You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married) – by Dana Adam Shapiro

Quotes from “You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married)” – by Dana Adam Shapiro


This was a really interesting book. It was recommended to me by the owner of my company and I was reading it when I was away from my husband on a business trip for 3 weeks. It will make you take a second look at marriage.

“It’s never about what it’s about.”

“You can’t change a person’s character—yours or theirs,” he said with the clarity of a burn victim. “Behavior, sure, you can change behavior. But character, never. So whatever it is you don’t like about the person, magnify it by a million ’cus it only gets worse. If you still love them after that—marry them. If not . . .”

“In a marriage, there’s no hiding your complexity from the other person or the other person hiding their complexity from you. Eventually all your shit comes out and it comes out in full force, so you might as well stop pretending sooner rather than later.”

“Were you meant for each other? There’s only one way to find out. If you really want to love and be loved, you need to accelerate the inevitable and just admit your shit.”

“Death by a thousand paper cuts is just as bloody as being stabbed in the back, and far more common. It’s best to love with abandon, sure, but we can’t abandon ourselves in the process. As my friend Marni says, “Don’t paint the red flags white.”

“There’s no valor in putting on a brave face—it’s a mask like any other. You want to be a badass? Have the balls to be vulnerable.”

“Let our scars fall in love.”

“Whenever somebody shows themselves to be right at the beginning, that’s who they are. Your very first impression, you’re usually right. Listen, listen, listen to that.”

“I don’t care how much you might have loved the person, halfway through any divorce the only thing you can think of is, I hate this person and I want this person to bleed. You become obsessed. It becomes a matter of absolute survival. Once it’s over, the question is not whether you can recover from the love, or from the loss of love. It’s whether or not you can get over your own hate”

“The very best you can hope for is that you’ve got somebody who’s gonna respect you enough to go through the day-to-day bullshit and be honest with you. That’s the most romantic thing in the world.”

“But you need to reserve the right to get angry. Holding it in only wreaks havoc on your body.”

“Nobody is exempt from fucking up really badly. And if you think you are then you’re going to get into trouble.”

“If monogamy feels like a sacrifice then you’re not with the right person.”

“Whenever you’re living in passion, you’re living in the fear that you’re going to lose something. And if you live in that fear all the time, you’re not acting out of your heart.”

“I don’t think marriages—or any relationship—should end over action. It should end over a broader growing apart or a realization that things aren’t working. Often, the action is used as an excuse because they don’t want to talk about the bigger things, so then they say, “Okay, now I have a good reason.” People shouldn’t have that as an ethos—it’s not about “you did this” or “I did that.” It’s about: “Who have we become as human beings and are we going to continue doing”

“All this “joined together” and the “two become one” stuff is just a bunch of unhealthy, emotional crap. Two people can live together and be committed to each other without fusing their identities. With atoms it makes an explosion.”

“So from now on, I’m going to do my best to accelerate the inevitable, discuss the dirty, and engage the elephants. To hold on loosely. To not overly prioritize the eternal. I won’t paint the red flags white. I’m going to fall freely, truthfully, without fear, and without socks. I’m going to eliminate the ish and just admit my shit. No rules, no games. There’s just no other way to do it.”

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