Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Fun to read, amazing lessons, get the workbooks
on April 9, 2012
My wife and I read a chapter or two from this book maybe once a month. We've owned it for a while, and are still working our way through it. Our different personalities definitely came into play, and on the very first night reading it we learned things about one another that perhaps only time would have taught us.
I will say that I don't think it's a self help book that can help you fix your marriage. My wife and I are reading it from a point where (this may be crazy to some) we actually like each other. We really are best friends, we weren't nervous on our wedding day (yes, we bought the book after we got married), and we are both serious about making our marriage work. We argue with each other still, we disagree, we're not living out some perfection of idealized marriage - but I think we've got one of the strongest marriages of anyone we know.
I credit that in part to reading books like this one.
You can buy a men's workbook and women's workbook to accompany the actual book, and while it's more money - it's the workbook exercises that make reading this together SO MUCH fun! I was initially upset when we got the workbooks because they are identical except my copy says "your wife" and "her", and her copy says "your husband" and "him". It's also a little extra money, but I'd still encourage you to get them... and to actually get both the husband's and wife's copy. If your marriage isn't worth investing a bit more money into, well, that may be a sign that you haven't yet invested enough and you should spring for a bit more. Plus the workbooks are cheaper than counseling or divorce, so that's good!
What kind of stuff will you learn? Well, for example, in my family growing up my sister set the table for dinner. In my wife's family she and her sister took turns setting the table for dinner. My wife and I don't have kids yet, so she's expecting us to take turns setting the table, and I'm expecting her to do it because she's the girl. In my mind it was balanced because growing up I always (and exclusively) took out the trash. In her family she took turns doing it.
I realized (and even looked back and remembered some arguments) where I thought "sweet - I don't have to take out the trash this week because it's been done already" (by my wife, thinking we should take turns)... and then I say something genius like "Hey babe, why didn't you set the table for dinner?" thinking that's her role! My expectations were totally off base because they were from a home I no longer lived in. As were hers. Once we talked about it (from an exercise in this book) I was like "Oh my God, I'm so sorry I never expected to set the table... that's so crazy, I'll never do that again, please forgive me - that was SO DUMB of me!" and that will never be an issue again :)
Chances are if you think about the arguments you get into, it's all stupid little nonsense like that anyway. Maybe you didn't realize that your spouse's dad would get home from work every night and be alone for 30 minutes to unwind, because when your dad got home he was immediately present. Now you try to force your childhood behaviors into your new marriage, and your husband gets off work expecting some alone time (since that's what he knows), and you're expecting him to be a chatter box (since that's what you know). Then you have some brilliant fight like "you never pay attention to me" and "well you never give me any peace"... when you could have had a conversation about it before the issue ever came up and set YOUR OWN rules and boundaries in your marriage - instead of trying to imitate your parents.
This book helps with things like that. OH by the way, Les and Leslie are Christians, I am too. The book isn't dripping with Christian overtones, but their faith is a central part of their marriage. So they are going to credit their Lord and Savior for some of their happiness.