"ETERNAL MARRIAGES DON'T JUST HAPPEN: How to Avoid the 10 Most Common Dangers on the Path to Happily Ever After," by Mark A. Shields, Cedar Fort, $13.99, 160 pages (nf)
A divorce lawyer who deals in the unraveling of marriages every day has a unique perspective to identify marital problems and know the warning signs before they start. Enter “Eternal Marriages Don’t Just Happen: How to Avoid the 10 Most Common Dangers on the Path to Happily Ever After,” Mark A. Shields' newest book about creating a lasting marriage.
Shields, a divorce lawyer who has served as a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has created a work that overviews the “10 Most Common Pitfalls on the Path to Happily Ever After,” complete with warnings and advice for couples on how to avoid them. Some of the pitfalls include selfishness, midlife crises, forgetting covenants, self-righteousness, pornography and debt.
In “Eternal Marriages,” Shields provides a careful guide in the book via a step-by-step question-and-answer format as he examines each of these threats to marriage and how to avoid them.
“Eternal Marriages Don’t Just Happen” manages to expertly bring to the forefront refreshing and new insights in marital observations in a way that the reader likely hasn’t heard before. More than just diagnose common marital problems that can lead to divorce, he offers antidotes and solutions that are simple to implement and powerful in their efficacy.
Shields sets up the book as an allegory — using something of a “fairy tale” theme. Using marriage as the “journey,” he characterizes the threats to marriage as “villains” — pointing out that every marriage will need a map and a guide — other symbols that he carefully describes in “Eternal Marriages.”
The book is laced with research and quotes from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is also punctuated with song lyrics and quotes from other thought leaders and well-known figures, guiding the reader along to each section. The book is a delightful and quick read — one that is packed with great information that leaves the reader highly motivated.
The book is about marriage and therefore deals with some mature, marital topics. There are non-graphic discussions of physical intimacy and specific sexual functions in this book, which are appropriately framed in the book.
“Eternal Marriages Don’t Just Happen” would be a great recommendation for someone who is dating, engaged, newly married, struggling in marriage or for anyone interested in strengthening a current or future marriage.