A debut guide offers advice on crucial steps to take before a wedding.
Sherman rests his book on a very simple premise: The more readers know about their potential spouses, the fewer nasty surprises they’ll encounter after the ceremonies. The author notes the familiar dark statistics surrounding modern unions, with up to 50% of all marriages in the United States ending in divorce. He notes that with the possible exception of career choice, the selection of a life partner is the most important decision most people will ever make. He intends his manual as an “insurance policy” to avoid future problems, presenting a quick distillation of the author’s experiences that is directed at a core readership of heterosexual men contemplating matrimony. (There are sketchy efforts made here to include women, and he oddly notes that “same-sex marriage data is too recent to be included.”) Sherman touches briefly on dozens of aspects of marriage, including whether or not spouses-to-be have been divorced, suffer health or genetic issues, or come to the union with outstanding debts or incompatible religious convictions. Another significant factor: whether or not a potential partner wants kids. He likewise turns readers’ attention to future concerns, bluntly warning them to examine not just bank balances, but also the compatibility of life plans. “If her career and monetary successes surpass yours, that has been known to create psychological problems,” the author warns his target audience. “She may also have high expectations of luxury vacations, second homes, yachts, or whatever.” The book wisely stresses repeatedly that readers shouldn’t be afraid to learn everything they can before tying the knot. In addition, Sherman buttresses his short chapters with useful lists of sources and suggested reading. The author’s prose is punchy and readable. Although that will come as cold comfort to romantics seeking to stress the serendipity of true love, many of Sherman’s readers will appreciate the straight talk.
A helpful, tough, practical assessment of key factors to explore in the lead-up to marriage aimed at heterosexual men.