Guest Post + Giveaway: Marc Brackett on Taking the Long View

Please join me in welcoming Marc Brackett on the blog today! It's been great fun looking through his new book Keeping Score -- while I have yet to read it, the synopsis tells me that while it deals with rather serious subject matter, there's certainly no reason to be so uptight about it! Let's find out how he came to write his book ... and you may be just as moved as I was when I realized how personal it is. 

He has also generously offered two paper copies of Keeping Score to my readers, open international (giveaway is at the end).

On to you, Marc!

Taking the Long View
Keeping Score by Marc Brackett
"You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others... In this world so filled with problems, so constantly threatened by dark and evil challenges, you can and must rise above mediocrity, above indifference. You can be involved and speak with a strong voice for that which is right."
- Gordon B. Hinckley
Why did I write this book? That's a question I get asked all the time and one that I ask myself almost every day. Keeping Score was written for very selfish reasons, no big dreams or plans to change mankind. Rather, the focus was small and self-centered. How best could I stay married, get my kids off to a good start, and make the most of my life? To understand my motivations, read below.

Why I started writing this book
  • I really like my wife "Kristin." However, being married to her isn't always easy or enjoyable. Although she will never admit to them, she does have a few flaws. But despite her shortcomings I still would like to stay married to her! The truth is, she might be less attracted to me, as my shortcomings are more numerous and repeatedly on display. So this book was the start of an attempt to improve my odds of staying married.
  • I really like my kids. Both my wife and I grew up with divorced parents, we know what it's like. I not only like my kids enough to prefer that they never have the two household experience, but would like to provide a positive example of what a relationship can and should be. Of all the advantages in life you can get, having your parents happily married is one of the biggest.

As it is quite clear in my reasons above, this book was researched and written from the most selfish and narrow set of purposes- keeping me happy. In my pursuit of happiness came the principles of Keeping Score, but as the book developed, I believed it would benefit others as well. Consider this relationship capitalism, in that doing what is best for you will also benefit the greater society. While not to suggest that Keeping Score is the same call to action in relationships that The Wealth of Nations was to economics, but enlightened self interest has practical applications in all fields.

Why I finished writing this book

I really like my kids' friends. I've seen far too many of my kids' friends having to deal with the consequences of divorce and bad relationships. While this story is nothing new, the scale is something new. The kids born today are no different than ones born a hundred years ago, but the world they live in is. With divorce rates and broken extended families, most of these kids never had a chance from the start.

People always speak with reverence for the "Greatest Generation," the generation that survived the Great Depression and then stormed the beaches from France to Iwo Jima, and, yes, they were a generation to be proud of. But with that, some argue this nation is no longer producing the same quality of people as those who were part of the "Greatest Generation." I would argue that we are producing just as good of people, we are just expecting far too much of them at far too young of an age. The Greatest Generation by and large faced their time of trial with an intact family and some additional maturity. The kids today face their own trials and tribulations at a much earlier age in the form of unstable homes and fragmented families. Warring families definite leave their mark. How is this upcoming generation supposed to tackle what lies before them when they are unequipped and unprepared?

The financial and human cost of our current system is too high. As societies around the world argue over cutting spending or raising taxes to balance budgets, a debate over how we can make more relationships work would be far more useful. As a city, as a county, as a state, as a nation, as a world- we cannot afford the current level of single parent households. While it's a mathematical certainty that the monetary costs associated with single parent households are not sustainable, the human cost is far greater. Children from single parent households lead the crowd in terms of drug addicts, high school dropouts, prison inmates, and suicides.

No doubt there are some serious problems facing our society and culture today. Some so serious in fact, that many either give up in despair or choose ignorance. However, like all such seemingly impossible situations, the solution is deceptively simple and overlooked. It starts with not continuing to create broken people who in turn are more apt to create even more broken people. I think it's a fair statement to say that many people today don't even realize they are broken, it's become the new normal.
So what's the solution, a new anti-poverty program or trying to get people to return to a moral code? If only it were that simple, however the solution starts with you and is very much in your own self interest. Pick the best partner you can find, make your relationship the best it can be, and take the long view. It's going to take a much smaller and bigger vision to change society than what we are currently doing. It starts with you focusing on your relationship (small) and taking a long term view (big). The success or failure of your relationship will not go unnoticed or without consequences.

For better or worse the choices you make in your relationship will be heard through the generations to come. The world we live in is the world others who came before us created through their actions or inaction. We have the same set of choices to make and will pass on a nation and world that bears our stamp of stewardship. The most beautiful thing about all of this is that each and everyone of us has a role to play in how this story will be written. Do you have the vision and fortitude to make the difference it's going to take?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” 
- Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

About Marc Brackett: Marc Brackett is a beautiful soul. Not only is he strikingly handsome and rugged, but he is also suave. His numerous skills and talents are legendary, with capabilities beyond description. When not busy restoring the ecological balance to his private tropical island paradise, Marc can be found teaching orphaned baby dolphins how to trust and swim again.

Alright, alright, the truth is Marc Brackett is just an average guy (says his wife) who loves his wife and children more than anything else. Seventeen years ago Marc Brackett made the most important decision of his life: he got married. Ever since, he has been working really hard to stay married and, with five daughters, he now worries about their relationships as well. This book was written to improve his own marriage and to guide his daughters to a successful marriage.

The book and blog are for anyone (young, old, single, or married) who wants to improve their relationship and increase the odds of its success.

The Brackett Family

Synopsis of Keeping Score by Marc Brackett: It's a relationship book even a man can understand. Keeping Score provides a relationship evaluation quiz followed by a common sense guide for relationship improvement, all with a humorous twist. You can determine if your relationship has the qualities it takes for a successful marriage and lasting love affair. If you're single, read this book to see how well your potential life partner measures up. If you're married, read this book to reduce conflict and increase your happiness. Take control and shape your union into a relationship that will stand the trials of life and go the distance.

Find out more here:

GIVEAWAY: 2 paperbacks of Keeping Score by Marc Brackett, Ends 10/21/2012 EST
(If you're having problems with the Rafflecopter, leave a comment about this post. Extra entries for following Guiltless Reading and/or Marc Brackett/Keeping Score on Facebook & Twitter, tweeting or sharing the post on Facebook)


  1. He sounds like a really cool dude. Great post!
    (not an entry)

    1. yup! our email exchanges sound like the book :)

  2. Thank you so much for a fantastic book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading and reviewing! It was an interesting interview, in which one is able to understand the reasoning behind why the author wrote this book and her views on particular subjects. Any female will be drawn to this book, equally i think as too will those new in a relationship. Thank you once again for this chance. x

    *commented as 'Miss. Lucinda Fountain' on Mark Brackett's blog.*

    1. always a pleasure hosting interesting books and authors! thanks for joining and good luck!

  3. It is interesting to know about Marc's motivation to write this book. I like the way he tells that I like my wife and my kids. I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Men who can say they love their wife and kids while saying in the same breath that it's not easy = realistically sweet :)

  4. I love the reason on why he started writing this book. As everyone knows marriage is not always the easiest relationship

    1. i love how he says "being married to her isn't always easy or enjoyable" - so true!

  5. I am not married, but engaged to be and am extremely interested in reading your book. Thank you for posting the giveaway as well as your inspiration for your book It is awesome to get to see where the heart of the story comes from!:P

    1. this book is for everyone - single, married, engaged! good luck sunni! thanks for coming by!

  6. the fact that he admitted the "selfish" reason of improving his odds of staying married as being a reason for writing the book is really interesting. Also that he drew from his own life/family but also his kids' friends. Fun Giveaway!

    1. often focusing on oneself is the start of something bigger ... and this is wonderful example! have a great week, aspen!

  7. hi Aloi! it isn't often that one comes across a book on relationships written by a male author. it would be interesting to read his perspective. thanks for sharing and have a great weekend! :)

  8. I thought it was funny and interesting why he wrote the book :)


© guiltless readingMaira Gall