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The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony
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The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony

2.97  ·  Rating details ·  74 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A pioneering look at first marriages lasting five years or less and ending without children, Paul�s book �will be a lesson to those contemplating marriage and a comfort to those who falter� (The Economist).

What is it about marriage that makes today�s twenty- and thirtysomethings want it so badly? And why do so many of their marriages, despite high hopes and desires
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 14th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2002)
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Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2002
The author defines a starter marriage as one that ends, childless, before age thirty. She attempts to analyze renewed interest in marrying young, wondering whether it has something to do with economic uncertainty, the desire to appear like someone who "has it together," and the effect of parental divorce. She appears to have interviewed some friends, but done no research in the scientific sense. Interesting concept, half-assed execution.
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Everyone in their twenties and thirties should read this book - married, contemplating marriage, or decidedly single.
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book came out about the time that I got getting married for the first time, and I remember hearing about it on NPR and thinking smugly - that's not me! That's not my marriage!

Well, it turns out that I probably should've read the book and saved myself a great deal of emotional and financial trouble because you know what? It WAS my first marriage.

In a couple hundred pages, the author examines trends in so-called starter marriages - first marriages amongst 20-somethings that end within 5-7 yea
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
For the most part the only thing I could think as I was reading this book was, "You're an IDIOT! You never should have gotten married. OF COURSE you ended up divorced."

It basically boils down to this: starter marriages are the product of getting married for all the wrong reasons when you are far too immature to understand the gravity of your actions. That's it.

As much as I enjoyed the book, isn't it common sense that it's a bad idea to get married when you're immature to someone you've only know
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Some interesting anecdotes from people who (like the author) had been in starter marriages, which she defines as marriages in one's 20's, lasting less than 5 years, with no kids, supplemented with summaries of quite a few trend stories, poll recaps, etc.

Very light as social science. The sample was obtained by seeking friends-of-friends and, as she acknowledges, ends up being almost all highly educated and White. Not even really clear there's any general phenomenon or trend to be explained. Start
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This is it. This was the last divorce book I intend to read. After having read several over the course of nearly a year, I can retire the topic and forge ahead with other self-help schlock like "How to date the right type." Just Kidding.

Seriously, this book was full of helpful tidbits and great quotes that I copied into my sob journal. The act of copying the nuggets of wisdom and re-reading them was a cathartic act, from which I have regained full brain functioning.

The author was on point for a
Apr 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read this after calling off my wedding in 2003, and it was a really great read. A starter marriage is defined as a first marriage that lasts 5 years or less and does NOT result in children. It's a good one to read BEFORE getting engaged, and has interviews with many young couples and looks into the cultural and personal reasons behind why they got married and why they got divorced. In the end it also debates the future of matrimony. I have lent it to several friends who had "starter marriages" ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Not great, but not bad - some useful documentation of something I've long believed, that the US is marriage-crazy and pressures young people to get married when they aren't ready. I wonder if young people about to get engaged read this, whether any of it would sink in? By that time they've had at least a couple of decades swimming in the expectations to get married, and a book that points out that pressure and how it works against more mature decision-making might not have a chance. But it was t ...more
Annette Prall
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's hard to rate this book because I enjoyed a lot of information contained in it. But I couldn't get on board with the author's conclusions. Her interviews of fifty divorced couples culled quite a bit of useful advice about getting married, but it doesn't provide enough data to support her generalities about the future of marriage within our entire society. She includes quite a bit of other trends and statistics, but those hardly proved her points. Interpretations of those statistics simply il ...more
Amy Lawton
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book helped me tremendously when, over three years ago now, I was preparing to marry a man who had already "completed" his first marriage. I wanted to be sure that I understood the cultural phenomenon of the starter marriage...and I wanted to be sure that I wasn't getting into one of my own. Reading about the trend and learning that neither I nor my now-husband exhibited any of the signals of a starter marriage helped me to relax and trust our relationship.
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
OK, people should know what they are getting into and exercise more wisdom when they get married. Got it. Didn't really need to read so many pages to learn this. I just listened to my mother.
Also, having just read this author's Parenting, Inc. within the last week, I think she's matured a great deal as a writer in the past five years.
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. I enjoy her writing style and her research techniques. Pornified was definitely more intriguing, but this one was full of statistics and personal stories that were just as fascinating.
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
She made a few good points, but we are definitely not on they same page on several issues. At times, I felt as if she were ranting a bit. I had high hopes, but the book was not what I expected it to be.
Aug 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
More weaponry in my anti-marriage/wedding arsenal. For anyone who has that creeping feeling that marriage might not be for them, but can't figure out why not.

For anyone who blatantly hates the whole idea and wants to peer self-righteously at their peers who keep failing miserably at marriage.
Christine Slocum
Strengths: moments of thoughtful insight, compelling anecdotes that folks who married young (regardless of whether or not their marriage is successful) will relate to.

Weaknesses: organization is a bit cluttered, redundant at parts, can be prone to hyperbole, not particularly well written.
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Blah blah blah.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this one while going through a divorce and it was very helpful. It's heavy on anecdotes, but in something like this, anecdotes are more helpful than statistics.
Sep 12, 2016 added it
Shelves: history
I love Pamela Paul's weekly email on the NYT book review. Her balanced view, told without patronizing tone and with humility and curiosity, is something I crave and seek.
Hana Bilqisthi
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: marriage
buku ini membuat gue takut nikah ..
buku ini cerita ttg masalah2 yang dihadapi pasangan yang menikah mudah
dan jangan menikah dengan niat karena ngga mau kalah sama temen2 yang udah duluan nikah..
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Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and the author of Parenting, Inc., Pornified, and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony. Prior to joining the Times, Paul was a contributor to Time magazine and The Economist, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Vogue. She and her family live in New York.
More about Pamela Paul...