As I sat on the beach reading this volume I wondered a little if others were noticing and wondering why I was reading a book on marriage. Then I shrugged mentally – after all, why shouldn’t someone who has a good marriage read such a volume? There’s always something to learn.
People did notice and ask about it. I was able to say I was reading the book to review it, and that I was quite enjoying it. Unfortunately one of the people who noticed was my wife, who grabbed the book once I finished reading it. That means she will know if I learned anything from Friends, Partners & Lovers. And whether I am putting what I learned into practice.
After 33 years of marriage there is one thing I know for sure, and that is that I don’t know everything there is to know about marriage. Most of the time I am a pretty good husband, but there are times, more often than I like to admit, when I can be pretty clueless as to what my wife needs from the relationship (or even what I need from the marriage). I guess I’m not the only one interested in the topic: this book was probably the most commented on of my beach reading this month.
Kevin A. Thompson brings more perspective than I could to this topic: over the years he has married hundreds of men and women. No, he’s not a serial philanderer, he’s a pastor, counsellor and speaker. He has seen marriages that work, and, sadly, those that didn’t. This book is born out of his experience.
While male-female relationships re multi-faceted, he concentrates on three basic aspects of a marriage, your spouse as friend, partner and lover. All three are necessary for success, and you need to find a proper balance between the three to get the most out of your marriage.
You are probably aware that marriage failure is much higher today than it was in my parent’s generation. Some of that I think may have to do with increased expectations (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). However, there is more to it than that.
When I start thinking of couples I know who have split up, I remember how frustrating it usually was to see the marriage deteriorate and not be able to help. From the outside it frequently seemed to me that there was no good reason to dissolve the relationship; it was as if the couple had decided it would be easier to move on than fix something that was once beautiful.
Thompson wants us all to realize that marriages don’t have to become stagnant, that husband and wife can make their relationship vibrant through daily choices to be friends, partners and lovers. It really is a choice.
I’m not going to go into details or quote specific examples, you can read the book for that. It really is worth the read. Thompson is readable, practical and not preachy. I was expecting something a little more “Christian,” given that he is a pastor, but you don’t need to be a person of faith to get a lot out of this book.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”