Maybe that’s why the book works best when Waite is sharing what she learns about destructive personality disorders and what makes certain people vulnerable to those that have them.
After all, there’s only so much you can hear about a 22-year-old’s Instagram posts or the contents of a cheating spouse’s email.
Whereas Lukach is a laid-back surfer who teaches high school and coaches sports, Giulia is career-driven, corporate-minded and determined to micromanage her destiny.
They seem like the perfect — and perfectly complementary — couple. But at 27, three years into the marriage and a few weeks into a new job, Giulia begins to experience severe anxiety that rapidly merges with suicidal depression.
”This kind of self-scrutiny is nowhere to be found in Jen Waite’s husband, Marco, a handsome Argentine bartender who swept the author off her feet and was later discovered to be a liar and philanderer of towering proportions.
In A BEAUTIFUL, TERRIBLE THING: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal (Plume, ) Waite retraces her steps through a relationship that first gives her the “strange sensation of seeing the world in color for the first time” but eventually reveals itself to be a series of setups at the hands of a master manipulator.This summer, two memoirs about marriages that take abrupt and chaos-inducing turns may instill a new appreciation for the placidity (or monotony) of your own partnership.A third book, which attempts to uncover the secrets of lasting intimacy, leaves readers with more questions than answers, but that’s pretty much the idea.Fortunately, he’s an honest enough writer to quote the therapist who invites a shift in thinking: “Sacrifice is a part of love, Mark.But might there not be more to love than just how much you sacrifice?It will be the first of three such hospitalizations over five years, one of which comes shortly after the birth of the couple’s son.At home, Lukach is Giulia’s primary caregiver, one whose heroic rise to the occasion does not preclude moments of frustration and even rage.As it happens, one of the emails that Waite finds from Marco to his girlfriend (she knows his password; talk about the illusion of trust) contains a link to an article called “36 Questions That Can Make Two Strangers Fall in Love.” These questions, devised by a psychologist looking to see if a laboratory experiment could make two people fall in love, are in fact the basis of yet another Modern Love column that became a book.In HOW TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ANYONE: A Memoir in Essays (Simon & Schuster, ), Mandy Len Catron, who became a TED talk sensation on the heels of her Modern Love success, employs a combination of personal history, family history and social research to try to figure out what makes love last over time.The myths she sets out to bust — the Cinderella story, the idea of happily ever after, the “tyranny of meeting cute” — are chestnuts long ago pulverized in the public consciousness, and it’s unclear what new insights she’s trying to bring to the table.The 36 Questions, on the other hand, are as intriguing as ever. ” gives way to “If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? The crystal ball question took me back to Lukach, whose book may be finished but whose uncertain life with Giulia continues.