Book Summary - Untamed by Glennon Doyle
In Untamed, Glennon Doyle describes how she went from feeling stuck and focused on being the perfect mother, partner, Christian, and writer, but not fulfilling her desires. When she met and fell in love with a woman, she built a new life that made her feel truly free. Untamed will teach you how to change your life for the better and feel truly free from societal constraints.
Doyle is a Christian and was a successful mommy blogger. She had a following of millions of women who relied on her for advice about marriage and parenting. She wrote a memoir, Love Warrior, about how she was able to heal her marriage even though her husband cheated on her with multiple women. Doyle didn’t feel so enthusiastic about her book. She wasn’t attracted to her husband physically, and she did not like having sex with him.
While scheduled to give a presentation at a national book conference for her new book, she met Abby Wamback, a retired professional soccer player. They talked and realized that they had a lot in common. They also had an instant spark. Doyle never felt that way about a woman before.
A few years after meeting Abby, Doyle went to the zoo with her children and saw a cheetah who lived an encaged life. He was stuck chasing around fluffy toy animals to entertain the crowds instead of living in the wild. While watching the cheetah, Doyle felt she was repressing her nature to fit into a sexist society.
Society teaches women to be obedient and good girls. She had to be the perfect mother and wife. While in her teens and twenties, she resorted to drugs, alcohol, depression, bulimia, and anxiety and lost who she was. Only when she became pregnant did she get a wake-up call. She sobered up and married Mr. Melton. She started to live life according to people’s expectations.
When she met Abby, she found freedom.
Abby and Doyle continued to express their love, exchanging letters. However, Abby was married, and Doyle was afraid to leave her husband out of fear that would make her a bad mother. Eventually, she realized that she couldn’t repress her needs and desires and become a martyr for her family. Doyle came out to her family. She put her desires first and was honest. Now all she had to do was come out to millions of people.
Doyle’s team was afraid that if she came out to the world, it would hurt her career. After all, her book was chosen as part of Oprah’s book club and was on track to become a bestseller. Doyle felt torn. She didn’t want to lose her readers’ trust in her. She posted a picture of her and Abby on Facebook.
People were generally supportive. Love Warrior was a best seller, and Doyle was able to be truthful with her readers, explaining to them how marriage is complicated, and sometimes the best thing is to divorce. However, many in the Christian community felt she had abandoned her faith, including her mother. To handle this opposition, Doyle learned how to trust her intuition and to “be still.” She learned to challenge her beliefs, asking herself, “Do I believe this?” “Is this true to me.” She found that many of her ideas were outdated.
Many Christians believe that being gay is a sin. Doyle had to reconcile that with her faith. Jesus dedicated himself to social justice. He spent his life trying to uplift communities. She discovered that in the 1970s, a small group of evangelicals started pushing a conservative political agenda and that they are partially responsible for electing leaders such as Donald Trump who are anti-gay and anti-abortion. Though Doyle has lost faith in the church, she continues to believe in God.
Doyle realized that accepting pain and suffering allows her to live a fuller life. In her teens, she tried drugs and alcohol to numb herself from pain. She was afraid of getting hurt and disappointed. Eventually, she realized that “We can do hard things,” that pain is part of life, and accepting pain will help her live a fuller life. Instead of turning away from social injustice and despair, she pushed toward hardship into action. She founded the nonprofit Together Rising, which raises funds to help people change the world. It has raised over $20 million using the grassroots fundraising model, with an average donation of $25.
During the Donald Trump era, Doyle recognized that she could believe in racial equality and still be a racist. Growing up, watching TV shows like Cops, made her think that blacks were criminals. She decided to unlearn her racist beliefs by reading from writers and activists of color and by speaking up against white supremacy.
Today, Doyle feels freer than ever before. She feels like she can stop repressing the fire inside of her. She and Abby married in 2017. They co-parent together and live a good life. Her ex-husband lives down the road and comes by for dinner sometimes.
For a long time, Glennon Doyle has felt like she was living in a cage. She had to be the perfect mother, wife, and Christian, trying to please everyone and meet their expectations. Only when she met and fell in love with a woman did she learn to be free. She learned to stop repressing her desires and regain her freedom. She learned to listen to her intuition and question societal beliefs that she had internalized. She was then able to live a fulfilling life.
About the Author
Glennon Doyle is an American author and writer of #1 New York Times bestsellers Untamed and Love Warrior. She is also the writer of the bestseller, Carry On, Warrior. Her book, Love Warrior, was chosen as part of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. She created the online community Momastery and founded the non-profit, Together Rising, which helps women, families, and children in crisis.
She was born in Burke, Virginia. In her 2013 TEDx Talk, she discussed her time spent in the mental hospital when she was a teen. She received her Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University in 1998 and worked as a teacher in Northern Virginia.
Married to Craig Melton, a former model, from 2002 to 2016, she has three children. She married Abby Wambach, a retired professional soccer player, on May 14, 2017.