Top positive review
Solid guidance for marriages in trouble
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2018
Gary Chapman long ago established himself as a leading expert on marriage and relationships. His 1992 book The Five Love Languages continues to be a popular and helpful resource, influencing couples and marriage counselors everywhere, and creating a cottage industry for Chapman. His recent book Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help for Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages covers a variety of marital conflicts and offers help to couples. (This is an update of Chapman's 2008 book, Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship.)
Chapman wants couples, even those who feel like they have no option but to leave, to reject some myths and accept some realities. He writes that people can change, that couples do have options, that each spouse is in control of his or her responses, and each can influence the other with his or her actions.
I have to be honest, Loving Your Spouse is not fun to read. Each chapter covers some difficult-to-live-with characteristic: irresponsible, workaholic, depressed, controlling, abusive, sexually abused or abusive, uncommunicative, unfaithful, addicted. Chapman draws from his many years of marriage counseling and conference speaking for detailed stories of couples who have dealt with each of these and how they overcame (in most cases he tells a happy ending). Reading about these struggling marriages isn't exactly happy reading.
If a couple is dealing with one of the above troubles, this can be a great resource to get started on the journey toward reconciliation. In summary, Chapman says spouses should "embrace the positive actions that one individual can take to stimulate constructive changes in a relationship." Don't give up on marriage and be an agent of change. It's never to late.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!