This book is about the apparent incompatibility of romantic love and conventional marriage. They go together (the popular song has it) like a horse and carriage. But if the horse is ailing or otherwise not up to the task, the carriage will slowly rot away in the carriage house.
It is also about the perverse fact that people bring to such relationships their expectations from the past as they remember them. Typically, they had hopes and dreams for their future together. When these are dashed, it occurs to them that they were better off before they got hitched.
It is also about the fact that when love befalls us, we lose our bearings. Love is blind, and all that. We drift into the conventional fairy tale about living happily ever after. Thats to be desired. But the fairy tale ends with that line. It never tells us what we need to do or be in order to live happily ever after. Under the spell of the fairy tale, which is basic fare in various forms in our culture, we set off happily enough. But how is it possible to maintain the delusion of the love state in the banality of the everyday life that inevitably ensues? Who told us that making a living or keeping a house in order is a far different world than a wedding? Who told us that babies rule the house, unless they are tended by someone else?
Copulate we apparently must. But that has consequences that are not a part of the fairy tale. So people end up on the other side of the mirror. The world is not about lovers, the realization creeps upon us. It is about 40,000 other things. And those have to be dealt with most often before anything else.
Thus the title, And They Lived Happily Ever Before. Imagination and reality are often two very different things. This book answers the question, What Does Love Have to Do with It? The answers may surprise you. But they will make love affairs that end in marriage far better than you might even imagine they could be.