As someone who does a fair amount of marriage/relationship counseling, I picked up this book with high hopes of finding some practical insights to incorporate into my counseling sessions. The book is written in a very accessible manner and I found myself zipping through the chapters quickly. Dr. Eggerichs fills the pages with very basic and very practical advice. He wants to help couples avoid a “crazy cycle” in their relationship where things steadily spiral downward. He repeatedly drives home the point that in their relationships men most desire respect and women most desire love. The sections where he works out the implications of the love/respect dynamic are among the most useful in the book.
There are, however some significant drawbacks to this book. A good portion of the book is made up of letters people have written to him. I’m all for testimonials, but they are inserted so often that it felt more and more like he was just plugging his conferences rather than trying to provide encouragement and guidance for struggling marriages. I got the point where I would just skim these letters because they all basically said the same things (e.g. “Dr. Eggerichs’ program worked for us!”).
Also, many of the ideas presented in this book are very basic. I mean so basic that I sometimes found myself scratching my head and wondering what’s so special about this that it needed to be put in a book? A number of his methods and advice are things that a couple could easily get if they sought advice from their pastor or even another couple with a strong and thriving marriage. In other words, he presents a lot of very common sense relationship advice. That could be exactly what some couples need to read, but they could likely get the same advice in a format with much more accountability if they spoke to someone within their own social circle.
With those negatives in mind, this is still a useful book. If you need to get back to the basics in your marriage or want to help other people get back to the basics, this is a good book to start with. Just remember that this book is very basic.
I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed in the review are my own.