The One Comment That Made Writer Elizabeth Gilbert Marry Her Husband

What happens when you learn to love yourself first before you love a partner.

Elizabeth Gilbert Erik Charlton from Menlo Park, USA, CC BY 2.0

Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most loved and influential writers around. Her memoir Eat, Pray, Love was a worldwide bestseller and was even made into a movie. Her subsequent works, such as Big Magic, were instant successes.

One thing you can say for sure about Elizabeth Gilbert is that she knows how to live a life of abundance and happiness, not just of wealth but of emotional plenty.

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In Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert told of how she met and fell in love with her now-husband, Brazilian-born José Nunes. (They have since separated.)

"I'm just so grateful to be living with someone who wants to be nice to me every day," Gilbert says.

Although Gilbert's fans are familiar with her love story, they may not know one of the most important things Nunes said to her that helped to seal the deal.

In this Steep Your Soul video, Gilbert reveals what he said that helped convince her to marry him:

Gilbert told Oprah, "My husband is a line that I always quote. It's not all why I married him, but it's a lot of why I married him. 


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He said, 'A woman's place is in the kitchen ... with her feet up, drinking a glass of wine, watching her husband cook her a meal."

Nunes wasn't just weaving a fantasy that would never come true — he delivered on his promise.

"He loves to cook. It almost makes me want to cry, but he'll just stand there and he'll be like, 'I'm going to make a big curry.' And he'll pour me a glass of wine and say, 'Now, darling, tell me everything. What happened today?'" she said.

Nunes isn't just nourishing Gilbert's body; he's feeding her heart and soul as well. When Gilbert is there in the kitchen watching her husband whip up a hearty dish of something tasty, she can't help but reflect on her own good fortune and how she arrived at such a good place.


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"How did I win this life?" Gilbert questioned. "I was talking about this with a friend and she said, 'Because you blossomed into the sort of person who attracted a man like that. And you learned to treat yourself so well on your own that when someone came along who treated you well, you finally recognized what that feels like.'"

When Gilbert heard this, everything clicked and she understood how true it was.

"I noticed him. I was like, 'Oh, he treats me the way I treat me now.'"


By learning self-care and understanding, Gilbert made space for a truly wonderful and giving partner to come into her life. You don't have to travel the world, eating and praying to find love; you need to love yourself first so you can recognize a true life mate when you met them.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and frequent contributor to YourTango. She's had articles featured in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Woman's Day, among many others.