Marriage & Intimacy — Part of An Expanded Review of Justin Baldoni’s ‘Man Enough’

Justin Baldoni wades through the sea of love and romance…along with all the misconceptions about what we’re told it means

Anthony Eichberger


Photo by Kimberly Mears on Unsplash

Marriage is held up as a societal ideal for which everyone should strive. So how do we reconcile that with the sky-high divorce rate? How do child abuse and domestic (spousal) violence become so common? If finding a spouse who will bring us fulfillment serves as a key to living a happy life, then why do so many Americans fall short of ever attaining that for ourselves?

In Chapter 8 of his book Man Enough, Justin Baldoni provides readers with a window into his marriage with his wife Emily. He narrates how the path to finding one another was rocky, and, quite often, messy. But he concludes that the journey has been well worth any bumps (or potholes!) felt along the way, with their destination tantalizingly in flux.

This is Part 8 of an eleven-part series examining Baldoni’s book.

Part 7 can be viewed HERE.

Chapter 8 (“Loved Enough”)

Baldoni opens this chapter by specifying that his discussion on love is predominantly in regard to the romantic or marital iterations of it. He likens a marriage filled with love as being akin to the foundation of a filming set or a brick house: it should be built by partners from the inside out, and flimsier raw materials will make the marriage less likely to survive.

He also emphasizes that he isn’t trying to give people generalized marriage advice; rather, he’s sharing his own experiences navigating nearly eight years of marriage with a woman whom he deeply loves and cherishes.

Traditionally, Baldoni points out, women and men have had extremely “gendered” roles in marriages portrayed throughout pop culture. Men are supposed to be the white knights who ride in on horseback to save the damsel-in-distress. Women are expected to fill the role of “healer,” metaphorically renovating their clueless, deviant male lover.

Thus, these gendered roles of men “sacrificing” and women “caretaking” are what create an impediment to individuals making their…



Anthony Eichberger

Gay. Millennial. Pagan/Polytheist. Disabled. Rural-Born. Politically-Independent. Fashion-Challenged. Rational Egoist. Survivor. #AgriWarrior (Deal With It!)