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For Better: How the Surprising Science of Happy Couples Can Help Your Marriage Succeed Paperback – Bargain Price, April 26, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
In "For Better," Parker-Pope writes about marriage from a strictly scientific vantage point, using medical studies and research findings to probe into what makes love and marriage work. She looks at what research has to say on a variety of topics, including:
* How marriage affects your health (married folks' are healthier and live longer);
* How to make conflict work for you rather than against you (and why the first three minutes of an argument matter the most)
* The science of passion, romance and commitment
* How children and parenting affect marriage
* How the division of housework plays into a marriage--and what women need to learn if they want their husbands to help
* How finances affect marriage ("debt is the number one source of marital strife for newlyweds")
* How researchers can tell which marriages are destined for trouble and which will last based on ten innocent questions about how the spouses met.
The thing that struck me the most as I read through much of the research was how it makes sense. It makes sense that you don't roll your eyes at your spouse when you're arguing. But the statistics that support that? Wow. Eye-rolling is one of the greatest signs of contempt, and contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce. When you have research to back these kinds of things, it makes it all the more real.
And there were so many others, such as the fact that studies have shown that merely holding her husband's hand reduces a wife's stress levels.Read more ›
Well-written, informative, and definitely not "weird science" --- this book is carefully notated and fully indexed, gathering the best ideas and information into one volume. Clear sharp prose, all meat, very little fluff!
Having studied marriages and families for more than two decades, I'm glad to recommend this helpful, encouraging new book!
Dr. David Frisbie
The Center for Marriage & Family Studies
Author of "The Soul-Mate Marriage" and 10 other books
There is one thing she should have warned the reader about. If, for example, certain modes of discourse are predictive of a successful marriage, it does not NECESSARILY mean that if you imitate them, it will turn a bad marriage into a successful one. It is kind of like the uncertainty principle. What is a good predictor when behavior has not been tailored to a set of findings, will not necessarily be a good predictor if behavior is consciously adopted as a result of those findings. Still, it can't hurt, and probably would help, to try to learn from the science.
So it comes with some surprise that someone has come up with a fresh approach to this age-old topic; an approach primarily based on science. Not just science in a cold, clinical, Masters and Johnson style, but a science that takes into account things like socialization, health patterns, communication skills and lifestyle issues.
In, `For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage,' author and New York Times' `Well blog' columnist Tara Parker-Pope explores a wide variety of factors that determine success (or failure) for today's married couples. Everything from the initial meeting to body language (including the killer rolled eyeballs), frequency of sex, and married vs. single vs. divorced health patterns for both men and women is fair game here. From hormonal studies to extra-marital affairs, the concepts are explained with the kind of backing that goes beyond the opinion style of similar books to a well backed set of facts (many of which are counter-intuitive) to support each revealing position. Meaning... we're talking research.
Parker-Pope brings together an impressive array of studies and statistics - from lab experiments on mice and chimps, to census data trends to a wide swath of studies (Berkeley, NYU, Vanderbilt, Mayo Clinic, etc.) to create her models of the new married class. Dozens upon dozens of studies are translated in a well organized fashion to examine the factors that create lasting marital love; the nitty-gritty of why some relations work, others don't and what can really be done to improve a couple's chances of overall success.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Use it in my marriage and family course. Students become engaged with it.Published 2 days ago by Teri Mason
Nice summary of the latest findings in making marriage last. Positive approach is appreciated.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
It was infuriating to read. She, first of all, isn't really qualified to make a lot of the claims that she does throughout the book. Read morePublished 14 months ago by M. Galiher
In a relationship? Or thinking about being in one? But this book! It's worth if.Published 14 months ago by Annett Smith
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... Read more
not as good as expected, I read it while already separated and then loaned it to a co worker and she really benefited from the book. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Katiew7459
I've read several marriage books and this was the best. It more looks at marriage more scientifically and really shows how not everyone gets divorced. Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by Carolina Falcon
I needed the book for a seminar in college. I learned a lot about relationships and how to improve my own. The book arrived in perfect condition.Published on September 2, 2013 by Britney Ometz
This book is easy and interesting reading. It sites research that is both informative and useful.
I will be incorporating some of these tools into my own marriage.