What you need to know before you tie the knot

June 07, 1998|By Kay Harvey | Kay Harvey,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

If we eliminated physical attraction from our relationship, what would be left?

How important is a clean and tidy home to you?

How would your feelings change toward me if I gained weight?

Those questions and 250 others that hit on everything from sex to religion are at the heart of a new book with a title bold enough to halt couples on their way down the aisle.

"Don't You Dare Get Married Until You Read This!" is a workbook that promises the marriage-minded a picture of how compatible they really are.

(It is available from the publisher, Sentinel, P.O. Box 1011, Layton, Utah 84401, for $24.95 plus $3 shipping.)

Written by 25-year-old Utah newlywed Corey Donaldson, the book grew out of his futile search for rules to go by when he and the woman he loves, Phaidra Benincosa, were considering marriage.

He had seen too many friends' marriages that didn't last, he says. Some cooled right after the honeymoon.

"I know some people who were divorced even before the first anniversary arrived," he says. "That's not only a tragedy; it represents poor planning."

But books he found on the subject lacked the practical wisdom he wanted, were difficult to read or focused on specific couples whose attitudes and emotions couldn't possibly match his. And though he and Benincosa were in love, a question kept surfacing in their minds:

"Do we really know each other?"

So as they communicated long-distance between his former home in Melbourne, Australia, and hers in Salt Lake City, they decided to ask every question about each other they could think of.

"How else could I discover that she dislikes my colored clothing being washed with her whites? ... Or that dishes have to be washed immediately after dinner (even if 'Monday Night Football' was on)," writes Donaldson in his soft-cover book.

"You will not love everything about your partner. If you think differently, then you do not know your partner well enough."

In addition to questions he and his wife came up with, Donaldson's book contains others suggested by people he met while traveling across the country in his job as a real-estate seminar coordinator.

Nine pages of introduction in the book lead up to the questions, organized in 12 categories ranging from trust to annoyances. "Most people say things like, 'I want to find the right one,' or, 'I want someone who's not like anyone else.' These are catch phrases people use. But most couples don't really think about or explore the subject."

The book isn't intended for use by already-married couples.

"That's scary," its author says. "In fact, I don't recommend it."

Pub Date: 6/07/98

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