Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Of Sound Mind to Marry: A Reality Check from the Marriage Counselor for Pre-Weds

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Of Sound Mind to Marry: A Reality Check from the Marriage Counselor for Pre-Weds

Article excerpt

BIERMAN, Jim. OF SOUND MIND TO MARRY: A REALITY CHECK FROM THE MARRIAGE COUNSELOR FOR PRE-WEDS. Praeger, 2008, 161 pgs.

This book is a welcome addition to a field that has relatively few books that have been prepared by scholars or therapists within the past ten years, specifically for couples prior to marriage. The objective is to lead couples through challenging discussions about important issues so they can become of a "sound mind to marry" before they marriage. I think it was Samuel Johnson who said "Marry in haste, repent at leisure" and this book attempts to slow the haste and minimize the repentance. As the author states in the first sentence of the book, "I started writing this book to add mòre of a reasoning influence to those who are madly in love and planning to marry" (p. xi) and adds that "when we are well-informed about the many faces of love, we can surrender to passion with confidence because we know ourselves and our loved one."

The dilemma is that being in love is an altered state of mind in which only 30% of what we learn is retained and it's natural to convey or project a misleadingly positive impression of ourselves. But, Bierman quotes Goethe, "Love is an ideal thing. Marriage is a real thing. A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished" (p. 8). His own research suggests that pre-wed couples are resistant to criticism of their relationships, no matter how wellintentioned such advice might be from significant others. Nevertheless, Bierman asks the reader to take courage and use the book to consider and discuss important issues as a "premarital journey" "that will prepare you for the Ufelong adventure you're about to embark on" (p. 14).

The book explores the implications of current research on mate selection and marital happiness, suggesting that you don't need a perfect marriage but only a "good enough" one. An interactive exercise allows couples to discuss 21 specific expectations they may have for marriage. John Gottman's research on marriage, attachment theory, personality similarities theory, and Thomas Holman's predictors of marital quality, among others, are reviewed. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.