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No Cheating, No Dying: I Had a Good Marriage. Then I Tried To Make It Better. Hardcover – February 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st Printing edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439168229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439168226
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,256,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Deciding that the laissez-faire if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it adage shouldn’t apply to marriage, Weil set out to improve her own, a marriage that she and most people she knew considered an ideal one. For one year, Weil and her husband—fellow writer, coparticipant in what they long ago named their whole life creative act of writing and creating and raising a family, and colossally good sport—Daniel Duane, visit therapists, attend seminars and hippie-dippie workshops, and seek out financial counsel, knowing full well that they might scare out some snakes. Weil, whose 2009 New York Times Magazine story Married (Happily) with Issues forms the basis for the book, approaches this creative act with unfaltering self-awareness, and this is what makes her pursuit so successful and readable. Indeed, the author’s own surprise at what she finds when rooting around the depths of her union translates to moments of unanticipated beauty on the printed page. The best kind of popular-psychology title, probing without proposing self-help, this book will appeal to a broad range of readers and start conversations among them. --Annie Bostrom

Review

“A whip smart and contagiously humorous attempt to address the eternal conundrum of domestic ennui and its discontents.” --Elle

“Witty, honest . . .” -- People

“Weil has a voice that charms, full of wit, intelligence and compassion.” -- O, The Oprah Magazine

“The story of their marriage-improvement journey is both hilarious and insightful.” -- The New York Times Book Review

“Quite wonderful . . . an astonishingly intimate, hilariously self-deprecating, vibrant and thoroughly modern memoir.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“An engaging, often funny and heartfelt memoir about the not-so-romantic realities that can follow 'I do.'" -- Tampa Bay Times

"What ultimately makes No Cheating, No Dying such a thrilling read is the way Weil fiercely includes the reader in the secret life of her marriage." -- Knoxville MetroPulse

“Weil approaches this creative act with unfaltering self awareness, and this is what makes her pursuit so successful and readable. Indeed, the author’s own surprise at what she finds when rooting around the depths of her union translates to moments of unanticipated beauty on the printed page.” -Booklist

"This is such a smart and rich and insightful book (sometimes painfully funny, other times funnily painful) about what it really takes to keep the turbines of modern marriage going. Reading this memoir, I found myself rooting not only for Liz and Dan, but for all of us -- all married couples who've been humbled by life and stress, but who keep struggling and striving, year after year, to somehow keep it together." --Elizabeth Gilbert

"Part experiment, part memoir — told with candor and grace. . . . " -- New Jersey Star Ledger

“Ever wish you had a really articulate, thoughtful friend who had the guts to tell you every important and ridiculous thing about her marriage? Allow me to introduce you to the wise and generous Elizabeth Weil. You'll love her.” —Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Lift

"Marriage is a legal bond, a love affair, a trap, a safety net, a financial partnership. In her wise, charming, and dizzyingly forthright new book, Elizabeth Weil examines this mercurial institution. And she does it the hard way--by taking a long look at her own marriage. Her courage is our boon: No Cheating, No Dying is an utterly necessary, compulsively readable depiction of the way married people live now." --Claire Dederer, author of Poser

“Marriage is complicated and Elizabeth Weil's is no exception: Loving, overall happy, but complicated. But her openness about this and pledge to improve the relationship makes for a wonderfully compelling and inspiring memoir. The book will provide many insights to anyone who is married, considering marriage -- or hellbent on avoiding it." –A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy

More About the Author

Elizabeth Weil is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine. She lives in San Francisco with her charming, obsessive husband, the writer Daniel Duane, and their two daughters. They used to have a dog, but the dog was more work than the girls. When she first became a journalist, she really wanted to cover big important topics, like the death penalty. But more recently she's wanted to write about love.

Customer Reviews

It's a quick and fun read.
Nicole Bellows
I loved hearing about her forey into couples counseling, and I also enjoyed all of the research she learned about marriage improvement.
KMW
Maybe writing this book was her way at getting revenge, I don't know.
Elle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on March 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not sure why this new memoir caught my eye. Wait, yes I am. Three marriages in our social circle have experienced divorce and/or separation in the last year or so. It's made me think a lot about marriage. Elizabeth Weil has written for Vogue, Real Simple, and Outside, is a co author of a couple of nonfiction (bathroom genre?) books on parenting and love. She's also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. In 2009, she published Married (Happily) With Issues, which gives a good sense of what the book is about.

Weil says that one day she suddenly wondered why she and her husband (also a writer) work hard at their jobs, parenting, and hobbies, but not their marriage. I never bought the idea that the marriage project occurred to Weil prior to and independently of the writing possibilities it presented. But she seemed genuinely engaged in the various therapies and marriage classes they experienced during the year of marriage improvement, and I enjoyed No Cheating, No Dying anyway.

I was fine with framing an investigation of marriage around an improvement project. I really liked Weil's voice, and found her to be a very sympathetic narrator, even when she was making judgments or choices I couldn't support. I thought she asked a lot of really good questions, without preaching or offering tidy answers:

"We all know or think we know what marriage is: a legal commitment between two people. The idea of the good marriage is ill-defined, not to mention anxiety-producing, as it forces all marrieds within earshot to ask themselves, Is my marriage good? Why do I think my marriage is good?
Read more ›
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Elle on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had such mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I thought the premise was really interesting and I thought Elizabeth Weil is a good writer and somewhat engaging. On the other hand, I just couldn't get past how much of a jerk her husband sounded like! First, he insults her on the phone while they are first dating...doesn't like her glasses, etc. I think many women would have left at that point. Then, he insists she move to California from the east coast where she grew up. It's too ugly for him. Boston is nasty. OK, well, whatever. But here's the final kicker for me: after her parents move there to to be closer to their daughter and grandkids, he gets all angry about the fact that she wants to spend time with them. He doesn't like the community that they live in (although it sounds like Elizabeth and her kids liked it a lot). Maybe this was all subconscious on her part, but through most of the book I was wondering why she thought this was a "good" marriage, and why she would stay with him, or at least not stand up to this bully. Maybe writing this book was her way at getting revenge, I don't know. All she kept doing was agreeing to his demands, putting up with his "temper", and generally getting pushed around. If that's the secret to a good marriage, well you can keep it. (I've been married 26 years, and believe me, I understand compromise. But this didn't sound like compromise, it just sounded like rolling over and playing dead). She mentioned a few times how he made her feel beautiful. The whole thing just sounded kind of sad to me, and she sounds like someone with self esteem issues who is married to a bully. Whether this is true or not, I don't really know but that was the vibe I got from this book. If you really want advice about marriage, I'd pass on this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rick Addicks on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
sharp, fun, insightful look at marriage and many of the issues so many of us face. if reasonably happily married, with kids, and between the ages of 35 and 50, you really should read and enjoy this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SF Journo on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has ever hit the marriage doldrums will relate to this book. Weil courageously takes us along with her as she tries to liven up her marriage, giving us unrestricted access to every corner of her relationship - bedroom, therapist's office, family table -- as she questions the mind-numbing routines of domesticity and confronts the lingering resentments that blight any long-term relationship. Using her own marriage as a case study, she draws larger conclusions about how to make a marriage thrive. Read this book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wandee on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This transparent and touching memoir allows us to travel with Weil as she sets off to improve her marriage. Weil's writing merges humor and honesty, while somehow bypassing the self-indulgent and gimmicky tones of many memoirs. Incorporating popular marriage research and providing a tasting of self-help techniques, this book pushes you to think of your own relationship - the conflict, comfort and heartbreak that a shared life entails. You can't walk away from it without thinking of your own narrative. Lovely book. Perfect for a lazy Sunday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mugizi R. Rwebangira on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is true that there are no deep, profound insights about marriage to be gleaned from this book. But there are some interesting thoughts.

I liked learning about the different therapies the couple tried and how effective each one of them was. And how the process of improvement uncovered some fundamental trade offs between intimacy and separateness or loyalty to parents vs loyalty to spouse or the stability/boredom of domestication vs the riskiness/excitement of eroticness.

What I took from this book is that each marriage will deal with some issues vary according to the couple and some universal issues that affect any long term relationship, but ultimately if you are patient and work through them, most of the issues are not insurmountable. Which does not mean that every problem will be neatly resolved, just that you'll learn to live with them.

I would also like to defend the husband who has come in for a quite a beating in these reviews. Dan is not perfect but he seems to me to be a loving husband. Apart from the couple of issues mentioned (cooking obsession, visiting in laws, occasional temper while driving) they seem to get along pretty well and to be good parents together. At least he is there for his family, he is not unavailable workaholic like many dads who in other ways are quite caring.

This is all coming from the perspective of a single never married guy who enjoyed the book as a chance to get a realistic idea of what it might be like to be married! :-)
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