Dalma Heyn offers the revolutionary argument that women leave their marriages not for the reasons commonly believed--boredom, or disharmony with their mate--but because of a subtle trauma that they experience soon after nuptials. Women in first and second marriages, married at twenty or forty-five, describe their unexpected, often lonely transformation from women into wives and their inability to stop, or even articulate, its occurrence. As one woman says, "Within a year of my marrying, my plans for my own life, my own needs, had disappeared." Heyn argues that the ideal of the Virtuous Wife has taught us that she is the one responsible for the quality of the relationship--that to make a marriage work, women must be sacrificing, accommodating, good. But those are qualities for sainthood, not happiness. In fact, they assure precisely the opposite--distress, resentment, and guilt in both partners. Elegantly argued and resounding with the voices of women and men, Marriage Shock is a groundbreaking book that will change the way we think about marriage--and about divorce. Heyn's compassionate conclusion is that marriage can be saved only when we stop trying to "fix" wives so they fit into it--and instead fix marriage to embrace and nourish wives.