Don’t Go to Bed An­gry: Stay Up and Fight

Deb Dear­mond Ron­ald G Dear­mond

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - MEA­GAN LOGSDON

Abing­don Press Soft­cover $14.99 (208pp) 978-1-4267-9093-5

With the warmth of close friends, the Dear­monds gen­tly urge cou­ples to en­gage with each other and reach the roots of con­flict.

Don’t Go to Bed An­gry, by hus­band-and-wife duo Deb and Ron Dear­mond, is a jour­ney

through the land mines of mar­riage to a health­ier way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing.

Blend­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal meth­ods with spiritual guid­ance, the Dear­monds draw on their ex­pe­ri­ences as re­la­tion­ship/chris­tian coun­selors, with forty years of mar­riage be­tween them, and of­fer ad­vice to mar­ried cou­ples to suc­cess­fully re­solve con­flict. Their ap­proach–what could be called “healthy fight­ing”–is a pos­i­tive al­ter­na­tive to al­low­ing grum­blings to turn into grudges that can cause per­ma­nent rifts, is en­cour­aged through­out. Ac­knowl­edg­ing the in­evitabil­ity of con­flict, the Dear­monds ask cou­ples to cast away ide­al­ized pic­tures of first love and learn to nav­i­gate through the ev­ery­day oc­cur­rences of the mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship.

Cen­tral to the book’s premise are rules of en­gage­ment for fight­ing fair when ar­gu­ments do oc­cur. Chap­ters are capped with rec­om­mended ex­er­cises, scrip­ture to re­flect upon, and a sug­gested prayer. Ad­di­tion­ally, cou­ples are en­cour­aged to keep sep­a­rate jour­nals and have pe­ri­odic con­ver­sa­tions over them. At the book’s con­clu­sion, ad­di­tional re­sources await, in­clud­ing tem­plates for vi­sion and mis­sion state­ments to be com­pleted jointly.

Al­though pri­mar­ily for mar­ried cou­ples, many of the so­lu­tions to mar­i­tal strife, par­tic­u­larly the em­pha­sis on lis­ten­ing and valu­ing the other’s thoughts, can be ap­plied to re­la­tion­ships of any kind be­tween two peo­ple. With the warmth of close friends, the Dear­monds gen­tly urge cou­ples to en­gage with each other and reach the roots of con­flict, learn­ing about one an­other in the pro­cess, es­pe­cially through know­ing when to use open- or closed-ended ques­tions. The Chris­tian foun­da­tion is preva­lent with­out be­ing over­bear­ing. Prac­ti­cal anec­dotes and tech­niques are bal­anced nicely with se­lected Bi­ble verses.

In a very pos­i­tive way, Don’t Go to Bed An­gry grants per­mis­sion to put on the box­ing gloves and con­struc­tively spar into a stronger mar­riage.

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