Study Guide

Tuesdays With Morrie Chapter 20

By Mitch Albom

Chapter 20

The Tenth Tuesday: We Talk About Marriage

  • Mitch brings his wife, Janine, to meet Morrie. Morrie's been asking for her to come since the beginning of their Tuesday meetings.
  • Janine talks to Morrie once on the phone before the trip happens. Mitch explains that his wife is "blessed with far more intuitive kindness" (20.14) than he is; the two chat on the phone like old friends. When she hangs up she tells Mitch that she's coming with him next time.
  • Mitch and Janine arrive and Morrie starts telling a story about Detroit, Janine's hometown.
  • When the story is finished Morrie laughs heartily, or as well as he can given how weak he is.
  • They are interrupted by Connie, who has lunch ready; at this point, Morrie can only consume liquids.
  • Morrie asks Janine to sing because he hears that she's got a great voice. She usually refuses this request, so Mitch is surprised when Janine starts singing "The Very Thought of You."
  • Morrie closes his eyes and smiles. Mitch says you could almost see him dancing in his head.
  • When it is over Morrie is in tears, and Mitch says that he has never heard his wife sing so beautifully.
  • Mitch writes that he struggles with marriage, just like everyone else in his generation. So much so, in fact, that he waited seven years to propose to Janine.
  • He asks Morrie why it's such a problem.
  • Morrie says that people don't know what they want from themselves, so it's impossible for them to decide what they want from a partner. People are also selfish.
  • Morrie says that there's no one like a spouse; friends just aren't the same.
  • Morrie and his own wife have been married for forty-four years, since they met as students. They're very different because he's an open person (in case you hadn't noticed) and she prefers to stay to herself.
  • Although its difficult to say if something will work, Morrie says that there are a few rules. Two of the most important ones? You have to respect each other, and you also have to have similar values.
  • Mitch asks Morrie about the story of Job, who was tested by God by losing everything that he had. Morrie's opinion is that God went a bit overboard.