This was one of the most interesting marriage books I’ve ever read. The subtitle “Learning the Art of Marital Negotiation” gives a little hint to the bulk of the book.
Marriages are failing. It is so sad to see that those who actually do decide to marry, instead of just live together, have little chance of having a happy marriage, or even a decent marriage. With every passing generation, it seems that individuals are becoming more selfish. And that shows in their marriages.
Mr. Harley introduces a new method of solving arguments. Most of the time, the advice given to married couples is to compromise when it’s not “too important,” or to sacrifice because you love your spouse. But the method you will find in these pages both wowed me, and puzzled me!
He says you should BOTH reach an enthusiastic agreement to each and every problem that arises in your marriage. The main point is that if you both HAVE to be happy about the way the problem is solved, it will teach you to think of the other’s feelings, and not just your own. And that is good.
The down side to me is this: every now and then, I like a moms’ night out with some friends. My husband is not thrilled about spending an evening home with the children without me. But because he knows it is good for me, he agrees. Now, I know he is happy, but his happiness is only for me, not for himself. The author says this is not good for marriage because the spouse will eventually get tired of “sacrificing.” There are also things like this, that my husband does away from home. I am never “enthusiastic” about him being away, but I know it’s good for him. So, that is why I am puzzled. I just don’t see how it’s possible to agree enthusiastically about everything. I think some sacrifice and compromise is occasionally necessary in marriage.
However, the book targeted several problems in marriage: finances, kids, in-laws, etc. It was full of very good advice, and I feel it would greatly benefit any married couple.
On sale now in your favorite Revell bookstore, a division of Baker Publishing.
I received the book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.