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Is The Happily Ever After Myth A Ticket To Divorce?

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PASADENA (CBS) — Taking separate vacations and having platonic boyfriends aren’t exactly what you think of when you hear “’til death do us part.” But a new book reveals these may be some of the keys to a happy marriage.

Best selling author Iris Krasnow interviewed 200 women for “The Secret Lives of Wives.” She says she found the secret to wedded bliss may require rewriting the rules.

Krasnow says wives have to get creative – even controversial, if they want their marriages to last.

“This book is meant to release every woman from believing there is a gold standard marriage,” says Krasnow.

Frank Estrada and Rayla Nolen of Altadena have been happily married for 26 years. They have what some would call an unconventional arrangement.

Rayla has boyfriends at work.

“They come to your office, and want to know what you did over the weekend,” says Rayla. “And when I get a new hair do…tell me how nice I look.”

Rayla admits she flirts with her male companions, and Frank says he’s alright with it.

Krasnow calls these extramarital relationships “boyfriends with boundaries.”

She says another key to happiness is having lots of girlfriends, and not being afraid to leave hubby behind.

“Wives with the highest marital satisfaction have a great circle of girlfriends with whom to drink, travel, and vent,” Krasnow says.

The author reveals most of the women she spoke to say they thought about divorce more than once in the past year.

“If you are facing emptiness or a depression or hole in your heart, because you are dependent on children or a spouse to make you happy,” says Krasnow, “you can recreate yourself at 50 or 70.”

Finally, Krasnow says don’t ever underestimate the power of sex.

“You’ve got to be able to go to bed with this person who can make your problems go away for at least 11 minutes,” Krasnow says, “if you’re lucky.”

CBS’ “The Talk” has chosen ‘The Secret Lives of Wives’ as the first selection in the show’s new “Book Buzz” series. An excerpt from the book can be read online at www.thetalk.com.

“The Talk” airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on CBS2.

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