Most of the marriage books that I have read address both partners, assuming that both husband and wife are willing to read the book and make behavioral changes to improve their marriage. That is ideal, but the reality is that it is often only one person who is willing to expend the effort. I have read (and loved) a few books that are written to the individual rather than the couple. I like to read and think about what I can do, because, truthfully, the only person I can change is myself. Focusing on what one’s partner is doing wrong helps no one.
Thriving Despite a Difficult Marriage takes a somewhat different approach from any other book I have read. The authors acknowledge that some marriages are not “fixable.” They may never be entirely happy. But….Misja and Misja don’t advocate giving up and divorcing as our secular culture so readily encourages. They say,
“Unless there is a pattern of abuse or unchanging immorality, the answer is, ‘No, it’s not better to give up on your marriage.’ Instead, never quit, never give up, don’t stop praying and searching for a way to turn your marriage around. Miracles happen, people change, and, besides, you don’t know what God has planned for your marriage. In addition, you can’t give up on your marriage without betraying your heart.”
The book discusses many types of difficult marriages while teaching the reader to acknowledge and own the feelings of pain and loss, while still holding on to hope in God and actually thriving despite the current situation. I found the book hopeful, yet realistic, and above all, I appreciated the author’s dedication to faithfulness in marriage rather than encouraging the common philosophy that “the purpose of marriage is to make ME happy, and if I’m not happy, then I am free to leave.”
I received this book free for review purposes from the Navpress Blogger Review Program.