From Publishers Weekly
Marriage today is stronger than it has been in decades, writes Parker-Pope (The Hormone Decision
), author of the New York Times
's Well blog. Interviewing biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and sociologists, she explores the science that can explain why a marriage succeeds—examining such areas as monogamy, love, sex, children, money, and housework—and translates the science into practical advice. For instance, while monogamy is not the norm among animals, it's certainly possible for some animals and for humans to remain sexually and socially faithful to one partner. Further, regular sex should be part of a good marriage even if it occurs less frequently over time. As for conflict, learning how to fight fairly allows partners to air differences without damaging their relationship. Describing the unhappy end of her own marriage, she looks at those relationships at high risk for divorce, such as the pursuer-distancer marriage (with the pursuer usually the woman) and the operatic marriage (characterized by dramatic highs and lows). Although the scientific research adds depth, much of the relationship advice is familiar and commonsensical, but married couples will still benefit from this refresher course. (May)
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"This terrific informative book on marriage should be given out with every marriage license! There is something here for everyone, gay or straight, newly married or celebrating many years! Highly recommended."
-Susan M. Love author of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and Live a Little
"Finally! A real guide to making your marriage work. Tara Parker-Pope gives us all the latest concrete scientific information about how to get and keep life's greatest prize-a good partnership. It's educated; accurate; and honest. And it's a good read."
-Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of The New York Times Bestseller Anatomy of Love
"Tara Parker-Pope has crafted a jam-packed, lucid survey of the science behind a sound marriage. No wonder she is so popular."
-Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of The Dr. Oz Show and Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University
"This is science writing at its best. Tara Parker-Pope has as keen an eye for sociological spiderwebs as Malcolm Gladwell. She takes the most hidden-in-plain-sight situation-a struggling marriage-and cleverly follows all the causative strands. Take the transparent properties of sweatpants: until I read For Better, I had no idea that dirty laundry isn't just annoying-for many men, it's literally invisible. 'The explanation for this may be rooted in the earliest days of human couples,' Parker-Pope begins, and with that, you're off on a deep dive into love, life, and the true tale of how German neuroscientists got a handle on hot sex."
-Christopher McDougall, author of The New York Times bestseller Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and The Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
"Step by step, Tara Parker-Pope demystifies our most entrenched assumptions about love, sex and marital bonds. By translating the latest science into engagingly told, smartly considered insights, Tara has given us a landmark look at marriage-and profound reasons for optimism about the love in our lives."
-Jeffrey Zaslow, author of The New York Times bestseller The Girls From Ames
"A truly excellent exploration of marriage, written in clear and compelling prose, delighting the reader with surprising observations."
-Jerome Groopman MD, author of The New York Times bestseller How Doctors Think
"I couldn't wait to read Tara Parker-Pope's For Better, consuming it in one swoop. Tara takes her rigorous reporting in a field swamped with self-help books and cuts through to the science of marriage, returning with lessons that are counterintuitive: it's the little gestures that matter, eye-rolling is a predictor of divorce rates, and having outside friends can help strengthen a marriage. This is a book that parents will give to their children, groomsmen give to their friends, and spouses will give to each other for a long time to come."
-Jennifer 8. Lee, author of the Fortune Cookie Chronicles
"Tara Parker-Pope's new book For Better is a savvy, practical guide for side-stepping the doggy poop and dead ends that all couples encounter along that zany, zig-zaggy path we travel from 'I do' to 'I can...and will!'"
-Harvey Karp, MD, author of The New York Times bestseller The Happiest Toddler on the Block
"Tara Parker-Pope has written a gem of a book on marriage. It is chock full of rich scientific findings and tips on how the male and female brain can love better and live better together. Reading this book will absolutely improve your marriage."
-Louann Brizendine, M.D. author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain