Who among us is so wise, so knowledgeable, so insightful, so self-aware, so well put together, so hip, so cool that he or she can choose a mate at the age of seventeen, twenty-three, or even fifty-something, who will prove to be a true and loving companion, friend, and lover over the next twenty to seventy years? Yet this is what our society and our elders expect us to do. The implicit message is that we should choose a mate and enter a relationship that will be vital and dynamic and sexually stimulating for a lifetime.
In Grounds for Marriage Crosby challenges the reader to consider what is myth and what is practical reality. Much of the social-cultural belief about love and marriage is nothing more than romantic folklore. “I am appalled at how little preparation in the choice of a mate our educational and religious establishments give our children and young people...,” he writes. This book is a no-nonsense and well-reasoned approach to the conscious and unconscious dynamics in the choice of a mate. As such, it is a first step in preventing the sad lament expressed by thousands, “If only I had known.”
John F. Crosby is a retired professor of marriage/family studies and therapy.