A Short Guide To A Happy Marriage - Gay Edition
As the title of the book "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage: Gay Edition" implies, it is a short guide to happy marriage, targeted for gay couples. Author Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill (who is also a marriage and family therapist) openly writes that the book is not based on research, but on her observations as a professional.
Perhaps the title should read "An Extremely Short Guide to a Happy Marriage" or "How to Have a Happy Gay Marriage in Less Than 62 Pages". Given that the book is less than 62 pages and has blatant stock photographs on every other page, it is a cross between a coffee table book and advice book. "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage" takes about 15 minutes to read.
Ms. Gilchrest O'Neill gives couples 20 tidbits that she claims are essential to a successful marriage. She covers everything from sleeping arrangements (she recommends sleeping naked!!) to the importance of modeling respect for your spouse in front of your children. She also touches upon the darker side of marriages. She writes that couples are bound to hate each other from time to time, but that is okay and normal.
All in all, "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage: Gay Edition" is cute and straight to the point. After reading it, I felt like I was at the end of a counseling session and my therapist was telling my spouse and I things we could do to improve our floundering relationship. While the advice is nothing profound, she offers fun tips to bear in mind while in a committed relationship. The book is relevant for all long-term relationships even if marriage is not a possibility or desire.
The jacket of the book contains a few scenarios that many gay couples may face: Legality of the relationship as well as the "coming out" status of the relationship especially in the work place and with family members, but none of these issues are touched upon in the book. I'm not sure there needs to be a gay edition of the book. The advice is pretty ambiguous and could be applied to straight and gay relationships. If it were not for the title of the book and the stock footage of a lesbian couple on the beach with their dog, I wouldn't know the book was for gay couples.
"A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage: Gay Edition"
Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill
Cider Mill Press