In the first step, STOP, the author discusses stopping the dysfunctional family patterns that most people come into a relationship with. He states that unless these patterns are identified and corrected, they will be repeated in every relationship a person has, so instead of leaving the relationship one should address these things in themselves and work on fixing them. Step two, START, discusses putting God first and your spouse second in your life. Step three is CONNECT which involves active listening and truly connecting with your partner. ENGAGE discusses choosing your battles and learning how to fight with each other in an appropriate and healthy way. Step five is BALANCE which discusses how to find the right balance between your marriage and all the other responsibilities in your life. MINGLE discusses sex inside the marriage and how to meet each other’s unique needs. Finally, FIGHT discusses fighting together to be on the same team rather than seeing each other as the enemy when life gets hard and things go wrong.
As a psychotherapist myself, I see the sound evidence based practice in the pages of this book. Anyone who can follow the advice in this book can and will have a better marriage. Of course reading a book isn’t a substitute for working with a trained therapist, but this gives readers a place to start. It is easy to read and understand and has examples from couples, which helps even more. In this day and age of selfishness and seeing only to one’s own needs, the contents of this book are much needed and will help couples get their priorities straight by putting God first and their spouse second. If both partners in a marriage can do that, they can’t lose!
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