No Cheating, No Dying

No Cheating, No Dying

Maybe you've looked at the couple next door and thought, "Wow, those people seem to have such a great, loving marriage. Does that mean they never fight? Or does it mean that they fight all the time, horribly, in secret?" Maybe you've looked at your own relationship and thought, "Gee. I"m happy, but I'm not over-the-moon. Does that mean I have a good marriage or a good marriage that's about to crumble if I don't pay attention?"

The underlying idea is: How do you know when a relationship is as solid as it can be, not just as solid as you have time or the emotional stamina for? Writer Elizabeth Weil addresses this head on, creating her own social experiment by shepherding herself and her husband to psychotherapists, sex therapists, and marriage counselors in order to unearth the dicier, undiscussed subjects in their seemingly contented life. The engaging story that results is about two people who love and respect each other, but who have a lot differences when it comes to religion (she's Jewish, he's Christian), dependence, friends outside the marriage, and some past events that haven't been fully dealt with. At times, the reader may long for more detailed revelations (for example: about Weil's teenage battle with anorexia and her relationship with her mother, which are mentioned but only in passing). At other times, however, such as while discussing an emotionally wrenching pregnancy that ended up in termination, Weil and her husband have you spellbound—and desperate for them to work things through. Although dealing with heavy subject matter, Weil has a voice that charms, full of wit, intelligence and compassion—qualities that no doubt come to great assistance in marriage as well as writing a thought-provoking book.
— Leigh Newman