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Book Review: Change Your Life Not Your Wife – Marriage Saving Advice for Success Driven People by Tony Ferretti and Peter J. Weiss

08 Jun

Good Solutions to Common Marriage Problems By Dr. David P. Craig

Tony Ferretti and Peter J. Weiss have combined their efforts to write a very readable and practically helpful handbook on marriage for success driven people. Early into the book the author’s write their thesis: “The power failure syndrome happens because the same traits that propel people to the top in business cause turmoil in their personal lives.”

I’ve witnessed this reality time and time again as a pastor and life coach. It’s mind boggling to me how many men and women are successful in their careers and woefully unsuccessful in their relationships at home with their spouse and children. The bulk of this book is designed to counteract this trend by honing in on four key areas in a marriage: 1) Working toward the marriage you want to have – it does take work; 2) Achieving balance between your career and your relationships; 3) Establishing an ease in your relationships; and 4) All you need to do is change yourself!

The main aspects of deteriorization in a marriage result from trying to bring two personalities together; having differing expectations; and being unable to talk through conflict resolution. This results in conflicts growing, frustration being built; chronic anger being developed; resentments being formed and intensified; and ultimately detachment and crisis.

The author’s give many real life examples of how marriages deteriorate, as well as steps that can be taken in order to avert a crisis, and even develop a successful and happy marriage. They talk about relational killers, and give wonderful advice in the areas of communication and nurturing your marriage. I recommend this book as a good guidebook for couples to detect their emotional and character blind spots. They have provided many practical questions, assessments, and strategies throughout the book.

The one weakness of the book relates to not addressing the worldview of the couple. For example – My wife and I are Christians and thus share the same Biblical values, goals, purposes, objectives, etc. So in our roles as a husband and wife, as well as in our parenting, and balancing all aspects of life we have the same worldview foundation. I think the danger of this book is that it focuses too much on behavioral changes (symptoms – fruit) without getting at the cause or the foundations of behavior (cause/sin/idolatry/selfishness/root of all problems).

Therefore, my recommendation would be to read this book along with a marriage book that has a good basis and foundation for marriage like R.C. Sproul’s “The Intimate Marriage,” or Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage.” Overall, it’s well written, full of practical help, and recommended for pre and post married couples of all ages.

About the Author’s of Change Your Life, Not Your Wife:

Dr. Tony Ferretti is a licensed psychologist who has helped clients recognize the addictive nature of power, control, and “success” for over twenty years. A Ph.D. graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, he’s appeared on Dr. Phil and hosted his own popular radio talk show, “Talk to Tony.”

Dr. Peter Weiss is a physician and healthcare executive with a passion for helping others to health and wellness. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Weiss currently serves as an executive for the Adventist Health System in Orlando, Florida.

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