Equality Review
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Wall Street analyst Tim Kellis finally fell in love at the age of 36. Unfortunately, the relationship disintegrated, which sent him on a quest to figure out why—as well as how he could ultimately experience a blissful relationship. He found some answers and proceeded to write Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage.

And why not? According to Kellis, today’s psychologists just don’t get it. They don’t address the reasons behind feelings and behavior, nor do relationship books written by “experts.” They aren’t logical. In the court case of the United States vs. Microsoft, the discussion always stayed logical. Accordingly, successful resolution of disagreements doesn’t come from arguing but from coming up with a common sense solution. You see, the key to a successful relationship is common sense. It’s that simple…at least to Kellis.

In this 400-plus-page small-print dissertation, readers learn history lessons about everything from Adam and Eve to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense to Hitler and even Matthew Perry. Kellis covers religion, prejudice, Freud, the evolution of today’s education, and Carl Jung (to whom he devotes over 100 pages). We also learn the tiresome details of Kellis’s own past, which isn’t much different, in essence, from anyone else’s. His point is that we must acknowledge the hurt, prejudices, and insecurities brought about in our childhood and then seek to understand them. Of course, he was able to do so—but she was not. After all, according to Kellis, the downfall of the relationship seems to be all her fault. In fact, he even shares the seven-page letter that he wrote to his fiancée, as well as numerous e-mails. But while his friends understood his position, she and their therapist did not.

Kellis explains that you must be happy with yourself before you can be happy in a relationship. You must acknowledge and understand your past hurts and learn to get over them. And both men and women should share in both the thinking and the feeling sides of the relationship. Though these points are nothing new, I’ll give him credit there. However, the Microsoft comparison—along with references to AT&T and GE—is a stretch. I also question his opinion that arguments aren’t natural in a relationship. Still, I enjoy hearing different points of view on these issues. The problem with the book, however, is that it’s so long and tedious that it took me months to get through it. No minute detail is omitted, no matter how irrelevant it is to the subject. And though he does conclude each section with a point, you’ll most likely lose track of the subject long before he gets around to tying it all in.

I don’t know where Kellis is now, relationship-wise. What I do know is that marriage is easy compared to getting through this book. Though writing this must have been theraputic for Kellis, it was cruel and arrogant to subject the rest of us to it. Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage is definitely a test in fortitude and patience. Unfortunately, while reading it, I found that I have neither.

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