By now we all know that 50% of first marriages end in divorce. From there it just gets worse; the failure rate for second marriages is a startling 65%. Stephen Martin, president of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, and Emmy Award-winning journalist Victoria Costello have put together a thorough and thoughtful guide to successful relationships, and staying on the right side of those statistics.
They begin on a positive note, exploring the elements that make a marriage work. They affectionately describe marriage as “a three-legged race.” The Everything Guide to a Happy Marriage also has chapters on how to recognize early danger signs, and how to handle difficult discussions about money, sex, and kids.
Later chapters focus on special situations like stepfamilies and marrying across racial and cultural lines. They also go the last resort option of divorce. Throughout, the authors intersperse bullet points featuring often surprising facts and statistics, as well as essential principles. The Everything Guide series has its own practical, straight ahead style, and in this work they apply this style to what it takes to make a marriage work.