No More Perfect Marriages Book Review, Giveaway and Linkup

I’m excited to be reviewing Mark and Jill Savage’s new marriage book, No More Perfect Marriages, and giving away one copy to one randomly chosen person who comments on this post.

No Perfect Marriage

Jill is the founder of Hearts at Home ministry and has authored and coauthored five books—two of which were with her husband Mark. This power couple is very open about their marriage struggles in this latest book, including the marriage meltdown that occurred when Mark had an affair about six years ago.

There were no quick or easy fixes for this devastating blow to their marriage. But they share about the many important steps, resources and perspectives that helped them to rebuild and bring healing to their marriage.

Mark and Jill started the book by talking about the “slow fades” that we all encounter at some point in our marriages—because no marriage is perfect!

Some of those slow fades are:

  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Minimizing
  • Not Accepting
  • Disagreement
  • Defensive Responses
  • Naïvete
  • Avoiding Emotion

I could relate to just about every one they explored. I’m working on not minimizing or being defensive all the time in my marriage, so this gave me some additional food for thought.

Regarding minimizing, Mark said, “Your spouse is not your enemy, but Satan will do his best to convince you that he or she is.”

This is so important for me to remember whenever I’m tempted to fear what my husband is feeling or doing—usually the trigger for my “minimizing” tendencies. When I give in to those fears, it’s as if I’m viewing my husband as my enemy when he is far from it!

Regarding defensiveness, Jill said, “Defensiveness is an overreaction that causes us to arm ourselves with emotional weapons. Left unattended, defensiveness contributes to what author Sheldon Vanauken calls a ‘creeping separateness.’”

I can attest to the many ways my defensiveness has erected walls in my marriage. 🙁

One of the chapters I really loved in this book was on dealing with disagreements. Mark and Jill gave very specific steps on how to access what is going on in our hearts during times of conflict. They also provided steps for how to deal with the disagreement in a positive and constructive way.

I also really appreciated Mark and Jill’s candor when they addressed the specifics of the affair, as well as how it all evolved. First of all, that takes a lot of courage and transparency. Secondly, it provides necessary insight that we all need to remain devoted to our spouses.

Jill and Mark’s oldest adult daughter, Anne, shared openly as well about how this affair impacted her and her trust of her father. Even though this section is heart-wrenching, it is so powerful for understanding the pain that is inflicted on all family members when we choose to stray in our marriages.

Another important resource in this chapter on Mark’s affair were the many “hedges” or safeguards that the Savage’s talked about using now in their marriage to protect them from another affair.

One that I really resonated with was: “stay clear of unnecessarily spending time with someone of the opposite sex.”

Considering the couple’s that I’ve counseled over the years who were working through an affair, from my perspective this has probably been the top reason an affair occurred in their marriages.

This book was such a great read and so full of practical and biblical advice, as well as resources on the many differences we have as individuals in our marriages. In fact, the Savage’s provide a “Personal Operating Inventory” in the back of the book that gives you a thorough way to look at your individual differences as a couple.

No perfect marriage

If you would like to be entered into the giveaway on this book, please leave a comment below. I’d love it if your comment included a response to one of the questions here . . .

 

What are some of the “slow fades” that you struggle with in life and marriage?

 

What are some safeguards or “hedges” that you build around your marriage to guard against an affair?

 

I’ll be continuing my “Slow, Know and Grow” series next week! I hope you’ll come back by!

I forgot to mention that the winner will be randomly selected by Friday, April 7th at 3 p.m. (CST). Check back on this post to find out who that winner is!

My randomly generated winner is Carrie! But I don’t think this was a random act! It sure looked from her comment like she needed this book! God is always in the details!

Be sure to scroll down to comment below!


podcast

Hey friends, I’d love it if you’d check out my two-part interview on Belah Rose’s podcast show – Delight Your Marriage, where I share “Overcoming Insecurity with Vulnerability” (part 1) and  “Doing Conflict Better” (part 2). Belah even broke out in song on the second part of the interview! ha!

Here are some lovely linkups I joinChristian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Writer Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Faith and Friends, Sitting Among Friends, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.

Messy Marriage

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  • Mary

    Thank you for the book review. Hearing about other marriage resources is helpful and of course I am always looking for things I can pass on to those I know who are married such as my sons. It sounds like you gained a lot by reading this book. I hope you are having a wonderful week.

  • bluecottonmemory

    There aren’t perfect marriages – are there?! It’s all about the determination to not give up! Thank you for sharing their book and story! What a challenging topic!

  • pioneerpat1

    Nice. I think that people need to avoid power struggles and expect their mate to change like they want them to.

    Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week.

  • Hi Beth, Happy Wednesday! Thank you for featuring Mark and Jill’s new book. I’ve been following her ministry for years, and she has been instrumental in helping my own marriage to thrive. Glory be to God that their marriage survived the affair! I hope I win the book. I’d love to read it. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting!
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com

  • Beautiful book!
    Some safety nets we guard as a couple is making sure communication is open! We Crete enough time to talk sometimes even through the 🌃 and prayers for each other.
    This is a brilliant book would love to win à copy.
    Blessings to you

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Looks like a great book, Beth. Thanks for reviewing it!

    I completely agree that it’s a terrible idea to spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex, and personally subscribe to Billy Graham’s ‘Modesto Manifesto’ – never be alone with a woman who is not your wife, period. Not even in an elevator. Most people think I’m crazy when I say that, but maybe when they lock me away in the loony bin, I’ll draw Mike Pence as my roomie…the Vice president follows the same rule.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/04/your-dying-spouse-293-god-didnt-make.html

    • Susan

      Our Andrew is so wise and it is so very true. I won’t even allow our pastor into the house to drop off an avocado when hubs isn’t home. No siree!!!!!!! I love Mike Pence.

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    Enjoyed your review. I’m trying not to take a defensive posture in disagreements – to truly hear my husband out before preparing my rebuttal. I like how you said that defensiveness is arming ourselves with weapons…in battle that’s exactly what you would do, but our marriage is not a battleground. I can also be the queen of great expectations….I’m learning to lower them a bit for myself and my husband. Great things to think about here!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  • Susan

    Slow fades: acting as though marriage is a competition; he wins/she wins. Affair guarding? Being the one we each desire and want = affairs go both ways! What is hubs doing to safeguard against me having one? Let’s not forget that half of the equation! xo

  • Sarah Geringer

    Hi Beth! I can’t wait to check out your podcast when I have time. A hedge I set is not reading romance novels. For me they tend to reinforce an impossible ideal, and I want to enjoy my husband without comparing him to an ideal. Occasionally I’ll enjoy a novel with romance in the story line, but not too often. Great post!

  • Made a note of the podcast to check out later! Sounds great!

  • Jill’s books are good, this is one I have not yet read! Honesty is so important. When disagreeing so important to not walk away mad, but to find to instead put the other person first.

  • Defensiveness is one I struggle with when my mate questions me. I have to remind myself sometimes that he is not the enemy and really has my best interests at heart. Sometimes my husband and I will say this aloud to each other when we are about to break out in disagreement. It helps calm the situation and see things from a different perspective.

  • Carrie

    I cannot answer these questions provided because my marriage is barely alive these days. But I would love to have this book. My family is in crisis. I’ve honored the Lord, my
    husband, my family and still so much trouble. My husband is running from God and having affairs and taken all of us down with him. Please I would love a copy of this book. c.cheecham@icloud.com

    • I’ll certainly add you to my prayer list, Carrie! Such a painful place to be, but thank you for sharing so openly about your marriage.

    • Hey Carrie, good news! You were selected randomly as the winner, but I will email you here in a bit to make sure you get this message! Congrats! And I hope this helps you in your situation.

  • bonnie fuhrman

    I would like to read this book, too. I would say my slow fade is that I have unrealistic expectations and need to find balance in that area of my thoughts/heart. Thanks for your blog and your helping me on the journey!

  • The slow fade. More likely than not, that’s our biggest challenge. It’s a subtle trap that catches us unaware and leaves us wide open to significant trouble.

    Thanks for sharing this couple’s story, Beth …

  • This sounds like an interesting book. What a heart-wrenching event to write about so openly. I would agree that many affairs start with inappropriate amounts of time being spent with someone of the opposite sex. Hedges and boundaries can go a long way to protecting our marriages!

  • This book has important information on helping marriages flourish. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this week.

  • I was so busy running errands and also celebrating my first son’s 15th Birthday, I just remembered I had not come to link up only discover I missed this opportunity.
    This book sounds like a great read and from the little you have shared it will be a great blessing too.
    For me, slow fades… my husband thinks I am too sensitive so some times I try to avoid emotions… not a good thing I know… I just don’t want him to think I am not growing…
    But I am working on better ways to handle my sensitivity.