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Marriage, you’ll probably agree, is a tricky thing.

It requires compromise, understanding, tactfulness, discipline, and the ability to see the absurd – all at the same time.  It’s no wonder anthropologists believe we’re only hard-wired to stick together for 7 years.

It’s said that fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. One of those was Trey Ellis’.  In the new book “Bedtime Stories” (c.2008, Modern Times / Rodale, $24.95 / $27.95 Canada, 294 pages) , he writes about the beginning of his courtship, the end of his marriage, and life as a single father.

After the love of his life dumped him, Trey Ellis was nursing a broken heart at a party when he met the new love of his life. Ellis was speechless when Anna walked into the room, and when he finally got a minute to be with her, he couldn’t believe someone so beautiful would talk to a guy like him.

He was even more amazed later, when Anna agreed to marry him.

But after the birth of the Ellis’ second child, Anna decided she didn’t want to be married any more. She started practicing “New Age-y” things and she changed her name to reflect her new personae.  Trey and Anna split; she to live with her guru, and he (and the kids, plus the housekeeper and the nanny) to a weirdly-decorated 70’s hippie-style house, the only one he could afford.

Despite the fact that he was surrounded by females – his daughter and housekeeper, the nanny, and his soon-to-be ex-wife, who kept stopping by – Ellis was lonely. He admits that he “went wild”, flying to Rio for companionship, falling in love with women in clubs and parties.  He was smitten with women who smiled at him, he moved relationships forward with lightning-speed, and he spent his mornings wondering why women at his daughter’s pre-school didn’t offer to set him up with their friends. He dated and mated but was never sated.

How can a man find love in Single-Fatherland?

One of two things is going to happen if you read “Bedtime Stories”.  If you’re a woman, particularly if you’re a mother, you’re going to laugh yourself silly at some of what author Trey Ellis does.  You’re going to wish you could reach in the book to help him, and you’re going to be glad to see him learning.

If you’re a man, particularly if you’re a dad, you’re going to see yourself in a lot of the pages of this book.  You’ve done many of those things, too.

Although there are several passages in this book that will make you shake your head (did he really do that??), Ellis will make you laugh.  There are times when his free-form writing gets a little confusing because he writes conversationally, which means he can tend to switch topics back and forth quickly but that just adds to the quirkiness and humor of his story.

If you know a single dad or mom who needs a pick-me-up this Mom’s Day/Dad’s Day season, this is a book to give.  Better yet, get yourself a copy and snuggle in.