Tara Parker-Pope decided to gather all the science and research about marriage and relationships into one book. Her impetus was the failure of her own marriage; she wanted to know if she could have done anything  to prevent her divorce.

This self-help book is unusual in that the author isn’t spinning conjecture; her “advice” is all based on research. Some of the most interesting studies were about arguments; turns out the subject matter and frequency is less important than the level of scorn.  She also warns that the first three minutes of an argument are critical. The outcome can be less damaging, the more open and less explosive you are.

For Better is full of practical advice about how differences in financial style, child rearing and household chores affect a relationship.

Often, commonly held wisdom was not found to be the case in real life. Very useful for long-married and newly married couples.

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