Most helpful critical review
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very Informative and Knowledgeable Authors
on July 4, 2010
The book is written in the third person by authors learned in their field, BUT I found the book somewhat difficult to read, not due to syntax or grammar, but simply the repetitive use of data from numerous studies. It clearly broke the train of thought of a narrative when such an abundance of statistics was thrown in. Being somewhat experienced in this field, I would think this made for a much better textbook or even a supplemental text for grad school than a book for popular consumption. I liked and agreed with what the authors said throughout most of the book, but disagreed with their sincere but proselytizing belief in marriage at all costs, which they believe is for the benefit of children; spouses be damned if they don't agree. I also believe that marriage is the best relationship form for couples, but believe there are more reasons for divorce than the authors state. In fact, excepting extreme physical cruelty [domestic violence of a severe nature] they could seem to find no other legitimate reason for divorce. On page 143 [first edition hardback] they try to give reasons for a divorce but can't quite state any without using the adverb MAYBE a total of ten times on that one page alone in referring to the possibilities of said divorce.
The authors give a plethora of interesting facts and points about marriage far too numerous to list, but let me give just a few examples: only 8% of American women consider remaining single dividing chores in a totally equal fashion is unproductive economically as it removes the benefits derived from specialization of labor approximately 50% of Americans aged 35-39 are or have in the past been in cohabiting relationships  80% of married couples see the relationship as permanent as opposed to only 50% of cohabiting couples who either break up or get married withing two years  women who felt a career was very or extremely important mere more likely to cohabit than those who didn't - not a big surprise on that one  between 1979-1981 of approximately 12k suicides, widowed or divorced persons were 3X more likely to commit suicide than married persons  60% of never married and 51% of divorced cohabiting females had sex 2 or more times a week, while only 55% of cohabiting men had sex as often - YOU GO GIRLS!  at the same time cohabiting females were 8X more likely to cheat than married females - YOU STOP GIRLS! After just reading this last paragraph perhaps you can see how statistics can make for difficult reading. The book has slightly over 200 pages of narrative, with the rest being cites and references for further study.
I have little problem with what the authors said excepting the dearth of reasons to ever get divorced, but still think it would be worth your while to read the book and judge for yourself. This is certainly an area where we can all benefit from as much knowledge as we can get. In any case, I think the authors are most sincere in their beliefs regarding marriage and its benefits to children and society as a whole.