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If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together

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Hard-hitting divorce lawyer James Sexton shares his insights and wisdom from the front lines of divorce to keep you out of his office and improve your relationship. If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late. James Sexton knows this. After dealing with more than a thousand clients whose marriages have dissolved over everything from an ill-advised threesome with the nanny Hard-hitting divorce lawyer James Sexton shares his insights and wisdom from the front lines of divorce to keep you out of his office and improve your relationship. If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late. James Sexton knows this. After dealing with more than a thousand clients whose marriages have dissolved over everything from an ill-advised threesome with the nanny to the uneven division of carpool duties, he also knows all of the what-not-to-dos for couples who want to build--and consistently work to preserve--a lasting, fulfilling relationship. Described by former clients as a "courtroom gunslinger" and "the sociopath you want on your side," Sexton tells the unvarnished truth about relationships, diving straight into the most common marital problems. These usually derive from dishonest--or nonexistent--communication. Even when the alleged reason for separation is one spouse's new "personal trainer," there's likely a communication problem that predates the fitness kick. Symptom and root cause get confused all the time. Sexton has spent his career working with spouses-to-be-no-longer. Reverse engineering a relationship can help to identify and fix what does not work. Ever feel like you're holding back criticism of your spouse because you just can't have that fight right now? Sexton will tell you to "Hit Send Now." Maybe you aren't as adventurous as you used to be, or need some "you time," but for some reason it seems weird or exhausting to change up the routine now. Sexton knows where that mentality leads and offers viable alternative paths to take. Though he deals constantly with the heartbreak of others, he still believes in romance and the transformative power of love. This book is his opportunity to use what he has learned to help couples that aren't so far gone get back on track.


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Hard-hitting divorce lawyer James Sexton shares his insights and wisdom from the front lines of divorce to keep you out of his office and improve your relationship. If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late. James Sexton knows this. After dealing with more than a thousand clients whose marriages have dissolved over everything from an ill-advised threesome with the nanny Hard-hitting divorce lawyer James Sexton shares his insights and wisdom from the front lines of divorce to keep you out of his office and improve your relationship. If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late. James Sexton knows this. After dealing with more than a thousand clients whose marriages have dissolved over everything from an ill-advised threesome with the nanny to the uneven division of carpool duties, he also knows all of the what-not-to-dos for couples who want to build--and consistently work to preserve--a lasting, fulfilling relationship. Described by former clients as a "courtroom gunslinger" and "the sociopath you want on your side," Sexton tells the unvarnished truth about relationships, diving straight into the most common marital problems. These usually derive from dishonest--or nonexistent--communication. Even when the alleged reason for separation is one spouse's new "personal trainer," there's likely a communication problem that predates the fitness kick. Symptom and root cause get confused all the time. Sexton has spent his career working with spouses-to-be-no-longer. Reverse engineering a relationship can help to identify and fix what does not work. Ever feel like you're holding back criticism of your spouse because you just can't have that fight right now? Sexton will tell you to "Hit Send Now." Maybe you aren't as adventurous as you used to be, or need some "you time," but for some reason it seems weird or exhausting to change up the routine now. Sexton knows where that mentality leads and offers viable alternative paths to take. Though he deals constantly with the heartbreak of others, he still believes in romance and the transformative power of love. This book is his opportunity to use what he has learned to help couples that aren't so far gone get back on track.

30 review for If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    Well, this was a terrifying read. I can see why the author says he doesn't get invited to cocktail parties. (He does, however, point out that he still gets invited to weddings. So there's that.) James Sexton has litigated over twelve hundred divorces in his career. He's seen the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats. The acrimonious and amicable. He's represented the ones blind-sided by the divorce papers, he's represented an actual pimp in a custody hearing. He's been described as a ruthless sociopa Well, this was a terrifying read. I can see why the author says he doesn't get invited to cocktail parties. (He does, however, point out that he still gets invited to weddings. So there's that.) James Sexton has litigated over twelve hundred divorces in his career. He's seen the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats. The acrimonious and amicable. He's represented the ones blind-sided by the divorce papers, he's represented an actual pimp in a custody hearing. He's been described as a ruthless sociopath, and I might believe that on some level. He also may be a bit of a romantic. In this book, Sexton addresses various recurring themes he has noticed over the years in the hopes that couples might learn from the mistakes of others. In sum: a marital advice book written in reverse. You're not going to come out of this book with newfound respect for lawyers. Sexton may certainly be a sociopath, as a past client has described him. But that may be part and parcel of being an attorney what with the rules about providing fair representation. Even so, Sexton possesses a modicum of charm, like all the best sociopaths. His writing is casual--lots of f-bombs, for those who care about that sort of thing--and his stories are engaging. It's a good read, full of humor, charm, and a great deal of blunt talk about the real challenges of maintaining a good enough marriage. The book does not traffic in unexpected advice. I suspect very little of it would surprise any reader. (Except for the chapter "Hit Send Now" when he recommends that you let your spouse know what's troubling you right away, before it has a chance to fester. I feel comfortable saying that would be a disaster in my marriage. I already pick at every little thing, and I don't give voice to even half the things that I want to.) What's useful about it is how Sexton frames marriage. He is a romantic who eschews rose-colored glasses. ...marriage is not an end. It is a means to an end. It's about getting you to the destination; the destination is connection and companionship, comfort and trust. Getting you to the destination is an ongoing process that requires alertness, energy, and consistency. In discussing the marital bed, Sexton points out the obvious: marriage is an exclusive contract for sex with a specific partner. This will not go well if you aren't honest with your partner about what you need and what you're willing to do. If your/your partner's needs aren't met, then someone will have to choose between going without or going outside the marriage. The simplicity of that realization belies the difficulty of execution. As I worked my way through the book, I found myself really wishing that I could talk to my husband about it, that we were reading it together. Some of the traps Sexton points out are ones that are a regular feature of our marriage, and I wanted his perspective. For example, Sexton suggests that couples discuss what divorce would look like, just as they ought to discuss end of life matters. That sounds maybe more mature than I could manage, but the idea is interesting. I have quite a few thoughts on this book, but most of them are ones that I'd prefer to share with my spouse. For everyone else, I recommend this book, ideally as a couple read if you're one of those couples who likes to talk. (No judgment. Not all couples talk over every little thing.) I'm rushing this review a bit because there's a Goodreads giveaway on this book that closes March 6th. The book itself comes out on April 10. I was given a complimentary copy of this review via NetGalley in order to facilitate this review. This review also appears at Cannonballread.com.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carin

    Come for the entertaining stories about divorcing partners, stay for the simple, practical advice for staying together and working things out. James is a divorce lawyer in New York City. He's one of the rare divorce lawyers who wanted to go into that field from day one (most wannabee lawyers are more idealistic and change their minds partway through or after law school.) He doesn't relish destroying relationships but they're already destroyed before they get to him. And he himself is divorced. At Come for the entertaining stories about divorcing partners, stay for the simple, practical advice for staying together and working things out. James is a divorce lawyer in New York City. He's one of the rare divorce lawyers who wanted to go into that field from day one (most wannabee lawyers are more idealistic and change their minds partway through or after law school.) He doesn't relish destroying relationships but they're already destroyed before they get to him. And he himself is divorced. At some point it occurred to him that his knowledge of what doesn't work, could be helpful to others. Kind of along the lines of "if you can't be a good example, at least be a horrible warning." Some of the stories are fascinating in a car-wreck kind of way. Some were a little sad, and a couple were even inspiring (one couple found out while in their lawyers' offices that their child was injured and they immediately put all animosity aside to work together on that problem as a team.) The most practical advice he gives I don't think will work for everyone--which is that when something bothers you, send a brief email about it to your partner right away. Don't let it fester, don't let it grow. He doesn't address the volume of these or choosing your battles, so I can foresee some issues with that particular advice, but I'm sure it would work for some people. I think this book would be best for people thinking of getting married, or even in the first few years, as being forewarned is forearmed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This is a how-not-to book, not a how-to. I liked his frank tone, common sense reminders, and juicy stories of bad behavior ;)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    This is an entertaining self-help book that mixes anecdotes from the author’s experiences as a divorce lawyer with marriage advice he draws from those experiences. Awhile back I read some entertaining medical memoirs and wished the same was available from the legal profession, which it generally isn’t; books by lawyers about their work tend to be grim or outraged or both. Sexton is neither, and his anecdotes are entertaining and sometimes even funny, though relatively brief. (And the outrage mig This is an entertaining self-help book that mixes anecdotes from the author’s experiences as a divorce lawyer with marriage advice he draws from those experiences. Awhile back I read some entertaining medical memoirs and wished the same was available from the legal profession, which it generally isn’t; books by lawyers about their work tend to be grim or outraged or both. Sexton is neither, and his anecdotes are entertaining and sometimes even funny, though relatively brief. (And the outrage might sometimes be on the reader’s end, like when Sexton insists that because he was once hired by a drug-dealing, abusive pimp for a child support case, he was somehow ethically compelled to represent the guy in every case he ever had thereafter, including to get custody of his young daughter. Yeah, right.) Whether because Sexton isn’t a journalist or because the anecdotes are here to illustrate the advice, they don’t have a lot of depth to them, but there is a lot of humorously-recounted drama, so there’s that. As far as the relationship advice, it ranges from the thought-provoking to the somewhat questionable, as in probably any self-help book, with much of it being fairly banal. That said, people have been writing about relationships for hundreds of years if not longer, so perhaps it’s not fair to expect this author to have a lot of strikingly new insights. Writing about how to sustain a marriage based on a lot of stories of failed marriages at times leads the author into pessimism (he’s unconvinced marriage counseling helps anyone, a phenomenon perhaps explained by the title of his book) and speculation. For instance, many of his clients, and the author himself, have found that having their children for limited, set times makes them focus more on the kids while they’re together rather than taking them for granted as they did before, so he suggests intact couples also try taking turns “having the kids,” without any evidence from anyone who’s ever actually tried this. Still an interesting idea though. And in general, Sexton seems to take a pretty realistic and grounded view of relationships, without descending into sweeping gender stereotypes as a lot of authors on the subject seem to do. So, not particularly earth-shattering, but interesting nonetheless. Worth a read if you’re in the market for this sort of thing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    This book is hilarious and really insightful. It's honest and realistic marriage advice from a divorce lawyer. I mean, I don't think it will help you achieve a wonderful marriage, but it will make you re-think a lot of things. Such as, being on facebook (huge agent in divorce), not having a life after marriage, and even treating childcare in marriage like you would if you were divorced--I think this is actually an excellent idea as I've seen many of my divorced friends become better, more presen This book is hilarious and really insightful. It's honest and realistic marriage advice from a divorce lawyer. I mean, I don't think it will help you achieve a wonderful marriage, but it will make you re-think a lot of things. Such as, being on facebook (huge agent in divorce), not having a life after marriage, and even treating childcare in marriage like you would if you were divorced--I think this is actually an excellent idea as I've seen many of my divorced friends become better, more present parents after their divorce. This is a fun and useful read. I loved the courtroom stories as well

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    I had to warn my husband that this book was coming to the house. Divorce books make him nervous. Recently a New York Times writer got a divorce and did a roundup review of all the latest divorce books. I couldn't resist a book that describes a divorce as a knife fight in a closet with the lights out and your spouse and your kids and all your favorite possessions inside. There's some practical and wise advice here, but I was more interested in the salacious gossip about clients (with names and iden I had to warn my husband that this book was coming to the house. Divorce books make him nervous. Recently a New York Times writer got a divorce and did a roundup review of all the latest divorce books. I couldn't resist a book that describes a divorce as a knife fight in a closet with the lights out and your spouse and your kids and all your favorite possessions inside. There's some practical and wise advice here, but I was more interested in the salacious gossip about clients (with names and identifying details changed, of course). Chapter 8 is called "Everyone's Fμcking the Nanny."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Okay, so I was a little embarrassed at first to admit that I was reading a relationship self-help book. But hey, research, right? The biggest commitment of my life so far is way too important to me to go in unprepared. I was just intrigued, at first: approaching marriage success from the perspective of divorce is undeniably an unusual angle. Then I started reading the first page and got hooked, something that almost never happens to me. Sexton is an excellent storyteller, as I would guess most go Okay, so I was a little embarrassed at first to admit that I was reading a relationship self-help book. But hey, research, right? The biggest commitment of my life so far is way too important to me to go in unprepared. I was just intrigued, at first: approaching marriage success from the perspective of divorce is undeniably an unusual angle. Then I started reading the first page and got hooked, something that almost never happens to me. Sexton is an excellent storyteller, as I would guess most good lawyers are. (Sexton does point out that a good case builds a good story.) He's also funny, exceptionally self-aware, upbeat rather than cynical (which frankly amazes me), and not too self-aggrandizing (except when he's poking fun at himself). Some of the advice may not be revolutionary, but there's something about seeing failure in action in real situations that is far more effective than the obviously-made-up examples that I expect are in other self-help books. And there's a bit of relief in knowing that in the worst situations described, the couples do end up separated, which leaves some room for hope. Much of Sexton's advice is simple and direct, things that you can easily do and discuss with your partner(s) without being obviously about Relationship Maintenance. All of his suggestions are wrapped up in examples that will amuse and interest anyone interested in marriage law--possibly even the Law and Order crowd--and anyone who likes reading about real relationships. The stories are gobble-it-up-like-popcorn gossip, but they're educational. (Maybe a better comparison is kale chips, if you like that kind of thing.) Even if you don't feel like you need relationship advice, this is a breezy and amusing book that will make you think. And, as a divorced man himself, Sexton also offers valuable advice about managing finances and coparenting that would probably make any other relationship self-help author's jaw drop in horror--but which have led me and my spouse-to-be to have some interesting and important conversations. So, on to complaints, of which there are just three. (I'm trying to do better!) Sexton acknowledges in a note at the beginning that he's made all the couples heterosexual so that he can keep the pronouns straight and clear. I'm going to call BS on that, since he's almost certainly managed just fine when dealing with same sex couples, and anyway a good editor should be able to help spot any confusion. On the upside, here's an example of Sexton's self-awareness: "I am aware, however, that at this point these terms are heteronormative, perhaps inaccurate, frequently undesirable." Props on acknowledging it. Thumbs down for copping out. Second, the advice does start to thin out a bit in the second half of the book in favor of Sexton's stories--but those alone are so entertaining and informative, and there are still enough chapters of straight-up advice scattered around that I didn't really notice this until I was taking a second look at the table of contents after I'd finished reading. Finally, I'm not sure about the title, which seems a little too defeatist compared to the general upbeat tone of the book. No quote roundup this time, because I worry that my quotes are going to give away the advice! Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own and do not represent those of my employer. Further disclaimer: I know I said I enjoyed this book, but then I only gave it three stars. I'd probably give it four, but I'm so sick of GoodReads adjusting all its algorithms for me when I read and highly rate even ONE book that isn't my usual fare. Argh!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Fantastic. Everyone interested in keeping their relationship together should read this book. Well written, entertaining and smart. And witty as hell.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    4.5 stars. Being a pragmatic person (for the most part) I found this book insightful and helpful, especially if you are invested in your relationship and as James poses make it thrive: "... marriage is a living thing, an organism. It survives when we repeat roughly the same conditions from day to day, but it thrives when it is truly nourished. There’s a difference between waking up every day and not doing anything different (It’s Tuesday, we’ll just continue the marriage … It’s November, we’ll j 4.5 stars. Being a pragmatic person (for the most part) I found this book insightful and helpful, especially if you are invested in your relationship and as James poses make it thrive: "... marriage is a living thing, an organism. It survives when we repeat roughly the same conditions from day to day, but it thrives when it is truly nourished. There’s a difference between waking up every day and not doing anything different (It’s Tuesday, we’ll just continue the marriage … It’s November, we’ll just continue the marriage.…) vs. waking up every day, embracing what you have, and enthusiastically making a choice to continue it." And is also entertaining and hilarious with all the sarcastic comments and funny anecdotes. Overall I enjoyed the read in a very reflective and entertaining way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Denise E.

    Now THIS is entertainment. Not currently a divorced person (or even a law aficianado), I very much enjoyed this book. Imagine Saul Goodman's voice from Better Call Saul - sneery, jaded, world weary, grandstanding, but with a good purpose. So in this book Sexton's purpose subtly enumerating the principles that make marriages work. The book has 40ish chapters in number each with an idea behind them. Each principle has a number of HOPEFULLY fictional counter examples. There is also a good amount on Now THIS is entertainment. Not currently a divorced person (or even a law aficianado), I very much enjoyed this book. Imagine Saul Goodman's voice from Better Call Saul - sneery, jaded, world weary, grandstanding, but with a good purpose. So in this book Sexton's purpose subtly enumerating the principles that make marriages work. The book has 40ish chapters in number each with an idea behind them. Each principle has a number of HOPEFULLY fictional counter examples. There is also a good amount on the culture and mindset of divorce lawyers, which was informative. I did like the scandalous parts as well - as Sexton advises readers they will -, but it is ultimately a very moral book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deepa Nirmal

    As someone who has been happily married for 20 years, I think I’m well qualified to review this book. James Sexton tells it like it is, from his very unique experience of having supervised the dissolution of over a thousand marriages. I would give this book as a gift to every newlywed. In fact I’d give it to single friends looking for a relationship. From communication, manipulation and sex to Facebook, extended family and denial (not a river in Egypt), Sexton gives great advice and shares some g As someone who has been happily married for 20 years, I think I’m well qualified to review this book. James Sexton tells it like it is, from his very unique experience of having supervised the dissolution of over a thousand marriages. I would give this book as a gift to every newlywed. In fact I’d give it to single friends looking for a relationship. From communication, manipulation and sex to Facebook, extended family and denial (not a river in Egypt), Sexton gives great advice and shares some great stories. Some will break your heart. He admits that his job description involves doing some pretty despicable things. He’s himself divorced. No doubt his profession is as soul-crushing as it is bank balance enhancing. But his advice and observations are spot-on, delivered in no-nonsense adult language. I don’t usually read these types of books. I heard his interview on NPR and was intrigued. Having read the book, I recommended it highly.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jill Vogel Kinison

    this book is a must read for anyone considering marriage, about to get married or even already married. the cases he shares offer brevity and a reality check to where you might be in your relationship. many chapters offer stories and anecdotes involving Parenthood. I myself am not a parent but I loved reading through it anyway to gather perspective as an aunt and friend to those parents in my life. I loved this book and first heard of the author on a podcast. if I ever get divorced, which I pray this book is a must read for anyone considering marriage, about to get married or even already married. the cases he shares offer brevity and a reality check to where you might be in your relationship. many chapters offer stories and anecdotes involving Parenthood. I myself am not a parent but I loved reading through it anyway to gather perspective as an aunt and friend to those parents in my life. I loved this book and first heard of the author on a podcast. if I ever get divorced, which I pray never happens, I'm hiring this guy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I liked that this book had a very different perspective than most marriage advice books. The stories were funny and there was some interesting advice.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Long

    While I don't necessarily agree with everything the author says, this is still a great book. While I don't necessarily agree with everything the author says, this is still a great book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Naeemah Huggins

    Finally someone who speaks my language. "The romance in the movie the Titanic is bullshit. I feel the same way about Romeo and Juliet and other such tragic love stories. At least one of the parties dies before they get to see and live for a while with the yet unexpressed more annoying parts of their partner, which is when real love kicks in, or doesn't." "Marriage isn't hard work, as long as you don't consider paying attention hard work" I'm forever interested in the psychology of relationship an Finally someone who speaks my language. "The romance in the movie the Titanic is bullshit. I feel the same way about Romeo and Juliet and other such tragic love stories. At least one of the parties dies before they get to see and live for a while with the yet unexpressed more annoying parts of their partner, which is when real love kicks in, or doesn't." "Marriage isn't hard work, as long as you don't consider paying attention hard work" I'm forever interested in the psychology of relationship and the mechanics of how they work. This book was insightful and funny as hell! Everyone loves a good divorce story and this book has some doozies. Interspersed among the stories, James explores the real deal no-no's that caused the breakdown. It was revelatory and very enjoyable. My favorite story 'the breakfast case' reminds us that our mates cannot read our minds, we need to state our intentions clearly and often, just hit send. "Too many of us want love a la carte, we want the good parts the marriage, of commitment but not the tougher ones, the nuts and bolts. Love is a verb, its about rolling your sleeves up and giving the effort but this culture is premised on doing what you want. 'Why should I have to do that?' Well technically, you don't have to. But then, technically, you probably don't get to enjoy the really deep enriching stuff that comes only with marriages or loving relationships of long standing.... To love, to really love, is to love the whole person. If you don't love the mundane or generic or less obviously lovable side, even the sometimes hateful side, then you don't love him or her. You love a person who doesn't exist." I read lots of self-help and relationship books but I've never read a what not to do guide this in-depth. This should be helpful to everyone in relationships. And it sure is hilariously entertaining.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrienne

    I feel jaded about relationship books, but this one is oh so refreshing. It cracked me up, and not the slapstick sort at that. The author truly knows his stuff. I’ve worked with lawyers so I know where they are coming from, but it’s easy to see the author in a positive light when he writes about what he does. He doles some pretty good advice with plenty, oh so plenty of anecdotes that are just straight up messed up but horrifyingly true. I particularly laughed a little too hard about the annulme I feel jaded about relationship books, but this one is oh so refreshing. It cracked me up, and not the slapstick sort at that. The author truly knows his stuff. I’ve worked with lawyers so I know where they are coming from, but it’s easy to see the author in a positive light when he writes about what he does. He doles some pretty good advice with plenty, oh so plenty of anecdotes that are just straight up messed up but horrifyingly true. I particularly laughed a little too hard about the annulment. I’m so sorry that these couples had to get a divorce, but there is hope in the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashlie

    A couple interesting points and potentially useful relationship building techniques. A bit depressing view into marriage itself in america though, albeit honest. I need a romance novel chaser now lol. Would recommend to anyone considering divorce though for sure, for the perspective alone. And I definitely do think I am slightly more prepared for marriage, if/when. I enjoyed the unique honest perspective mainly.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna John-Witherspoon

    This book is more of a what not to do. The author is divorced himself and has a very “divorce is usually the answer” approach to relationships. But this book is very entertaining and the stories of his various clients are a fun addition. I don’t personally see this book as a self help book but more of a “these are the various causes of divorce I come across, try to avoid this”.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I thought this book had a lot of interesting insight on why marriages fail. I read this as a blissfully happy divorced individual, but I think this could be even more beneficial to read while actually married. It also talks about how to protect yourself while married in case it ever ends by understanding the finances, kids activities, etc. so you are not blindsided in case the marriage does end.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cara Bristol

    Eye-opening advice on what NOT to do if you're married, and by extrapolation, what you CAN do to better the odds of having a successful marriage. This ought to be required reading for every couple thinking of getting married. I'll also add that this book entertaining and funny. Eye-opening advice on what NOT to do if you're married, and by extrapolation, what you CAN do to better the odds of having a successful marriage. This ought to be required reading for every couple thinking of getting married. I'll also add that this book entertaining and funny.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dina Rodriguez

    A book written by a divorce lawyer that gives great common sense advice on how-not-to get to a divorce. Entertaining true divorce stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Megan Hall

    Great book! This book is full of great suggestions and recommendations. It is full of hilarious stories that pertain to the advice he is giving. Would highly recommend reading.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Valentina Palladino

    I was compelled to pick up this book after watching Sexton on an episode of the TFD podcast and I was not disappointed. A seasoned divorce lawyer, Sexton uses IYIMOIATL to explain the things he’s learned over the years about what makes a bad marriage and what ultimately causes marriages to fail.⁣ ⁣ While I can’t say I was surprised at what Sexton pinpoints as the most common marital problems, I did find most of his advice about how to address those things illuminating. There’s a lot of practical a I was compelled to pick up this book after watching Sexton on an episode of the TFD podcast and I was not disappointed. A seasoned divorce lawyer, Sexton uses IYIMOIATL to explain the things he’s learned over the years about what makes a bad marriage and what ultimately causes marriages to fail.⁣ ⁣ While I can’t say I was surprised at what Sexton pinpoints as the most common marital problems, I did find most of his advice about how to address those things illuminating. There’s a lot of practical advice in this book that married or soon-to-be married couples could use. A lot of it revolves around either discussing things that are normally not talked about before/during marriage or things that are simply hard to discuss at any point. As Sexton says, one of the main reasons relationships fall apart is because often we don’t know what we want, or we don’t know how to express what we want.⁣ ⁣ IMO this is a book everyone should read if they are seriously considering marriage—regardless of if you’re in a relationship or not. Are you engaged to be married? Read this book. Are you single and know you want to be married at some point? Read this book.⁣ ⁣ I also appreciated the insider look into divorce from the legal side of things. Sexton provides a lot of anecdotes from his past divorce trials that are often just as funny as they are heartbreaking. He gives you his perspective, as a lawyer in the middle of the proceedings, and explains how he can spin any part of someone’s life into a liability when he’s up against them in a trial. It’s fascinating and honestly, if you didn’t want to get divorced before (why would you?) you definitely won’t want to after learning how divorce lawyers operate.⁣

  24. 4 out of 5

    Blake

    Sexton describes himself in the book as a "Buddhist, nihilist, divorced, divorce lawyer." While this may not sound like a good recipe for relationship advice, he avidly repeats that this "Is not a 'How To' book, it is a 'How Not To' book", yet there are genuinely meaningful nuggets of wisdom in this book. After legally representing clients in over 1200 divorces, he has compiled all the most common reasons he has seen relationships fail, and points out where the need for his services could have b Sexton describes himself in the book as a "Buddhist, nihilist, divorced, divorce lawyer." While this may not sound like a good recipe for relationship advice, he avidly repeats that this "Is not a 'How To' book, it is a 'How Not To' book", yet there are genuinely meaningful nuggets of wisdom in this book. After legally representing clients in over 1200 divorces, he has compiled all the most common reasons he has seen relationships fail, and points out where the need for his services could have been prevented. The book is an engaging read, not only because it's well written. He balances a personality that is both hopeless romantic, and sociopathic. This contrast manifests in hilarious anecdotes with deep lessons, and shameless, brutal honesty about what leads previously love-struck couples to sit in his office years later, paying him copious amounts of money to destroy their marriage in court.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    I liked some of the advice. Some was obvious or felt cliche. The book is fine and fun but could use some inclusion of lifestyles and identities that aren’t heteronormative. Strong independent women. Men who stay home. Queer. Gender fluid etc.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Powell Omondi

    Entertaining and hilarious nuggets from a divorce lawyer. This was quite informative seeing the experience from a different perspective. I liked the way the ideas had backing evidence for each scenario as well as real life experience on some of the principles that are often mentioned. Quite an enjoyable read

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jess Dollar

    This is my new favorite marriage book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ella Rose Budd

    Excellent read! His points were driven home by compelling story telling and humor.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mo Shah

    Amusing, in the way schadenfraude is amusing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christine Law

    I heard this author interviewed on NPR and was so intrigued that I bought the book. It is not written from a Christian perspective and is filled with rough language but the book makes some great points and asks some questions that I have never considered. For instance, the author calls marriage a tool and ask what is the problem you are trying to solve with this tool. The answer to that question reveals what you most value in your marriage and thus what you should care for and cultivate

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