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on May 28, 2004
As an Author, Coach, and Motivational Speaker I read a lot of books about people, their motivations, and their relationships. Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts is an honest, straight forward, and personal journey to a healthy marriage. It's an excellent relationship book and I give it an A+.
The Parrott's share their personal relationship journey with all the challenges, confusion, and celebration that a relationship can bring. They ask and explore seven powerful questions and illustrate them with their experiences with each. They then provide practical solutions that you can implement to help you create, improve, and enhance your marriage.
The seven questions are:
1. Have you faced the myths of marriage with honesty?
Happily ever after only comes with working on your marriage.
2. Can you identify your love style?
We each give and receive love differently. Is your partner actually hearing the I Love You's you send their way?
3. Have you developed the habit of happiness?
I loved their line about the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions.
4. Can you say what you mean and understand what you hear?
Too many times we talk around the problem and then only hear our preconceived notions about the responses we receive.
5. Have you bridged the gender gap?
Men and Women are different! If you don't get a clue about how and why you're in for a hard, hard time of it.
6. Do you know how to fight a good fight?
Skip the theatrics, defensiveness, and low-blows. Conflict in a relationship is natural and you can deal with it positively by being honest and respectful with your mate.
7. Are you and your partner soulmates?
"Tending to the spiritual dimension of marriage is what unites couples in unbreakable bonds."
I recommend you get a copy of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts whether you're single, engaged, or married. It will prepare you for a great relationship that lasts a lifetime.
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VINE VOICEon January 18, 2002
Having counseled many couples in 20 years of pastoral ministry, I have read several books on marital, interpersonal relationships. The authors present sound principles that are easy for persons to understand and to apply. I had a few older favorites I would recommend to couples until reading this book -- now I have a new favorite to share instead!
One of the unique, most admirable qualities of this work is that it is very helpful to persons regardless of their marital status. A single individual will find it helpful for insight during dating. A person who is engaged will find it helpful in identifying issues that are sure to arise within marriage. A newlywed will find it helpful in responding to the major adjustments of sharing his/her life with another person. A person who has been married for several years will find it helpful in understanding how a marriage deepens and grows over the course of time.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting to enhance the relationship with his/her "significant other." The Parrotts also have video tapes available to use in a seminar or as part of pre-marital or post-marital counseling. This book is definitely one to own!
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on December 10, 2003
As a pastor of 25 years, I have used several books as part of a pre-marital counseling regiment. This is the best, by far! Not only do the Man's and Woman's Workbooks (I suggest ordering them with the book) make premaritial counseling simpler, I have found that this book hits the nail on the head. Couples who went through the material in preparation for marriage thanked me after they were married, and they shared how valuable this material was in the daily grind of life.
I first heard the authors at a Moody Pastor's Conference in the late 1990's. It did not take me long to determine that I would check out their books. I have since concluded that Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are exceptional in the realm of understanding human relationships.
Althogh the book is written by a godly Christian couple, this is more of a relational book than a spiritual one, so I would not consider it a complete pre-marital regiment, but a good anchor book.
Whether used in counseling or simply read by a couple in their own quest to prepare for marriage, this book is a gem. The Drs. Parrott seem to have a realistic (and well documented) grasp on the nature of marriage. This is practical, hands on material.
The book is arranged around 7 questions: Have you faced the myths of marriage with honesty? Can you identify your love style? Have you developed the habit of happiness? Can you say what you mean and understand what you hear? Have you bridged the gender gap? Do you know how to fight a good fight? and Are you and your partner soul mates?
Of course no couple entering marriage could honestly answer all those questions with a "yes." But the book provides a good start and helps couples begin to face reality and potential areas of growth.
If a couple follows the exercises by purchasing the workbooks, (like identifying some of your own personal "commandments"--rules you live by that you picked up who knows where and expect your spouse to know and agree with), it could preclude many potential tensions later.
This book could also be used as a marriage enrichment manual. Indeed, many couples (perhaps most) have probably failed to incorporate these solid principles. Indeed, several couples I counseled have identified this exercise as having made a significant difference in their marriages.
To those of you considering marriage, go through this book together, and cosider at least some of the exercises in the workbooks. To pastors and Christian counselors, I urge you to read this volume and consider using it!
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on March 28, 2000
I am writing from a different perspective than most of the reviewers. I am in my 70's and have been married for 36 years, so I know something about the pressures experienced in marriage. I also have a book store and have seen lots of books on marriage. I found this to be one of the best. The Parrotts have covered most of the problems a couple will face, and have given excellent help in solving these problems.
I suppose the book has limited application to singles except as they are anticipating and preparing for life together as a married couple. The point is to be prepared for what you will face AFTER you are married.
The last chapter may be offensive to some, but my personal experience says it is just as valid as the rest of the book. I'm not sure my marriage would have survived had it not been for our shared faith. At any rate, don't throw out the whole book just because you don't agree with a small part.
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on January 23, 1999
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I highly recommend this book. My husband and I went through it together after being married less than a year and it was a GREAT resource and still is a great reminder of how to keep our marriage working well. I especially enjoyed the chapter on how to fight a good fight- because we ALL do it and need help in not damaging our relationships for the long haul in the process of working out our differences. I use this book (and the workbook) for many of the couples I counsel and find it hits most of the important areas and is an easy read. I actually think it has helpful information for most couples, not the only pre-married.
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on February 25, 2004
This book/workbook is so helpful and I highly recommend it to any couple headed towards marriage. Many couples are naive, like myself, and think that they talked about everything they need to talk about together! This isn't about conversational topics necessarily. It provokes conversation and allows each of you to get to know each other on a deeper level. You'll identify unspoken needs, marriage expecations and styles of your significant other. The book helps you look realistically at marriage and put the planning into it that it deserves. I orginally read the book solo and found it to be insightful. A year later, my boyfriend and I took a Pre-Engagement Class together and it turned out to be fully based on this book/workbook! It is so much more beneficial when studied together! I can tell you that this book has brought us so much closer together and gave us the confidence needed to move towards engagement.
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on February 19, 2007
My fiancee and I are in the process of using this book for our pre-marital counseling. It is good, it definitely has some good suggestions and is very thought provoking. Some of the exercises in the workbook are a bit rigid and unclear but overall I have found it to be great. Covers a variety of topics from communication to misunderstandings to intimacy.

A good investment.
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on April 28, 2006
This book goes through a lot issues that young people need to face before getting married. However, the objective of this book isn't to prepare you for marriage, but rather to make sure that your expatations for marriage are realistic. Like the book states, it isn't that most new marriages are bad, but that they're not exceedingly better than the usual.

I got this book as a wedding present and tried to read through it with my wife, but got bored. We both like reading books on relationships and together we have read through The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and Love and Respect by Emerson Echridge. Those are both great books, and I would reccomend either of them to newlyweds over this one.

As a guy trying to read this book I found it annoying at times. The book is written mostly by Leslie and doesn't attempt at all to relate to men. I also think they do little to give you real solutions to problems, but because they are mostly trying to prevent disillusionment this might be ok.

Really I think I might have just missed the boat on this one. It would be good to read as a young couple considering marriage. If you have a realistic view of marriage already or are just trying to improve your marriage this isn't the book for you.
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on May 10, 1999
This book is fabulous. My husband I read it as part of our pre-marital preparation, and we return to the principles taught in it frequently. It gives a solid look at relationships and the things that make a marriage tick. Having the perspectives of the two married authors gives this book an advantage over other pre-marital books because it accurately portrays both the male and female perspectives, emotions, and needs in a marriage. This book is a must read, whether you're just engaged or have been married for 10 years!
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on February 8, 1999
I just finished this book. I thought it was great! It contains very practical usefull information on 'real' realationships and how-to's. I did not however, as the title implies (saving your marriage BEFORE it starts), feel like most of the advise given was for pre-married people. As a Christian, some of the examples given, were not for someone in just a dating situation. I would love to read a book by the Parrotts that was exclusively for singles...
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