I’ve made it a priority this year to find time to read, so I quickly agreed when I received an email about an opportunity to review No More Perfect Marriages, an insightful book by Mark and Jill Savage.
I’ve read numerous books on marriage. When I began reading this one, I noticed immediately that it was a little different from the others. The Savages don’t sugarcoat their discussion or use face-saving examples from their own marriage. They’re very real and blatantly honest. This is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, it’s helpful to read Christian authors discuss some of the ugly aspects of marriage. Second, it’s helpful because their book is about the fact that real marriages aren’t perfect. Instead, marriages are about deeply flawed people being perfected.
The Savages share the story of how their marriage almost crumbled after an incident of infidelity. I say “after an incident of infidelity”, not “because of an incident of infidelity” because the Savages assert that marriages don’t crumble in a day. Based on their experience, they’ve identified “Seven Slow Fades” (e.g., unrealistic expectations, defensiveness, avoiding emotion) that drive spouses apart over time.
As they discuss these slow fades, they provide a number of practical tools (e.g., inventories, thinking/talking points, recommended actions) to help couples evaluate their own marriages. Personally, I’ve really benefited from the personality trait acceptance table they encourage readers to complete during chapter 3. They also discuss what they refer to as “building hedges.” This is the process of “planting” various behaviors in your marriage to protect it.
The slow fades discussed by the Savages are common to all marriages, not just those impacted by infidelity and not just those that have been long in duration. Therefore, this book is useful for Christian couples who are struggling in their marriages and for those who are doing pretty well and want to prevent future struggles. I think it is optimal for couples to read this book together, but an individual spouse can learn and grow from it on his or her own.
Read No More Perfect Marriages if you get the chance. If you do so with a humble heart, I guarantee you will better understand yourself and why you respond the way you do to certain situations in your marriage. You’ll also gain insight and practical skills that will help you quickly draw near to your spouse instead of slowly fading away from him or her.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post contains an affiliate link (click here to read about what this means).
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