April 7, 2010

Serious Doubts: Why People Marry when they know it won't last

It's not just for those who doubt...read on...

BOOK #: 16
CHALLENGES: 100+, ARC Challenge, New Authors Challenge
PUBLISHER: Carl Weisman
GENRE: Nonfiction, Relationships
FORMAT/PAGES: Paperback/148
RATING: 4 Stars


Are you feeling pressure to marry when you don't want to? Do you believe the problems in your relationship will magically disappear after you wed? Are you getting ready to marry someone you know is wrong for you because you believe they are the best you can do? Is your intuition telling you to call off your wedding? If that describes you, then you must read this book.

According to a study by market research firm OnePoll.com, 15% of engaged couples planning to get married have misgivings about their upcoming nuptials. In another study, 3 out of every 10 divorced women admit they already knew their marriage was a mistake by the time they walked down the aisle. Do people really get married when they have such strong doubts about marriage beforehand?

Yes. Every year thousands of people marry knowing with great certainty the marriage will not last. Why do they do it?

Serious Doubts: Why People Marry When They Know It Won’t Last provides a unique insight into why people get married when they know ahead of time it will likely end in divorce.

The book includes…

  • Survey results from over 1000 people who knew their marriage would end in divorce
  • Interviews with 34 people who have already gone through a marriage of serious doubts
  • Stories from people who found the courage to avoid a
    doomed marriage
  • Over 100 self-probing questions you can use to objectively examine your marital decision
  • Twenty five reasons why people enter a marriage of
    serious doubts
  • Seven strategies people use unconsciously to ignore their
    inner voice
  • The top 8 lessons learned from people who have already gone through it


I requested to read and review this book when John and I were having a lot of issues a couple of months ago. It wasn't that I knew something was wrong or that I had doubts about us, it was that I knew we couldn't go forward until we worked out the mistakes that happened. At 30, I already had 3 failed long-term relationships, which include 2 engagements and one emotionally abusive relationship. I really can't afford to make the same mistakes again. Mistakes I don't know I am even making.

So, did I learn anything from this book? Yes, I did.
  • I learned part of my problem was that I wasn't the one choosing the guys as much as they were choosing me and I went along with it. You ever have that thought, well, why not give it a go? Well I decided I needed to sit down and figure out what attributes in a person I really could not stand, and which I really wanted/needed in a significant other. When I fleshed these out, I realized the list was not this long, drawn-out, high-maintanence chick's list. It was a short list of 6 things I could not live with (ex. selfishness, overindulgent), and 5 I couldn't live without (ex. honesty, able to deal with my health problems). It actually becomes so much clearer when you just take the time to really dig deep and be realistic with yourself.
  • I learned that a lot of my relationships were based on opposites. G was the opposite of Mr. E. And D was a combination of Mr. E and G but still didn't work out because he was abusive. Then all unexpectedly comes John, who is completely different. And the crazy thing is- that is perfect for me. No more trying to find the complete opposite of the last guy- just the complete right one for me.
  • There was one question that stopped me: Do you bore easily in a relationship? Go ahead and laugh out loud if you already knew the answer to that question. Yes, of course! I'm ADD. I could get bored riding on a rollercoaster. I love staying at home, curled up under a blanket and reading a good book (I mean, hello..) but I am also very much an adrenaline-junkie and a spontaneous and curious person. I am the type of person who wants to go sky-diving and scuba diving and learn how to knit and plan out a flower garden and dig up the soil. I am always in need of stimulation. Mr. E, G, nor D gave me that. So John is into both adventure and staying in for the night? Gotta love it.
There are I think 128 questions in all. Some were questions like Do you believe in divorce?, Are you just afraid of being single?, Do you feel you need to develop further as a person before getting married? Wow. Deep questions. Yet all ones that need to be answered before you walk down the aisle. Or, like me, buy the beautiful, perfect wedding dress. (I can't bring myself to sell it, because it is just that perfect. I'm pretty sure it would be a sin.)

Through the book I was able to really take a hard look at myself and what I, Rebecca, wanted and needed, and not factor in John or anyone else. I found that this book is a book to be read slowly and savored. You have to think about the questions. It is not one to read in one sitting or even one week.

Overall, I don't think this is a book just for people with doubts. I think it is a good book for anyone to look through who has had abuse in their past or has a string of bad news boyfriends/girlfriends or anyone with self-esteem issues even. It is good to be sure about yourself so you can be sure of where your relationship stands. (And I know inquiring minds want to know- John and I are dating again.)

Carl Weisman has a Master of Science from USC and a Master of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University. His previous book, So Why Have You Never Been Married? Ten Insights Into Why He Hasn't Wed (New Horizon Press, 2008) is a thoroughly researched and detailed book into the dramatic social changes of why men are delaying or avoiding marriage. He lives in Southern California and can be reached on his website.


  1. Wow! It is such a powerful topic, and such an easy trap to fall into. I had no idea the statistics were that high! Best of all, I think, is what you've learned (and shared) about yourself that will be so helpful in the future.

  2. Excellent review and I thank you for sharing the introspection this read has done for you...I should've bought this one for my friend BEFORE she got married!

  3. Wow--this book really made an impact. In retrospect, I often think my husband and I got married because all of our friends were getting married and we'd been dating for 3 years and it was time to get married or split up. Factor in that we were only 22 and that's probably a recipe for disaster! Luckily, we also had a lot of things going for us and we're on year 28 of our marriage. But I sure wish I would have had this book!

  4. This sounds like a very important book and must reading for everyone who gets into a new relationship!!! Thanks for this thoughtful review!

  5. *sigh* So many people I wish had read this book before marrying, though in fact I am not sure it would have made any difference to their decisions. What a fascinating topic though!

  6. If only I had read this BEFORE I got married and then divorced. But at least I finally found the 1! I want to give this to everyone I know who is in their twenties and early thirties and dying to get married and not necessarily thinking through their choices.

  7. *gasp!* You two are back together? How did that happen?

  8. I had doubts before my first marriage ... and it ended in divorce. So I wish I had a book like this back then ... but I'm not sure I would have actually been able to admit it. It is very easy to fool yourself when you want to.

    And I'm cautiously happy that you and John are dating again.


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