Following a difficult divorce and deep need for some soul-searching, Elizabeth Gilbert embarked on a journey of self-discovery that she later chronicled in her best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love. During her trek, the author met and fell in love with a Brazilian-born man named José Nunes, who she married less than a year after her memoir became a best-seller. Eat, Pray, Love fans read intimate details of their romance, but what many don't know is how a single comment made Gilbert even more excited to marry her husband.
"My husband has a line that I always quote. It's not all why I married him, but it's a lot of why I married him," Gilbert says in the above video. "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.'"
Spending this time with Nunes is one of Gilbert's absolute favorite ways to relax and unwind.
"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,'" she says. "And he'll pour me a glass of wine and he'll say, 'Now, darling, tell me everything. What happened today?'"
When she sits in the kitchen with her husband, Gilbert can't help but feel lucky to have found such a caring partner. But it doesn't quite come down to something as simple as luck.
"How did I win this life?" Gilbert asks. "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 how to treat yourself so well -- on your own -- that when someone came along who treated you well, you finally recognized what that feels like.'"
Upon hearing this, Gilbert realized just how true it was. "I noticed him. I was like, 'Oh, he treats me the way I treat me now,'" she says happily.
Her overall view on happiness, Gilbert continues, is best summed up by her (other) favorite quote. It's from the poet Jack Gilbert (no relation) in his piece "A Brief for the Defense."
We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.
"I love it so much, because he's not denying that the world is a ruthless furnace. But he's saying if you're stubborn enough, you hold onto your gladness, even in the furnace," Gilbert explains. "That's beyond happiness... The stubborn gladness that he refers to is the sort of gratitude that I aim for."
Related: Gilbert also shares the true definition of a soul mate -- and it's not someone who is your "perfect fit."