HOW TO KEEP YOUR MARRIAGE FROM SUCKING by Greg Behrendt

HOW TO KEEP YOUR MARRIAGE FROM SUCKING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Behrendt and Ruotola (It's Just a F***ing Date: Some Sort of Book About Dating, 2013, etc.) are back, this time with a playful and useful self-help guide to help readers through the newlywed stage of “wedded bliss.”

Candid, conversational, and occasionally profane, the book is packed with short, often hilarious nuggets culled from personal experience. “My marriage to Amiira has been beautiful, but it has—at times—downright sucked ass,” writes Behrendt early on. The brutal honesty builds from there, as the authors seek to warn new couples that “historical resentments and patterns that can demolish a marriage usually start out as something seemingly unimportant.” This includes financial differences, plans for children, family traditions, sex, and even the marriage proposal. “The story of my proposal is so agonizing, writes Behrendt, “that it sits in my gut like a hibernating bear that awakens every time I’m asked” about it. Instead of using a ring, he proposed in a chintzy beach-house bedroom with a Christmas ornament of a male angel with “a comically big nose holding out a gold heart.” Ruotola: “Finally, I confessed to Greg that I was embarrassed to tell anyone that I was engaged because the first thing anyone wants to see is THE RING.” Fortunately, the couple recovered. Behrendt proposed again, but “alas,” he writes, “the bad proposal isn’t a thing I’ll ever get to take back.” While the advice is occasionally repetitive of obvious details—yes, planning a wedding is stressful—the narrative’s cautionary tale format works thanks to the self-deprecating approach. Formatted in short chapters of real marriage examples, listicles, Q-and-As, and checklists, the overarching message is that, just like creating a meaningful proposal, a long and happy union is built on “an exceptional set up….We repeat what we don’t repair, so if you want to have a suck free marriage it requires working through the hiccups and hurt to rid yourself of their stain.”

Sandwiching hard truths between hilarious anecdotes makes for an entertaining alternative to couples therapy.

Pub Date: July 17th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63576-387-4
Page count: 250pp
Publisher: Diversion Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2018




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