No Cheating, No Dying

I Had a Good Marriage. Then I Tried To Make It Better.

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Written with charm and wit, No Cheating, No Dying investigates one of the most universal human institutions--marriage. Elizabeth Weil and her husband Dan have two basic ground rules for their marriage: no cheating, no dying. For ten years it’s worked fine, but Elizabeth started to wonder if it could be better.

Elizabeth Weil believes that you don’t get married in a white dress, in front of all your future in-laws and ex-boyfriends but gradually, over time, through all the road rage incidents and pre-colonoscopy enemas, good and bad dinners, and all the small moments you never expected to happen or much less endure. In this book, Weil examines the major universal marriage issues—sex, money, mental health, in-laws, children—through bravely recounting her own hilarious, messy, and sometimes difficult relationship. She seeks out the advice of financial planners, psychoanalysts, therapists, household management consultants, priests, rabbis, and the United States government. Woven into this funny and forthright narrative is Weil's extensive research on marriage and marriage improvement. The result is an illuminating and entertaining read that is a fresh addition to the body of literature about marriage.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439168226 | 
  • February 2012
List Price $25.00
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Read an Excerpt

1
The Project


I have a good marriage.

I had a good marriage before I spent a year improving it, and I have a good marriage now. In fact, my marriage is better, truly better. Although not in the ways I’d expected.

When I set out to improve my marriage, I assumed that better would look like a Photoshopped version of good: essentially unchanged, unsightly elements gone. Dan would no longer butcher headless, skinless pigs and goats on our kitchen island. I would not tidy up, literally and psychologically, by shoving junk in drawers. We would quit outsourcing the production of our... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for No Cheating, No Dying includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Elizabeth Weil and her husband, Dan Duane, had two ground rules for their marriage: no cheating, no dying. This mantra worked well for a decade, until Elizabeth decided to up the ante. Part memoir and part savvy self-help guide, No Cheating, No Dying is a forthright, funny book about a happy marriage and the therapies, exercises, and attitudes that might make it even better…or not.


Topics & Questions for Discussion


1. Elizabeth Weil begins No Cheating, No Dying by stating that she “had a good marriage.” (p. 1) Why then does she set out to improve it? What were your initial thoughts about this endeavor?

2. Elizabeth admits the marriage improvement project made her relationship with Dan “truly better,” although not in the ways she expected. (p. 1) What are her expectations going into this experiment? What turns out differently than she anticipated?

3. What is your overall opinion of Elizabeth and Dan as a couple? What about each one individually? What are the major strengths and see more

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