The authors share what they’ve learned from 40 years of combined experience as marriage and family therapists in this debut self-help guide to emotional equilibrium.
The authors discuss 30 qualities they believe form the basis of an emotionally fit person, followed by a corresponding number of “Red Flags” to avoid when choosing a mate. They conclude with advice for creating and maintaining healthy relationships, along with a list of “Dos and Don’ts of Relationship Well-Being.” While drawing on relevant professional literature, the book’s core strength is that it is grounded in decades of therapeutic work addressing the needs of a large client base—although, apparently, not an entirely diverse one, as there are no same sex couples in this book. One result is many useful rules of thumb, such as the conclusion that working for more than 50 hours a week undercuts the ability to maintain a relationship and family life. They also suggest a couple should take a year to get to know each other before marrying, and that is it is wise to spend as much time being physically active as enjoying spectator sports. Some advice, like “Find an activity that brings you joy that someone pays you to do,” seems easier said than done. The writing is clear, engaging and refreshingly jargon-free, but each page is so dense with information and advice that reading can be tough going. A few examples from the authors’ practice—or from their own enduring marriage—might have livened things up and made for a more enjoyable read. Additional attention could have been paid to actual problem-solving, beyond admonitions like “[d]o the work and think about yourself and your relationships.” However, the amount of reality-based, thought-provoking counsel in this book is impressive.
A wealth of invaluable, road-tested advice for readers seeking to become happier, more self-aware and better equipped to enter into a healthy and enduring relationship.