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Marriage Books vs Marriage Counseling

Aug 17, 2007
Is it possible to save a marriage through reading a book? Up until recently I would have said no, that marriage counseling was the only way to go. Having since read 'How to Save a Marriage' which is available online I've changed my mind. I'm not saying marriage counseling won't work but you have to look at the cost involved and the embarrassment of serving up all your little foibles and problems to someone else to pick over. Its not exactly my idea of fun so faced with that prospect of either that or spending a few bucks on an ebook I could get instantly was actually a very easy choice.

The thing that impressed me about 'How to Save a Marriage' ebook is that it isn't just an ebook, its more like a course but you don't have to follow any defined path through it, you can just pick and choose which bits are right for you. There is a support area with articles, a bulletin board, frequently asked questions, details on how to get your free email consultation - all from purchasing one little product.

But the book itself - does it match up to the long list of promises on the home page? To be honest, it does and it doesn't. What it does do is provide some excellent ideas of what to do and what to avoid. And there are practical exercises to do as you through which I kind of like. Instead of reading it all through I got a chance to workshop each factor along the way.

Where it falls short is where I fall short. No product or service out there - book, counseling, how to course or whatever else maybe the pick in the marriage resuscitation world - is going to rescue my marriage. The only one that can perform that daunting feat is me. But I guess what the book did do was get me motivated to try. I've found myself thinking more about what I do and why I do it. Of course, I purchased the book so I was keen to find something to help but trawling for lifelines is very different to actually using one of them to haul yourself to dry land.

The thing I really liked about this book is that it covers all the main sore points in a marriage - handling conflicts, boredom, how unrealistic expectations can sabotage a marriage, money problems, work issues, the role of family and the need to set boundaries, children, crises like addiction, depression and death, sex, trust, and finally when to get professional help. The other thing I thought was good is that it is written by a man and a woman so you get both perspectives on each key area. This helped me to see things from my husband's perspective in a few different areas, something I'd overlooked before.

But did it work? Is my marriage now on solid ground? Well, after being in such a precarious balance for so long its a bit too early to say. But I do feel positive about our prospects and I haven't felt like that for a long, long time.
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