher's sales target and a enjoy a long paperback life. (See q&a, p. 76.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars An idiotic book. June 11 2004
By A Customer
An idiotic book. What would Ms. Jarvis say if her dear hubby took off for three, or six, or twelve, months and went on to realize his dream without her? Presumably she would be very angry indeed, and justifiably so.
Ladies, in case you are hell bent on getting rid of husband and children, at least you should have the courage to say so openly.
A Reader from Israel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My life in black and white Dec 20 2002
By A Customer
My husband gave me this book as a present on my 28th birthday. I have been married for 4 years and have a 3 year old son. Prior to meeting my husband and starting a family, I was an ivy-league graduate and on my way to medical school. I had never even lived on my own. I have been struggling with such classic issues, but before reading this book, I had felt so alone and never gave my feelings the credit they deserved. Nearly every emotional, intellectual and philosophical conflict I have experienced in the past 4 years were made so poignantly clear not only with each page but with each sentence. So much so, that for the first 50 pages I could barely stand to read more than one paragraph at a time. To the reviewer who felt that this book is a sure way to end a marriage, I would refer him to the subtitle: "the journey that brings you home," and point out that communication and honesty, respect for one another's fears and needs is not only encouraged, but essentially part of C. Jarvis' argument. Before reading this book I thought the only answer was divorce. This book is a beacon illuminating concepts that are so fundamental they are not only true but as essential as oxygen. For all of you women out there who are struggling with the reality of the fairy tale, Ms. Jarvis' book IS the hope at the bottom of Pandora's box.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Another fine book of how to screw up a marriage! Nov. 25 2002
I think Cheryl Jarvis needs to get a grip on reality! What kind of wife wants to take a 3 month sabbatical from her husband and family to find herself? People like her need to wake up and remember the commitment she made to her husband and children! Life can be hard sometimes, and can take us all on a ride we don't like or in the wrong direction. Women like these need to realize that they have made other commitments now and have to stick with them! Her children come to her and ask her not to leave...... doesn't that right there give her the clue that maybe her dreams and goals have changed and being a wife/ mother is what she is now! This is why you see divorces at like 60% now because no one wants work at a marriage anymore, when it gets too hard they just pick up and leave! I don't like the message this book is giving and don't recommend it to anyone! You have problems with your life, talk it out with your husband. Don't read a book from a person who doesn't know the first thing about marriage! What ever happen to talking things out?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Serendipitous Synchronicity June 14 2002
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you Sharon Jarvis. Until I found The Marriage Sabbatical sitting on a shelf of books at the checkout counter at my local library, I didn't know anyone else had ever even thought of doing what I was contemplating. From page one I saw my motivations, fears, guilt, mirrored back to me through the myriad of real life stories you share about your own and other women's (and their families', friend's and partner's) experiences. Once I completed the book, I searched for an address or some way to contact you to thank you, my gratitude overflowing.
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The last half was well worth getting through the intellectual first half. I took a number of quotes from this book to keep for myself and to pass on to others who are still in the guilt phase of partaking in a retreat or sabbatical. This is a great book for anyone who is sturggling with the decision of whether they 'should' or 'shouldn't'. The author writes about so many pieces of other books by so many other famous writers that you feel like you've gotten the best of 10 books in one. Though more intelluctual than my favorite book on retreating, A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson, I highly recommend this to those that are in advanced thought of their own sabbatical or retreat. If there is a dream that you have wanted to fulfill for years, a place you have wanted to go or something you have wanted to do for a long time but haven't - this book could easily be your defining moment to go for it! And don't we all certainly need to do that at least once in our lives?! Thanks to this author for an awesome read that you'll want to own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaim your power Sept. 10 2001
I almost passed this book up at the library because, for some reason, I didn't like the title. Once I started reading the text, though, it was like my life was unfolding before me--right there on the pages as I turned them.
I think Cheryl Jarvis makes her point towards the end of her book when she says, "...I'm not advocating a one-size-fits-all solution [referring to a sabbatical from marriage]. I'm advocating a broadening of our ideas about what's possible in the marriage of the future" (p. 287). Certainly the roles (based on your sex) that both women and men have been boxed into by our society have not worked well for most of us. Both sexes have suffered a diminishment of potential; however, that diminishment has hit women harder than men. Jarvis shows through her own story and the stories of several other women how we can reclaim our power and become more effective people in the long run.
Excellent job!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars i bought 10 copies!
Follow the author's advice: Make a list of all your dreams and pursue them all: the time is now because there is never a perfect time anyway. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2001 by anne
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheryl Jarvis was on Oprah today!
I did not read the book, (but if it is anything like the show was today, I will rate it a 4) however, the author was on Oprah today, along with 4 other women, all who have taken... Read more
Published on April 13 2001 by G. Hampton Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marriage Sabbatical
After attempting to do what Jarvis recommends - taking a trip to to the other side of the world alone - but not having the courage to complete my journey, I found her book... Read more
Published on April 7 2001 by Heidi
5.0 out of 5 stars honoring vows with your partner and with your "Self"
with or without the detail of marriage, lives join and love bonds the interests, dreams, desires and hopes that people share with their partners, their families... Read more
Published on March 9 2001 by stella
1.0 out of 5 stars why only for women?
I read this book, and found no mention of why sabbaticals are only appropriate for women. Perhaps the rejoinder is that men need no justification to take such a sabbatical -- and... Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars You go, Jarvis!
Jarvis has outdone herself with a tremendous first book that somehow manages to be gripping, heart-warming and informative all at once. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2001
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