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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 42/100: For Better - The Science of a Good Marriage by Tara Parker-Pope

For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage - Tara Parker-Pope

If you'll only ever read one marriage advice book, make it this one.

This is marriage advice of the BEST kind, based on solid research rather than flimsy platitudes or untested assumptions. The research is both fascinating and applicable, and well organized to address the major milestones or stumbling blocks of marriage, from the attraction that draws you together to housework, sex, and children. It even includes several of the surveys that were used in the marriage research quoted. Although the writer began her quest to understand "good" marriage after her own marriage crumbled, her overall tone is optimistic, stressing that if your relationship falls into some of the "danger zone" behaviors there is still time to catch it and turn it around -- and that no one behavior or issue alone makes or breaks a marriage.

Although I had already come across a lot of the research in the "attraction" chapters at the beginning in The Chemistry Between Us, it served as a good introduction for those who hadn't heard it. I'd also already come across a fair amount of John Gottman research, but his work is so valuable that it's worth hearing again and again until it sticks. Overall, I think anyone who is married or plans to be married should invest in this book. If they don't, they'll have to hear me quote all the statistics from it anyway!