Book Review: Fighting for Your Marriage
I’m really not very competitive and much too passive to make a good fighter; but, I do believe some things really are worth fighting for! A happy marriage is one of those things. So, why do most couples fight more vigorously for the perfect wedding dress than the perfect communication skill? Or, put more painstaking effort into planning the ideal wedding ceremony than in learning the relational skills necessary to sustain a long-term marriage? I’m not sure I have the answer to that question; but I do know that Fighting for Your Marriage definitely offers an alternative. In Fighting for Your Marriage, the authors presents the skills, “old school style,” needed to give your marriage more than a “fighting chance”…more than enough techniques to knock out the enemies that want to rob you of a joyful, intimate marriage. The material in this user’s guide for married couples is based on the objective research that undergirds the PREP (Prevention & Relationship Enhancement Program) approach. Even though it is based on research, Fighting for Your Marriage is easily understood, humorous, and filled with examples that support the key skills and attitudes associated with good relationships. Practical skills and exercises give the reader the awareness and knowledge necessary to avoid four communication patterns that can harm relationships.
Even with this knowledge, problems, disagreements, and conflict may arise. In order to limit the potential nuclear disaster of marital conflict, the authors present a structure (control rods, if you will) that can limit the uncontrolled reactions of each person and allows them to direct their energy toward solving the conflict and enhancing their relationship. Just learning this structure to manage conflict makes this book worth reading. However, the authors go on to present ideas that can help couples deal with core issues (such as acceptance and power struggles), put expectations to work for their marriage, and protect their long-term commitment to a happy marriage.
The final section of the book is my favorite. In this section, the authors offer practical advice for enhancing friendship within the marriage relationship, bringing fun into marriage, and enhancing sexual intimacy (“woo-hoo”).
All in all, this book is a practical “user’s guide for one of life’s greatest adventures.” If you believe that your happy marriage is worth fighting for, you will want to add this book to your fighting strategy and put each skill into practice with gusto.
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