Book Excerpt: The Marriage Sabbatical

Some women readily admitted they had taken a sabbatical; others had never used the word but thought it appropriate. One woman was amused by the term. And one woman bristled: I was not leaving my husband, she said. No woman I interviewed was leaving her husband, any more than professors on sabbatical are leaving the universities where they teach. While they were away, women telephoned, e-mailed, wrote letters, sent gifts, arranged visits. They were not leaving emotionally. They were leaving physically. Whether or not they were looking for a rest from the relationship, they got one.

Twelve years after the dream arose like a genie from a burnished lamp — elusive yet powerfully seductive — I decided to leave for three months to begin writing this book, three months to live and work alone. One thought predominated: What happens when a married woman takes some time and space away?

— From The Marriage Sabbatical: The Journey that Brings You Home, by Cheryl Jarvis. © December 26, 2000, Perseus Books used by permission.

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