I enjoyed talking with Rod Precise on the Son Brother Husband Father Show about my work as a counselor and about my article, “Is Your Wife Controlling You?” Listen to the show here and be sure to check out some of their other podcasts as they work to encourage men to live strong, healthy lives for themselves and their families.
The book’s subtitle is, Changing the 8 Dumb Attitudes & Behaviors that Will Sink Your Marriage. Cloud and Townsend talk a great deal about their work with clients and how this man or woman (or both) was doing or thinking something “dumb” and how this dumb thing was ruining their marriage. The authors then relay the practical suggestions they gave to their struggling clients.
Being a counselor myself I really questioned this method of writing. Did they ask their clients (and friends) to sign a release? I didn’t research this aspect of their book but I wonder. The recall of the precise session makes me question the authenticity of Jane and Rick (or whoever), but I could be wrong. I write about things that come up in sessions but I don’t say, “the other day, Michael, Stephanie, and I were in session.” I suppose they could change the names easily enough. My friends think I analyze them already so I tend to stay away from such writing styles.
Their tactic of offering good advice is easy to understand but the suggestions are not always easy to employ. Behavior change can be the answer to most problems in a marriage, but this plan forgets the ingredients of bitterness, betrayal, or any number of problems with the heart. Cloud and Townsend do address these deeper matters as they relay discussions with clients. However, if you or your spouse has other issues, getting help for these may also be in order. The behavior changes suggested in the book are a good start but they may not be enough unless your situation is exactly like the examples in the book.
Overall, I enjoyed the book as I listened to two experienced counselors lay things out in a way that I probably would in similar situations with clients. If you are struggling with what seem to be simple things in your marriage, this is a great place to turn for practical, no-nonsense advice. But if you think you need more, seek that help first.
You CAN have a great marriage.
Learn the secrets to loving well.
Find me in this month’s issue of Think Magazine by Focus Press. It’s a special fatherhood issue, and in it I write about male leadership in the church and in the home.
Join us here to learn about innovative programs, opportunities, and strategies to grow marriage strengthening work in your church and community. Program highlights are below.
- 1:00 pm: Why Marriage & Family Matters (Jeff Fray, Ph.D., Marriage & Family Foundation & Dr. Linda Malon-Colon, Hampton University)
- 1:15pm: Media Research, “An Exhaustive Look at Content on TV” (Lance Mcalindon, Chief Research Officer, Front Porch Entertainment)
- 1:45pm: Engaging Men in Strengthening Marriage and Family – (Brian Doyle, Iron Sharpens Iron; Stephen Kendrick, Sherwood Films; and Mitch Temple, Courageous Outreach Team)
- Introduction to the Courageous Film and information on how churches can leverage this film to lift up their own marriage and family outreach initiatives.
- 2:20pm: Online Audience Q&A with Stephen Kendrick
- 2:35pm: The Love Is Journey – Live interview with Nathan and Brittany Fray
- 2:50pm: National Marriage Week, USA (Chuck Stetson and Sheila Weber, National Marriage Week Organizers)
- 3:20: The Art of Marriage, A video based Marriage Enrichment for Local Churches (Bill Eyster, Executive Vice President & COO of Family Life)
- 3:50: Marriage Ministry as Felt Needs Evangelism. (Tim Popadic, Marriage Pastor at Christ Fellowship Church; Scott Mawdsley, National Director of Marriage Mentoring Initiative; and Les Parrot author of “Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring”)
- How a Date Night Initiative can grow a church and impact a community.
A long time ago I gave up worrying about punctuality. Time moves and I can’t do anything about it. If I’m late, I’m late. Not to say that it doesn’t bother me if we have to be somewhere. I still struggle with it, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that the only way I can keep my sanity is if I do my best to stay on schedule and then whatever happens beyond my control is just that, beyond my control. I’m finding that life is much easier this way. Also, the world doesn’t collapse.