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Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  82 reviews
A smart and concise guide to staying together that draws on scientific findings, expert advice, and years in the marital trenches to explain why marriage is better for your health, your finances, your kids, and your happiness

Like you, probably, Belinda Luscombe would rather have had her eyes put out than read a book about marriage; they all seemed full of advice that was
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Spiegel & Grau
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Genevieve Trono
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marriageology was such a fascinating read on marriage and long term relationships. Luscombe's writing was approachable with the perfect mix of scientific research, personal stories, and advice. I found myself nodding along so many times with her anecdotes regarding her own marriage history. She shares a wonderful perspective that is relatable yet also hopeful. Her ability to share the hardships of some of the biggest stumbling blocks of marriage was super accessible.

She points out the 6 major
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vanessa
A light and humorous take on communication in marriage, with topics like money, children, sex, etc. The author uses her experience as someone who has been married for 25 years to share her communication woes and how her and her husband fixed them. This comes from a very specific perspective (hetero, monogamous, white, middle class) but I still learned some tips and liked the perspective of the author.
Leah Hester
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Got the audiobook on Audible, and deeply enjoyed the book and its authors fun, interesting take on marriage, how its changed, and how to make it last. I'm probably still considered a newlywed by most people (at the time of reading, I've been married for two and a half years) and I come from a family with a lot of divorcees. It's literally always felt like my job to have a damn good marriage lol. Luscombe is fantastically entertaining while also sharing real situations that spouses go through and ...more
Casey Frank
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Random House for gifting me a copy of this book.
As this book points out, marriage has changed over the years, and what was once more of an economical decision- a necessary choice in financial stability and family-rearing, is now one that comes with greater expectations of happiness and emotional intimacy. Which is why books like this are nice, concise way of shoring up those emotional needs. And it's done with a degree of humor.

I liked that the book cited a lot of other studies and
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Kelli Oliver George
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really nice read -- it was quick and easy to read. The author provided some specific ways to increase communication and she did it with a sense of quirky humor.

I'm not sure how helpful this would be for a marriage already in crisis. If your marriage is fine and you are just looking for "maintenance" reading, I would recommend this. I picked it up primarily just to learn some techniques for better communication in my own marriage and that's exactly what I got.
Karen
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of reading about marriage (and other topics) while things are going well. I feel like at moments like these, I am open to learning and receiving because I am not constantly triggered by what I might be upset about. So all potential ideas feel like options I can try out and use to strengthen my marriage. This book has both anecdotal stories and academic research and statistics. I would say that if your marriage is in trouble and you're reading this book for ideas, the tone might ...more
Mehrsa
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an interesting catalogue of a bunch of other marriage advice books. I always think it's better to go to the source. In this case, try Esther Parel, Gottman, Alain Botton, etc.
Kayle Barnes
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wish I had read this before I got married, but glad I discovered it when I did. Luscombe is funny and blunt and treats Marriage with both importance and irreverence.
Vlad
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Hilarious, frank, reasonable. A bit broad, splashing about in the shallows rather than going deep on any one of its topics, from sex to child-rearing to arguing well. Good survey.
Kristine
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Marriageology by Belinda Luscombe is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-May.

I had chosen to read this book while being in a long-term relationship after a divorce from my first husband eight years ago, so I have a touch-and-go history with being in a serious, monogamous partnership. This book brings up topics and concepts, like questioning yourself and admitting guilt & weakness at the end of a relationship, only to have to build up another from the very beginning, committing strongly
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Andrew Forbes
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Best book on marriage I’ve read to date.
Jacquelyne
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is solidly sourced with evidence-based research, but it isn't dry by any means. Luscombe has a great sense of humor that had me nodding my head and chuckling throughout the book. She helps break down the fault lines in a six-part alliteration that is easy to follow. I appreciated the marriage of a sociological and therapeutic approach, as well as her personal anecdotes relating the science to her her marriage, which helped tie in the research and advice to real life examples. Her ...more
Crystal
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I'm not really one to read self help type books, but I saw this book and thought, why not give it a try. I sure am happy that I did! This book is written in a way that makes it both informative (with statistics and research) and also relate-able (with personal admissions and stories from the author). I feel like this book also offers some great tips and advice on how to achieve a happier union (which who doesn't want that!).
Jt O'Neill
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's funny. When my spouse and I first got together a generation plus ago, we'd both had plenty of life experience. We both had graduate degrees, had worked successfully in our chosen fields, and had had romances and adventures. We considered ourselves people savvy. In retrospect, we were pretty cocky, thinking we knew how this whole marriage business was going to go. How bold, brave, and naive we were!

In the introduction to Marriageology, Belinda Luscombe astutely points out the absurdity of
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Nani
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: collection
Several weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I was reading anything in anticipation for marriage, and I wasn’t yet, but Marriage-ology was on my TBR. It isn’t my usual read. Even on the occasions when I do read non-fiction, “self-help” type books aren’t my jam. Maybe I’m getting old, but I really enjoyed this book. It has been a little over a year since my fiancé proposed, and exactly a year until our wedding. In the midst of our engagement, I feel like I know what I’m doing. I’ve got a handle ...more
Tangled in Text
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I will be rereading and adding to my shelf. Her book is split into six sections and each one had learning moments if you have an issue on that topic or not to make sure there are no weak spots in your marriage. Her book starts with an overview of her six topics "totally coincidentally they're all F words: Familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around (not my original title), and finding help."

I'd challenge you to even just listen to her beginning overview because
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Nancy
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been married 56 years and it's a little late to seriously consider "The Art and Science of Staying Together." However, I saw the author of this book interviewed one morning, found her amusing and perceptive, and decided to try her book. I'm not a fan of "self help" material, but I enjoyed this view of a subject I know well.

Belinda Luscombe has been married a mere 25 years and therefore is comparatively new to the game, but she competently presented a survey of the current theories on the
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Sarah
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A kind of depressing look at how hard marriage is. Despite having a successful 4 years together, I felt worried reading this about my own relationship. Does everyone have what it takes to be married? You don’t know until you try.

I docked it a star because one whole chapter was about how kids affect your marriage. This I already knew and is one of the reasons I am staunchly childfree. I wish there had been more talk about marriages that don’t result in children.

I also docked a star because the
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Laura
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: check-back
I am addicted to self-help books on audiobook, especially ones about marriage. God knows why, but it probably helps that I’m not married — it’s sort of sociological? Idk.

This one is great. I love the tone of the author, who brings in stories from her own life but mostly is a (very good) science explainer of all the studies of married people (there are a lot). She’s funny and frank and fun to listen to (the Australian accent helps).

Like most books about marriage, this is mostly intended for
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Sierra
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.
This read for me as a well-written marriage advice column (written by a smart, plucky Australian journalist, who was frankly delightful). Ms. Luscombe summarizes prevailing relationship research and views it through the lens of her own long-lasting marriage.

Having read a number of the books she cites as source material, I appreciated her interpretations and the down-to-earth way she discussed how these various research-based relationship theories supported, or sometimes contradicted,
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Lyndsey
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is like pop-psychology for marriage books. It's fun, upbeat, and full of stats and studies. It is not a help book (it isn't going to sell you on any sorts of "hows" to staying married, rather the science describes studies illuminating "what" is going on).

I admit, I didn't listen super closely or really learn much to apply or remember. But I appreciated these things:

1. The author is pro-marriage, while talking about the day-to-day realities and unattractiveness quite bluntly. I liked her not
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Mell Meunier
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Format :audiobook

By now you may know my usual concerns when I see an author narrated audiobook. My concerns had no standing with this one, she is an exceptional narrator, she has a beautiful Australian accent and nails her comedic tone and timing.
The content in this book is great, it is presented simply and she uses her sense of humour to describe her own marital navigations throughout. I really liked this book. Her stand out portion is the first part on familiarity and intimacy. But the part
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BriZen
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book on marriage that I’ve read. I don’t have much for a frame of reference but I really enjoyed it. I thought it was witty and entertaining (I read half and listened to the last half, either way those adjectives apply). It was also packed with useful and relevant information for committed couples at every stage in their relationship. It was a quick read, just over two hundred pages and I think worth the time. If you’re early on in your marriage, it could save you from some ...more
Laura
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars just for being a book on marriage that’s actually enjoyable to read! Luscombe is genuinely funny, and her humor and light yet serious treatment of the subject makes it pleasurable to read. I was a little worried that all her personal examples were going to be silly disagreements between her and her husband, but then I got to the chapter where she talks about how they almost got a divorce and went to therapy, and I was gratified that the author is someone who has truly gone through hard ...more
Leona
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is written in a very real, funny tone about a very serious topic. I enjoyed the anecdotes and recommendations to other sources. I don’t know that this would be comforting or helpful to someone truly in crisis but I think it’s a good guide on relationships and navigating some of the issues. Its more hopeful than helpful yet it’s a worthwhile read - made me laugh and made me think. I read parts of it out loud to my spouse. I liked the analogy of finding your mate compared with buying a ...more
Shelby
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5. Marriage and family writer Belinda Luscombe investigates the six F's of staying together: Familiarity, Fighting, Finances, Fooling Around, Family, and Finding Help. With humor, she humanizes the reasons for marital failure and normalizes common frustrations within committed couples. I listened to the audiobook, but to glean more information, I suggest reading a physical copy. This book would make a great wedding gift for newly married couples. Note: It mostly discusses heterosexual ...more
Lesley
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this as a wife/wedding gift for a friend in her 30’s. I previewed it first (read the whole thing!) since I have been married for 25 years. It took the words (advice and guidance) right out of my mouth.

The introduction is engaging. It is down to earth, easy to read in a day and practical. Breaks it right down to the six important “Fs” in a marriage: familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around, and finding help. I am adding this book to my list for anyone who gets married.
Erin
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Got through about half of it, and realized I'd read enough. Luscombe is definitely an entertaining writer, I just had other books I wanted to read more. And honestly, I've read a few John Gottman books, who's the famed marriage researcher, and I thought his recommendations about creating a healthy marriage were as useful as anything I'd read. So much of this seemed repetitive. A good read, just not in the mood to complete it.
MWS
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting, funny and engaging. Making a pile of research papers and long-running academic studies highly accessible, Belinda Luscombe outlines how long marriages go the distance and the kind of thoughtful reflection and action necessary to make marriages rich, strong and enduring. An important, encouraging and thoughtful read - with lots to laugh about and reflect on as you go.
Hana
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. Accessible, witty, and a darn good and concise overview of the key points from many of the other (much longer) relationship books I own. The info is scientifically based but not clinical, relatable through tales of the authors own F ups, and overall hopeful that this thing (marriage) we have is pretty great and it is totally within our power to keep it that way.
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