This one could have been a pamphlet instead of a book.
A pamphlet I still would have read and recommended, but a pamphlet nonetheless.
I’ll come out and say this from the beginning, this was a 3-star book with some 5-star moments.
Easily the best marriage advice in the book is the recommendation that a couple have a serious conversation about what they call “silent rules”. Silent rules are rules each person grew up with but didn’t know they had, because everyone they’ve lived with obeyed those rules. The classic example is the correct way to place silverware in the dishwasher: handle-side up, or handle-side down? The first option is believed to be safer, while the second option is believed to clean the forks better.
Everyone ends up believing that whichever way their mom did it is the correct way.
Rachel and I were driving in some dangerously snowy conditions shortly after I finished this book, and there was another guy driving about twice the speed limit, texting, and he almost hit an old lady. After we got stuck at the same red light, I gestured wildly at him to put his phone down and keep his eyes on the road.
Rachel went silent.
“I think I just discovered on of my silent rules”, she said. “It’s against my rules to gesture at someone over bad driving. I consider it road rage.”
This could have easily been a big fight about how rude I am and how I’m not considerate of other people’s feelings, but because of Les and Leslie Parrott’s advice, we were able to avoid that fight and get to the heart of the conflict.
Like I said before, a solid 5-star piece of advice, but that gem was buried in recommendations that my wife tell me, “I want to have a feelings conversation right now” (my wife replied to this in Strongbad’s voice: “I’m feeling like I want to have no conversation right now”).
Also, don’t get me wrong, I’m a religious guy, but I disagree with their suggestion that a marriage without a Christian God is doomed to end in divorce. I personally believe that a marriage without God will end at death, but for the long lives of happy people who serve one another, they will be a happy couple.
All in all, I kind of liked their advice, but I got bogged down by the preachy tone they brought to the table with all their advice. If you don’t let your man unwind after work, and if he doesn’t let you have feelings conversations, your marriage probably won’t last longer than 5-7 years.
3 stars with a handful of 5-star pages. Recommended with a grain of salt.