After I Do tells the story of Lauren and Ryan, a couple who have been together for 11 years and married for 6. They fell in love in college, got engaged and married, and even have a dog. However, as the years went by Lauren and Ryan drifted apart until one day, they realize their love has disappeared. In an effort to save their marriage, Lauren and Ryan agree to spend one year apart, no talking, no contact, and at the end of the year they will decide if they want to continue to stay married.
This book has all the feelings. I’m not married, but some parts in this book broke my heart. It was tough to read about a couple who used to be so in love and how they just drifted apart until there was no love left. I thought the story was real and the characters were human who made mistakes just like the rest of us.
Both Lauren and Ryan are flawed characters. Lauren was extremely ignorant and just continued on in her marriage, not trying to fix anything or figure anything out what was wrong. She just seemed to think it was okay that her marriage had come to a stand-still and seemed to take Ryan for granted. Ryan just wanted to please Lauren but the more ignorant she was, the angrier he became because he didn’t feel appreciated. Neither Lauren nor Ryan really talked to each other, even when they came to the decision that they weren’t in love anymore. There was a huge lack of communication between the two and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how a year of no contact was going to solve their problems.
The book is told from Lauren’s point of view so we only get what she is thinking and we don’t really know a lot about Ryan. I wanted to know more about what Ryan was thinking and what his side of the story was. This couple had some real problems and to only hear what one person was thinking and feeling left me wondering.
Throughout the year apart, Lauren does a lot of reflection. She learns a lot about herself and I adored the relationship she had with her siblings. It was as though Lauren found her spark again. Reflection and self-evolution stories are my weaknesses so I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel.
In the end, this book was an interesting look into married life and at compromises. Everything is resolved by the end of the book, although I thought the ending was a little cliché. Note that this novel is more of women’s fiction and doesn’t have a lot of romance in it.