Testimonials for ‘The Marriage Delusion: the fraud of the rings?’

Mike Buchanan’s book The Marriage Delusion: the fraud of the rings? was published in 2009 in a limited-edition hardback edition. It’s available to order from his publishing website as well as from Amazon and other retailers. If you order the book through Mike’s website he can sign and dedicate it in line with your wishes. The same is true of the later paperback edition, The Fraud of the Rings.

The book has received many supportive testimonials and reviews, including the following:

Oliver James, clinical psychologist, broadcaster, author of Affluenza, Britain on the Couch, They F*** You Up, How Not to F*** Them Up

A highly original and stimulating critique of the modern marriage crisis, supported by important yet sometimes uncomfortable truths.

Alan Carr, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University College, Dublin, author of The Handbook of Adult Clinical Psychology, Family Therapy and Positive Psychology

Mike Buchanan’s analysis of marriage in western industrialised society is courageous and thoughtful. His perspectives on the challenges associated with marriage, and solutions to them, draw on important scientific evidence and arguments from some of our leading psychologists and wisest philosophers. This is a ‘must-read’ for all concerned with modern marriage.

Reviews from buyers on Amazon.com

5.0 stars out of 5

An honest assessment of modern marriage – at last!!!!

January 10, 2010

By Mary B ‘Book Chaser’ (North Carolina)

This is a brilliant and honest look at the realities of modern marriage. Mr Buchanan bravely exposes the painful truths of why marriage isn’t working for most of us. He paints with very broad strokes to depict the sometimes subtle inconsistencies between our assumptions about marriage and the realities. For example, why some unhappily married people continue to extol the virtues of marriage. Particularly relevant for me was the description of introversion versus extroversion and the impact the different personality traits can have on marriage. As a happily divorced introvert, I feel vindicated. I now accept and appreciate that my singleness is a valid lifestyle choice for me as an introvert, and that my yen for solitude doesn’t make me a bad person. The book is filled with excellent excerpts from other writers that corroborate Mr Buchanan’s observations. The writing defies political correctness, and it is well balanced. Buchanan’s candor is delightfully naughty. This is truly the most uniquely written book I’ve read in years.

5.0 stars out of 5

A Brilliant Exploration and Realistic Assessment of Marriage

October 30, 2009

By dancing bees – See all my reviews

As one who has made almost a vocation of studying marriage and reading books on every aspect of it, I found Mr. Buchanan’s book to be a welcome breath of fresh air on a subject that is too often occluded by starry-eyed optimism and unrealistic expectations. Herein the reader will find a bracingly honest discussion of the principal factors that can undermine a given individual’s chances of creating a rewarding marriage, including the inherent personality characteristic of introversion. This is a topic that has been neglected in the current climate of happy talk which leads us all to believe that, given enough work, almost any marriage can become fulfilling. In view of all the negative fallout resulting from an incomplete understanding of how personality impacts on marriage, the author has made a significant contribution to future human happiness by emphasizing this underrated aspect of what can contribute to – or detract from – what most people consider their most important relationship.

This important book includes an overview of facets that are seldom sufficiently touched upon in the many superficial works on marriage. One of these is the different natures of men and women. I found this chapter especially relevant and fascinating due to the unique slant the author has taken. The chapter covering the role of political correctness in the present day and its disastrous effects on male/female interactions is in itself a courageous tour de force. The conclusion, dealing with the future of marriage, outlines practical and intelligent suggestions for overhauling this nearly anachronistic institution. Interestingly, the author quotes Bertrand Russell’s views on marriage at some length in this chapter. It’s striking how compelling and pertinent his observations still are today, even nearly 80 years after he penned them!

While the subject matter is sobering, the author’s elegant writing style and sometimes laugh-out-loud witticisms make for a read that is both edifying and enjoyable. My hope is that this book will soon find its way onto bookshelves everywhere in the U.S. because marriage, if it is to survive much longer, is in dire need of a reality check. Mr. Buchanan’s book is an outstanding first step in that direction.

5.0 stars out of 5

A Challenging ‘Must Read’

October 4, 2009

By Brandi Love (NC USA)

I found this book to be intense and thought-provoking. Mr Buchanan brings to light many of the issues that lead to failed marriages, in a bold and sometimes unexpected manner. It’s always effective (perhaps not liked) to be honest and to communicate about all topics. So many couples go into marriage with a desired ‘concept’, this book is an awesome read to ensure ones understanding of what marriage IS and / or CAN be. Agree with the author’s philosophies or not, you can count on many meaningful and potentially life changing conversations between you and your mate. Discussions that most likely will lead to a deeper love, understanding and appreciation for one another. It’s about time someone wrote a book with Mr. Buchanan’s sharp, sometimes cutting facts. Open his book, open your mind and change the relationships in your life for the better. I definitely recommend.

Reviews from buyers on Amazon.co.uk

4.0 stars out of 5

The Marriage Delusion

30 Jun 2010

By Snowboot Girl

I would seriously recommend readers of both genders to read this book. Firstly it is always interesting reading about relationships from a man’s point of view, because as the author rightly points out, there is little out there by men that give an honest account. Mr Buchanan has clearly spent a great deal of time reading up on his subject and the book contains extracts from other books / newspaper articles / studies. As my husband reluctantly discusses anything to do with relationships, particularly ours, it’s encouraging that there are plenty of men who are interested in the subject. Many of the book’s contributors are men.

I chose this book, interested by the fact that it was about marriage and didn’t have the title, ‘Why men… and women don’t…’! Also because it was challenging the fact that marriage should exist at all in the modern world. [Author’s note: with apologies to Snowboot girl, the last sentence is incorrect. I simply assert that most people in the developed world in the modern era are unsuited to the institution of marriage.]

Having finished the book today I am left with the feeling that the author chose his extracts largely to support his theory about the reasons marriage is increasingly failing and divorce rates increasing. Many of the reasons are valid but I am not left feeling entirely convinced. For example he talks about marriages that fail and those that succeed and the reasons for both often being compared. However he doesn’t really touch on the fact that within many marriages there are good times and bad times.

Marriages are either set for failure or not seems to be the general consensus. Divorce rates have been rising since the 60s yes, but that’s a comparatively short time in the history of marriage. Personally I feel that in the short time divorce has become easier we haven’t yet seen the effects of / or much research into people who have divorced only to regret it later. He also does not touch very much on children and how many people’s lives are made worse by divorce because of the effect it has on them.

This book was written because the author wanted to explore why his own two marriages failed and why divorce is increasing. His argument that introverted men are unhappier in marriage is interesting and yet he claims that extraverted people are more likely to be adulterous – surely a situation that increases (or results from) unhappiness in a marriage?

The book is sceptical (obviously from the title) about lifetime marriage commitment. I’m divorced and have remarried with children from both marriages (statistically I’m therefore more likely than first time marrieds to divorce again). This book has made me really appreciate what my husband and I do have rather than highlight what we don’t have and I feel rather sad that so many people lose physical passion and are not able to maintain willpower to save their marriages. Selfishness – something that is not really mentioned in the book but seems to come through from between the pages – is one reason I personally would suggest.

On a massive positive – a very thought-provoking book which I could not put down and has really helped me understand how men including my husband think and feel. He deserves more slack from me, more freedom and more gratitude. I have put loads of pencil marks in the margin so I can pick it up any time I want to look at those issues that are particularly relevant to us.

4.0 stars out of 5

The case for a long and happy ‘relationship’

27 Oct 2009

By ‘Single Man’

A couple of days before a dinner during which I was planning to propose to my girlfriend, I was in Waterstone’s in Piccadilly, looking in the ‘self help’ section for books about relationships and marriage. In the middle of a multitude of books in the Ten Sure Steps To An Awesome Marriage genre was this book. The cover intrigued me and I was soon flicking through the book. I sat down with it and an hour passed by in a flash, before one of the sales assistants starting looking askance at me, so I bought it.

After I read it I realised that I (in common with most people contemplating marriage in the modern era) was suffering from ‘the marriage delusion’ – the expectation that we would enjoy a long and happy marriage. I came to understand why (like most people) I’m unsuited to the institution of marriage, and why the prospects of long-term happiness with my partner were poor. My girlfriend spotted the book in my bookshelf after I’d read it, then asked if she could read it herself.

A week later – having read the book herself – she brought round a bottle of chilled champagne, and said, ‘Can I make a proposal, darling?’ I gulped and before I could reply, she continued, ‘Can I propose that we never get married?’ We both laughed, I accepted her proposal, and we’ve never been happier. Mr Buchanan, thank you for saving me from a lot of unhappiness, and probably financial ruin too!

5.0 stars out of 5

The Marriage Delusion

27 Oct 2009

By ‘Mr. M’

I’ve been reading this book with interest. It deals with many aspects of relationships and the institution of marriage. The book has been well researched and has many quotes and extracts from other relevant authors on the subject. It challenges many conformist and social historic approaches to the subject and contrasts the differences between male and female views and outlooks. As I am in a happy second-time relationship it is possible to be more understanding and use one’s own experience and be philosophical in looking at these issues. It seems the author highlights the difference between reality and expectation as causing a great number of problems for both individuals and consequently couples. A book to stir up opinions and discussion on what’s sometimes a thorny area full of so-called experts. A very valuable read and helpful background to getting married and co-habiting.

5.0 stars out of 5

The Marriage Delusion

15 Oct 2009

Mr R Corfe

The Marriage Delusion by Mike Buchanan is a brilliantly written book and a ‘no-put-down-read’ with quotations and longer passages on every aspect of marriage and personal relationships between the sexes. He’s not only put his own mind to the problems of marriage, but in the cause of objectivity has engaged in extensive research. This is a must read for anyone who is already married or who contemplates marriage in the near future.

5.0 stars out of 5

Thought provoking

27 Sep 2009

By A. Heslop

The title of this book should provide an indication of the writer’s perspective, but overall this is a challenging and interesting review of a difficult subject. Mike Buchanan has clearly completed a deep review of literature on the subject, from academic tomes to ‘how to improve your marriage’ books from the ‘self help’ section of bookstores. His approach is not to offer recipes to improve a marriage or even focus on the morality of whether marriage is a good thing ethically speaking – he simply asserts that most marriages are unhappy, about half fail completely, and he goes on to explore why this situation occurs. His perspective on understanding the problem focuses on personality types, gender-related factors and religious beliefs. Oh, and he rants quite a bit about the Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman MP.

I didn’t expect to identify with the book’s key themes as I’ve been happily married for 20 years and my parents have been for 50 years, but many of my contemporaries have been divorced, and the subject is worthy of consideration by everyone, happily married or otherwise. Overall the book is well written, interesting, thought provoking and at times amusing. Depending on your perspective, it may help you better understand why you’ve been unhappy in your own marriage, or send you into apoplexy. You will probably find his final recommendations either extremely sensible or totally outrageous: views will be polarised.

5.0 stars out of 5

1 Oct 2009

By Mr H ‘ribble valley rover’ (Lancashire)

I have to agree with all the comments made by A. Heslop; I too am happily married and I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author challenged my views and perception of marriage. Through extensive research (and obviously years of experience) Mr Buchanan gives an interesting thesis on the institution of marriage which created many lively discussions between my wife and I. At times I had to agree with the author, however, I often found myself ‘hoping’ to disagree with his argument!

Reading The Marriage Delusion is a thought-provoking and often enlightening experience. Mr Buchanan’s wit gives the book a light touch besides the more serious topics discussed. I would recommend this book to anybody thinking of getting married, is happily (or not so happily) married, and to anybody who likes to challenge institutionalism in today’s society. A great read.

5.0 stars out of 5

At last – some realism about marriage

1 Oct 2009

By Mr Gary P Lewis

Mike Buchanan pulls no punches in this book. His central assertion – that most people are unsuited to marriage – at first seems astonishing, even if the high divorce rate across the developed world suggests he might be on to something important. The book goes a long way to explaining the misery of married couples I’ve known (a number of whom have divorced). I learnt a lot about marriage in this book. It had – to take just one example – never occurred to me that marriage originated in an era when people couldn’t expect to live many years after their offspring were independent. And yet today people are told it’s natural to have a rewarding (and even sexually exciting) relationship for 30-40 years after the kids have left home. It’s about as natural as flying.

I was particularly interested in the lengthy exploration of introversion and extraversion. It seems obvious that these personality types will impact on marital happiness, but I’d never come across the point before. The book explains how both personality types can be a problem in marriage.

The book contains some welcome humour to balance the serious messages. This includes a lengthy appendix of quotations about Love, Sex and Marriage. My personal favourite, from Shelley Winters: ‘In Hollywood, all the marriages are happy. It’s trying to live together afterwards that causes all the problems.’

5.0 stars of 5

A fresh view on an old institution

24 September 2009

By D Lomax

Mike Buchanan’s take on married life is undoubtedly coloured by his two divorces (so far), so he certainly speaks from experience, but by combining his own views with existing material and interviews with other interested parties, he has put together a fascinating insight into why he feels a large number of modern marriages are destined for failure.

Maybe failure is the wrong word because Mr Buchanan attempts to show us that actually we shouldn’t expect so much from the institution of marriage in the first place, while exploding a number of myths along the way. The book is well researched and it is sprinkled liberally with quotes and references to other works.

This would be great subject matter for a book club as the issues raised almost demand to be discussed further and every page has the ability to divide opinion. Mr Buchanan stokes all kinds of fires within the reader – religious, political, idealist – then stands back and lets the sparks fly. Depending on your status – male, female, married, single or divorced – this book will either have you nodding and smiling in agreement, or tearing the pages out, but you won’t put it down.

The Marriage Delusion is unashamedly written from a male perspective which is surprising as blokes aren’t good at buying, much less reading books on relationships, but maybe that’s part of the problem Mr Buchanan is trying to explore, and if you have an interest in how men and women ever manage to get along, you should certainly buy this to provide a bit of balance to your bookshelf.

It’s not for men only though. The style of the book is more akin to a technical thesis, and anyone studying relationships would be well advised to get hold of a copy. This book should also be compulsory reading for any couple contemplating that all too short walk down the aisle, although you’ll wonder why church aisles don’t have an escape lane after reading this. I can also recommend it as a great resource for a best man’s speech, particularly if you don’t like the bride.

The Marriage Delusion lacks the laugh-out-loud humour of some of Mr Buchanan’s other books, but that’s because he approaches this complex subject with detail and accuracy, making it easy to connect with his way of thinking, even if it is not in line with your own. It’s not without humour though and I couldn’t help noticing that Mr Buchanan seems to have an unhealthy fascination with Harriet Harman MP, delivering a number of very funny jibes and comments that pull Harman’s speeches and policy apart. (She was given the right to reply, but never bothered.) A picture comes to mind of Buchanan as a schoolboy, teasing Harman in the playground because secretly he quite likes her. Hang on, that’s the answer – Mike should ask Ms Harman to be the next Mrs Buchanan. Now there’s a book…

5.0 stars of 5

Compulsory reading

19 Sept 2009

By G. Williams

Informative, amusing, and invaluable. This book offers great insight into the long-term pitfalls of an age-old tradition that so many people seem to naively drift into. Its objectivity provides a real wake-up call for those struggling with an unhappy relationship and a warning to those who’ve not yet taken their vows. This should be a compulsory read for anyone considering marriage – it could save you thousands in divorce lawyers’ fees!


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