I've been married 41 years--35 years as a believer, and this book helped me understand what's been going on in our marriage for so long that created distance in our relationship. It's worth the investment in time and dollars...
As a book that is supposed to help the needs of a failing or falling apart marriage, it was way too long to be helpful considering the time a parent actially has in a day to read. I could have summed up this book's advice in 5-10 pages instead of the 295 pages it took. It beat a dead horse of respect your husnands and the husband will love his wife. I wish there had been a disclaimer about if you're in an abusive relationship, you need to leave until he or she gets help and actually changes. Yes, it talked about goodwill a lot but many victims actually believe they have a goodwilled spouse (he hits me because he loves me) or (he didnt mean to hit me, it was my fault for being disrespectful). I couldnt help thinking that a victim could be reading this and thinking "if only i showed him more respect and forgave him, he'd love me (or vice versa). I understand the concepts but he really could have communicated them in a less time consuming way. If a woman doesn't give a man sex 24/7 he will stray and that's her fault not his. There is no accountability. I wish I hadn't bought this book.
This book was very helpful in the situation that I am currently in with my husband, I just wish I had read it sooner. As soon as I finished it, I cried to the Lord for forgiveness. It opened my eyes as to how I should treat/respect my husband, regardless of his actions towards me. I think every couple should read it and follow it for a healthier and loving relationship of respect that the Lord commands of us. EXCELLENT!!!
I am truly glad many people pulled what is good about this book. He has a great mental visual with his "crazy cycle" that can be helpful to any marriage. And his COUPLE section showed some very good insights for men about women and his CHAIRS section also showed great advice for women toward their husbands but was more harsh toned than needed and than the male section. But his basic premise is that if the wife will show unconditional respect then this will "trigger" unconditional love. If she meets a condition he will "love". Christlike love does not come from a condition someone meets but from Christ Himself. Meeting a condition negates that it is unconditional. It may inspire and spur on and bring affection, but not unconditional love. He reinforces this," ...the best way to keep the Crazy Cycle contained is by having wives show husbands respect and then having husbands show wives their loves." He consistently slants that the husbands "just can't" love their wives until they 'feel' respected. He repeats this and admits he truly believes that is THE key. It is her that needs to move first. A good Christian book should not slant to one side but lift up and encourage both. All need to learn to understand the opposite sex and learn to unselfishly meet the needs of the other as we grow in Christ. It does a few times state the more mature one should follow Christ and love and/or respect. Yes, if he kept that as the focus it would have been a good book. He doe not follow his own statements here throughout the book. Also he says a man is "first among equals" but they just can't love their wives because they are disrespected. I could push this easily that a man as the leader should follow Christ and be a spiritual leader and love as the Lord commanded no matter what others or his wife do. The husband represents Christ and did make the first move towards a sinful church. But equal treatment of husbands/wives would have been wonderful. He also in a few places makes insulting remarks about women. For instance statements like" all men have had to read their wives minds" and that most fat women have skinny husbands when discussing not listening to husbands. If he wants to discuss ladies respecting husbands but insults and disrespects women at all in his book it harms his work. Perhaps many a young wife has done this mind reading, but certainly not all and I have felt that way about my husband at times especially when newly married. Take the good out of it but I would not recommend it as a great marriage book.
This book is relevant to every and all relationships in your life - not just romantic ones. It has helped me with all male relationships in my life, including my dad and brother. There are so meaning "ahh-ha" and "so that's why..." moments as you read the book. It's a must have for anyone! Unless, you live in a cave with no human contact.