Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys, By Dorothy Littell Greco alt

Marriage in the Middle

Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys

by Dorothy Littell Greco

Marriage in the Middle
  • Length: 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: September 15, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 5339
  • ISBN: 9780830853397

*affiliate partner

Midlife is a season of challenge and change—professionally, relationally, physically, and spiritually. On our better days, we experience a sense of growing clarity and satisfaction about who we are. We might even be coming to terms with our limitations and vulnerabilities, letting go of some dreams and creating new ones. But many days, we are overwhelmed and exhausted by the intense transitions of this season, leaving us feeling off-balance and insecure. And these challenges reverberate through our marriages, making us wonder how we're going to survive.

Though many assume that "midlife" is synonymous with "crisis," Dorothy Littell Greco reminds us that it doesn't have to be that way. The demands of midlife actually force us to adjust and adapt, providing new opportunities for discovery and growth within our marriages. With vulnerability and insight, Marriage in the Middle will inspire and encourage you to invest in your relationship with your spouse, enabling you both to thrive as you face the challenges and changes of this era together.

"The research is in: marriage in the middle years can either be the start of the happiest season for a couple, or it can be a dry and desolate passage for those who aren't in the know. We’re thankful that Dorothy Littell Greco has provided a life-giving guide for every couple in the second half of marriage, and it is sure to help you flourish. This book is grounded, insightful, and immeasurably practical."

Les and Leslie Parrott, founders of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University, authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

"Wise. Honest. Insightful. Helpful. These are just some of the descriptors that emerged as I read Dorothy Greco's Marriage in the Middle. With over forty years of marriage racked up myself, I can testify that this book casts a clear and hopeful vision for marriage in the second half of life. Read it and run into the future of your marriage!"

Elisa Morgan, cohost of Discover the Word and president emerita of MOPS International

"The stresses and challenges that come fast and furious at midlife test most marriages and permanently fracture some. Dorothy Greco has a long track record of contending for marriage and is a frank, seasoned guide through the challenging relational terrain of this life stage. Her wonderful Marriage in the Middle addresses many topics—including physical and sexual changes, caregiving responsibilities, loss, disappointment, and the reconfiguration of the family—with grace, intelligence, and hope. Greco's insight will help couples love and cherish one another for better, worse, richer, poorer, in sickness and in health for the second half of their journey through life together."

Michelle Van Loon, author of Becoming Sage: Cultivating Maturity, Purpose, and Spirituality at Midlife

"I am so grateful for this book and for Dorothy Greco. After forty-two years of marriage, typical marriage books just don't cut it. I need a book and an author who gets the wildly textured ups and downs of long, shared histories, who still can inspire me forward. Greco does this brilliantly. She has woven together an astonishing blend of research, theology, interviews, and personal stories; I am nearly breathless with insight and encouragement. This book will change your marriage."

Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Your Story Matters: Finding, Writing and Living the Truth of Your Life

"My husband, Nathan, and I will soon turn the corner on two decades of married life. Surprisingly, I have more questions now than I did when we first started out together. That's why I'm grateful for the practical wisdom and spiritual insight of Dorothy Greco's Marriage in the Middle. With a keen pastoral sensibility, Greco guides readers through the unique challenges—and opportunities!—of marriages that might have a few miles on them. Don't be surprised if, after reading it, you come away with renewed hope and the confidence that the best truly is yet to come."

Hannah Anderson, author of All That's Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment

"Impressive and inspirational, the best thing about Marriage in the Middle is its hefty bravery. Featuring candid interviews with real couples who've scaled the hard mountains of marital mayhem, Dorothy Greco minces no steps in offering no-nonsense insights on how, with God's help, to survive the unexpected and manage the unmanageable. For those struggling to unravel the tangle of marriage in midlife, she offers truth, practical help and, most of all, hope to outlast the maelstroms while daring to imagine together your brighter days and better ways. A sturdy and inspiring resource."

Patricia Raybon, author of I Told the Mountain to Move and My First White Friend

"Marriage in the Middle is a fount of wisdom. How refreshing! Greco comes out strong, weaving narrative and research together seamlessly. I found myself nodding my head and rereading so I could digest her insights and hard-won wisdom about midlife and particularly marriage in midlife. Moreover, this book isn't rigid and overly prescriptive—nor does it rely on caricatures of gender roles as so many evangelical books on marriage are wont to do. Greco is nuanced and her insights correspond to the realities of marriage, not some idealistic fantasy of marriage. Read it, put it on your shelf, and recommend it when folks ask you about books on marriage. I certainly will."

Marlena Graves, author of The Way Up Is Down

"In this candid and fearlessly vulnerable book, Dorothy Littell Greco draws from decades of experience guiding married couples as well as from her own thirty-year marriage. Greco's empathetic yet prophetic invitation will inspire couples from every race, tribe, and tongue to contend for their sacred unions. Although we have also been married for almost three decades, Marriage in the Middle challenged us to keep moving forward and got us excited about the new adventures in love that lie ahead. We encourage you to listen and learn from this inspiring woman. For those with ears to hear, we believe the Holy Spirit will use this work to speak vision and hope at this stage in your life and marriage."

Sheila Wise Rowe, author of Healing Racial Trauma, and Nicholas Rowe, vice president for student and global engagement at Gordon College

"The journey of marriage through midlife is demanding and complex. For those navigating this difficult terrain, Greco provides wise, practical, and hopeful counsel. It's like water for the thirsty midlife soul. Three cheers for Marriage in the Middle!"

Brad Wong, lead pastor of The River Church Community, San Jose

"Having been married for over three decades, we have learned that long-time love is challenging and the rewards can be magnificent. In Marriage in the Middle, Dorothy Greco offers tested wisdom that rings true to our experience. We heartily recommend it as a good guide for making the lasting, fruitful journey of marriage over a lifetime."

Alan and Gem Fadling, authors of What Does Your Soul Love? and cofounders of Unhurried Living, Inc.


1. The Paradox of Midlife Marriage: Crisis or Opportunity?
2. Telos: What Was, What Is, and What's to Come
3. Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes: Reading Glasses, Receding Hairlines, and Reorganized Hormones
4. Pulled in Two—Or More—Directions: How Midlife Caregiving Affects Marriage
5. Decoding Disappointment: The Road to Contentment
6. Navigating Trauma and Loss: The Real Crises
7. Created to Connect: How Attachment Issues Affect Marriage
8. Sex, Part 1: How Did We Get Here?
9. Sex, Part 2: Where We Are Now
10. Community: We'll Get by with a Little—or a Lot—of Help from Our Friends
11. Telos Reprised: Becoming Marriage Visionaries
Additional Resources


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Dorothy Littell Greco

Dorothy Littell Greco is a writer and professional photographer living near Boston. The author of Making Marriage Beautiful, Dorothy and her husband lead workshops and retreats, and have been helping couples sustain healthy marriages for over twenty years.