I'm an open book, for the most part, I believe. I've written about the ups and downs of my marriage...the good, the bad, the ugly. It's all here, for the world to see.
My most recent post regarding my marriage was written not too long ago, when Tim and I had taken a little mini-vacation...just the two of us. We rediscovered who we were as a couple, as best friends and, perhaps most importantly, partners for life.
But, as they say, the good times don't last for long and before I knew it, we found ourselves stuck in a valley yet again.
Marriage is hard work. Damn straight.
The first thing that struck me about Jen's book is that it reads just like a conversation you'd have with a good friend...you know, over coffee as you spill your guts and admit how badly your husband pissed you off the other day, while she nods her head in agreement and says, "You're preaching to the choir, sister".
So here's the thing...most of the research-based love tips were things that Tim and I were already aware of. Tim even said as much when I pleaded with him to read the book after I had already finished it...in one day, I might add, because it was THAT great of a read.
"Why should I read it?" he had asked. "It sounds like it's full of information we already know."
I answered, "That's true. I'll give you that. But...and this is a huge BUT, if we're so smart and we already know this stuff, why are we not practicing all these things?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
I continued, "Well, I'll tell you why....because it's overwhelming and it seems like a lot of work so we get stuck in this 'why bother' attitude. The author of the book talks about being supportive, spicing up your sex life, how to keep things positive and manage conflict. Simple little things that go a long way. But she doesn't just WRITE about it, she explains HOW to do it successfully. I don't know...I found it very inspiring, encouraging and made me want to take action."
Tim chewed on that for several seconds and then finally said, "Okay, I'll read it, especially if it means getting some action."
"Uh, I said, it made me want to TAKE action, not GET action but I suppose that would be a good start," I replied.
Because he reads super slow, I haven't been able to get his final opinion on the book. But let's just say, I'm thrilled that he at least agreed to read it.
I really appreciated Jen's humor in dealing with such a serious subject matter. She doesn't come across as someone who knows more than you...she comes across as someone who's "been there, done that" and genuinely wants to help you achieve and/or maintain a happy marriage.
And I absolutely LOVE that she has helpful quotes from other couples scattered throughout the book, explaining how they deal with specific issues, as well as words of inspiration.
Tim and I are guilty of muttering simple "I love you's" to one another, without much thought about the meaning behind those three little words. But when was the last time we had been more creative about expressing our love to one another...like, as Jen suggests, "I cherish you" and "I want to be with you always"?
To be honest, I don't think either of us has ever said anything more romantic to one another than "I love you". But I would imagine the day Tim comes to me and says, "I'm better because of you", he will have won my heart completely all over again.
Words and actions, people. That's what it comes down to. And it's about not waiting for your partner to make the first move...we have to be willing to step it up, as well.
And with Jen's Make Love, Not Scrapbooks, we have no more excuses. She elaborates on the tips in great detail, even making lists and using bullet points to make it more manageable, which I love! And she writes about the results you should see once you begin to implement her suggestions.
Jen's honesty is refreshing, the research is proven and the book will quickly become your "go to" manual when you need reassurance and assistance, as well as stimulating and exciting ideas.
Even if your marriage is already on good terms and/or you just got hitched, the book is still a great reference for ways to keep the flame burning brighter.
You can read more about Make Love, Not Scrapbooks by visiting Jen's website at http://www.makelovenotscrapbooks.com/.
WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK
Jen has generously offered one of my readers his/her own signed copy of the book!
To enter the giveaway, simply leave me a comment telling me what you and your partner do to keep the love alive in your relationship.
If your e-mail isn't visible in your profile, please leave it in your comment.
For extra entries: (please leave me a comment for each entry)
1) Become a follower of Jen's blog, Jen's Love Lessons (tell me which # follower you are)
2) Like Jen's Facebook fan page (and tell me which # follower you are)
3) Tweet and/or Facebook about this giveaway (and leave me the URL in a comment)
4) Write a blog post about this giveaway (and leave me the URL)
This giveaway ends on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm PST. The winner will be chosen via Random.org and notified by e-mail.
* I received a complimentary copy of Jen's book for the purpose of this review. This review is based on my honest opinion of the book, as well as my personal experience.
Mangia, Mangia, Mangia
14 hours ago