The book will be available this February (www.emotionallyengaged.com for details), and I think it's a must-read for every single bride. "Most brides-to-be tell me that during their engagements, they fight more, have less sex, feel less close, and spend a lot of time evaluating and analyzing their relationship," Moir-Smith writes. In fact, she asked each of the 25 brides she interviewed for the book to complete this sentence:
Since your engagement, your relationship with your fiancé has:
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A. Flourished. We feel more connected and more deeply in love every day. Wedding planning has been a breeze, and this is one of the happiest times of our lives thus far.
B. Had its ups and downs. Being engaged has been more challenging than we expected and we're hitting some bumps in the road, but overall we're dealing with it pretty well.
C. Been really challenging. We're feeling less connected to each other, and there's much more tension between us. The state of our relationship concerns us both.
Get this: Only 20 percent chose A. Fifty percent chose B, and 30 percent chose C. I love this book so much I want to marry it.
Naturally, it's born of the author's own experience with being a bride, much like another book, this one about fighting and nothing else. In 52 Fights: A Newlywed's Confession, Jennifer Jeanne Patterson gives a week-by-week account of their spat-by-spat progress to their first anniversary.
"Oh, we fought all the time when we were engaged," Patterson told me when I called her up to talk about her book. "For us, the engagement period was the very first time we had to work toward a goal together. Before that, you're basically just living your lives in parallel. And all of a sudden you have to bend."
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The wedding wasn't the end of it for Patterson and her husband. The fighting really started freaking her out about three months into her marriage, and she responded by writing about it: "I first started to write the column when we were right in the heat of it and I wasn't sure our marriage was going to make it," she said. "I knew we were going to hang in there, but what kind of a marriage is that just to hang in there? I didn’t want to float around for ten years being unhappy."