The Book Project, #17, The Case for Marriage


Taking an intentional inventory of what I have on my bookshelf in regards to marriage books… is a bit boring. And that little epiphany is rather profound. Because, really, reading about marriage isn’t comparable to actually living the marriage.

In the beginning of our marriage, I read everything I could get my hands on about how to be the bestest, most loving, super supportive wife. Ever. I threw myself into this wife role with all the devotion and gusto I could muster. And you know what? About 20 months into it, I sat there sobbing, telling this man who I was so devoted to, that I was leaving him. I wanted out. Not really out of the marriage. Just out of the rut we were stuck in. And I didn’t know if he’d join me, so verbalizing it sounded like I wanted out of the marriage.

But I know people who have fought or are fighting for their marriage. They don’t want out. They just want out of the stinky rut they’re in. And all these marriage books… I think they mean well, but the bottom line is that our marriage personalities are all unique and there’s not a one-size-fits-all manuscript for marriage.

Which makes me realize that the way to make this project better is to give you my takeaway from the books I’ve read.


Book #17 is The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher.

The subtitle is bold. Yes? Saying vows on the wedding day seals the fate for happiness, health, and financial success? That seems so black and white. So, I perused the book this afternoon in hopes of gleaning enough from it to give it a fair rating.

1 star.

It’s appropriately titled in that the authors stick to making their case for marriage throughout the book. And it seems they do a great job of defending their position. I’m not sure what demographic would be interested in reading this book… perhaps those who are doing research or are investigating the soundness of marriage?

There’s two pages in the back of the book in the Resources section that I’m going to copy for future reference. You all know that we’re uber passionate about marriage… but what if cohabitation and divorce are so rampant because we’ve settled for a piece of paper, a ceremony and the expectation that we’ll be happy, healthy, and “better off financially”?

Of course health and wealth are useful, (that’s why I named this website 365 days to health and wealth), but perhaps those are shallow pursuits if kept only for the happiness of the beholder?

Takeaway: The reason that married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially is because, unlike their counterparts who “can leave whenever they want with no strings attached” they are committed to the relationship. Because they have so much at stake, they work harder to be happy, stay healthy, and be a team.

“…happier, healthier, and better off financially.”  LeRoy brought it home from a work conference he attended. The print is small. Really small. I’m glad I took the time to peruse it but seeing as I don’t need to be convinced of the validity of marriage and I don’t see myself referencing it to make a case with anyone, it’s going on the donate pile.

Pressing on… (I’m about a third of the way through the marriage books.)


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