Today I'm going to be sharing my thoughts on Before You Say I Do Again: A Buyer's Beware Guide to Remarriage! by Benjamin Berkley.
Title: Before You Say I Do Again: A Buyer's Beware Guide to Remarriage
Author: Benjamin H. Berkley
Publisher: Frederick Fell Publishers
Published: September 1, 2009
Source: Received a free copy as part of a blog tour.
Bookshelves are filled with warm and fuzzy titles authored by psychologists and family counselors. Their message is to teach how to listen to each other and improve the relationship. "Before You Say I Do, Again!" is not a how to book to get back together or to stay together. Instead it takes the gloves off and provides insight as to the issues one must consider before walking down the aisle a second time. Tackling a serious subject, but presented in a sometimes whimsical fashion, "Before You Say I Do, Again!' puts the brakes on the wedding ceremony and provides the reader with the questions that must be answered before you drive down the path of destruction.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Judging from the title you might think that this book is useful only if you've been married before and are considering taking that plunge again. That's not the case.
I've never been married, and while reading I was able to identify a lot of useful information that would be helpful to talk about within my own relationship. I also gained a lot of insight into the issues that couples fight about most often, and why it is that most marriages and remarriages fail. A lot of it has to do with not working on yourself as a person.
A lot of times people want to put a lot of blame on their ex as being the reason that their marriage failed instead of accepting the fact that they were in part, also responsible, and that they need to work on themselves and improve before they consider taking that trip down the aisle with someone else.
The book is really well laid out in terms of the chapters being clear and concise. There are a lot of questions in each chapter that you can ask yourself and your partner to make sure that you are on the same page about things. This covers a wide range of subjects like finances, emotional health, physical health, legal ramifications etc. I felt that the author was really trying to help people figure out their motivations for remarrying and steer them in the right direction, not by preaching one correct way to do things, but by getting people to really think about why it is that they want to get married again. Since the author is a lawyer, the influence is heavy on the legal ramifications of different aspects of remarriage, but it's not overwhelming, just consistent advice for a variety of situations.
One of the great things about this book is that there are a lot of example situations woven in with the more technical information. I feel that this made the book much more palatable. If it had been just statistics or dry, informational material, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did. With these examples mixed in it really gives a more clear picture of the point the author is trying to make and helps the reader relate to the information more easily. Plus the author takes a somewhat informal tone that shows that he's not just spouting off information but really just trying to help by sharing what he's learned.
The tone is very cautionary, which might make it seem like the author is against marriage, but that really isn't the case. What I took from it is that he's trying to help people avoid re-marrying for the wrong reasons, like wanting to be financially comfortable, or getting married again just because they're used to living with someone, and things like that. The main lesson I came away from reading this with is to always trust your gut. If something doesn't sit right with you about someone you're romantically interested in, it probably isnt. And while some of the questions this book asks you to consider might be awkward to bring up, if you are in a truly loving and comitted relationship you will be able to talk them through without much difficulty.