WHY DID I MARRY YOU, ANYWAY? by Arlene Modica Matthews


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Well-titled but thin, this volume of advice for newlyweds (and perhaps their parents) by a free-lance writer is one of those self-help books that could have been--and probably is--covered in a magazine article. After the frenzy of wedding details evaporates and the couple is alone at last, the mixed messages, first fights, money, and conflicting schedules can all add up to a rocky start for the loving couple. Confused that their once-hot sex life has dwindled away, two people suddenly realize the enormity of their commitment, and sometimes panic that their marriage is turning out just like all their friends'. Enter Matthews--who, unfortunately, quickly displays pale colors by using the same several composite couples, the same sources (from Madame Bovary to the filmscript for Diner), the same cloying humor throughout. However, she does offer some help by explaining what's underlying the confusion (usually examples of marriage based on the couples' parents' marriages and dragged unannounced into the couple's own), by offering suggestions about how to navigate the rough seas, and by likening the newlywed year to the infancy from which any sturdy, viable unit forms. The book ends with a quiz, titled ""Is Your Marriage Getting Off on the Right Foot?"" and a substantial bibliography.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1988
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin