5. One character in particular goes through some sort of strange, late mid-life crisis. He claims his cheating is entertaining a phase he didn't have in his youth. Is that kind of infidelity ever valid? Should he have treated it like a free pass because he's always played the right roles of a good father, husband, etc? Should anyone get a free pass?
I don't think there's such a thing as a free pass. It may feel like you have a free pass, but it doesn't last. It wasn't even a momentary indiscretion. I think that he lost control of himself and that kind of dishonesty has a short shelf life in a relationship. Of course, I feel very compassionate about (this character). I know a lot of people hate him and find him despicable, but I really feel sorry for him. I hope men read this book, don't you? Why I Cheated
6. Settling is another theme that emerges, and applies to one couple in specific. What are your thoughts on settling? Should the amount of love be balanced or unequal in a marriage?
I don't know if I'm qualified to advise people about that, but I think that anybody who goes into marriage for any other reason than the fact that they want to spend their life with that person is making a mistake.
7. Two historical events that have splashed the pages of your book are 9/11 and the Madoff Ponzi scheme. In regards to the latter, money has the ability to leave couples stranded. How important is it to have an open line of communication on how to spend, save and invest? And, how should couples prepare themselves so that they're not financially stranded if a divorce is down the road?
I think it's extremely important for couples to communicate about finances, and that was certainly one of the more problematic situations in all three of these marriages. I've heard a lot of this from women, the whole money thing … it's funny how little the women have anything to do with the money in many marriages in our modern times. I think that's a recipe for disaster … It comes down to honesty, when two people decide to spend their life together, they have to be on the same page and that hugely includes their finances.
It always amazes me when I hear women talk about their financial arrangements with their husbands. I had a friend once who I was with as she got money from an ATM and as we walked away, I asked her if she wanted to make a note of it (because I'm pretty anal about keeping track of everything in my checkbook). She turned to me and said, "Oh no, it's always been there and as far as I'm concerned, it will always be there." And, I was like, "Wow, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen." You'd be surprised how many people have those assumptions — that their husband's paycheck goes into their account and there's no accountability in terms of how the money is being spent. Certainly not in every marriage or every financial strata, but women like Adele and Sylvia (in the book) are probably not accountable to what they spend.
8. What do you want your readers to take away from your book?
I came across a stack of book reviews from the 1930s I had saved and carried around for many years. And, while looking over the reviews of books, one of the quotes I kept note of seeing was, "A swell read." I thought to myself, "That's what I want to write, a swell read." It really pleases me when people tell me after reading the book that they delved into the issues that were involved.