Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2017
Seeing a marriage counselor and he said he uses this book and its tenets all the time because it's so effective, based on scientific research. I got one each for my husband and myself. We enjoyed doing the exercises at the end of Chapter 4. I read the hopeful parts of the book, the truly practical things couples do to improve and enrich their marriages and, thus, their lives.

Sadly, then I read the chapter on "why couples don't make it." Shoot...they mostly apply to us. I analyze and nag too much, my husband is critical and snide all the time and we've let our friendship dwindle to low ebb. We've been married for over 2 decades and it's hard to see us change enough and in enough time to avoid divorce. We're both that miserable.

The beauty of the book is that it provides excellent analysis and descriptions of both success and failure in marriage: literally, the author and all professionals who apply these principles can predict whether or not a couple will be able to resolve their conflicts successfully or not within a very short period of time based on how they treat each other. Certainly, the marriages that can seem destined to failed can be turned around if both spouses embrace the process and are willing to work on THEMSELVES and not so much try to "fix" their spouses. So clearly explained, all problems (and ALL marriages encounter problems...you newlyweds are kidding yourselves if you don't believe this) can be divided into the Solvable and Unsolvable.

Obviously, by definition, most Solvable Problems can be solved. And it doesn't have to be that Unsolvable Problems lead inevitably to divorce. Sometimes the problem can't be changed by either party such as one becoming ill with cancer or diabetes and the other can't abide having a spouse who is ill. But even having a "mixed marriage" such as 2 conflicting religions can be worked out if they ignore their families' and friends' condemnation and agree to adhere to either or both religions--together or separately--and doing the same for children.

Even couples who can't agree on whether or not to have children or cannot procreate themselves to the sorrow of either or both spouses can be resolved well enough to stay together and be happy. If nothing else, Unsolvable Problems can make the marriage stronger if the parties turn to each other in love and for support instead of turning away from each other in anger or sorrow.

It's all a matter if you require to get your own way on every issue or allow yourself to build up ginormous resentment by always being the one who caves in to your spouse's demands, supposedly just to keep the peace. That's not a peaceful existence.

Right now, I'm not sanguine that it'll work but my husband and I will both give it the ol' college try. I'll keep you posted.
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