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.
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
- Not Accepting
- Defensive Responses
- 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.
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!
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 join – Christian 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!
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