Project: Happily Ever After - A book review

1/24/11


Now just hear me out on this very unglamorous analogy. I kind of liken a marriage to a really well built retaining wall. Retaining walls are strong and are built to whether any storm. But sometimes cracks can form in the foundation so it’s important to always check and repair before the tiny cracks become huge gaps.

Recently, accomplished writer and author Alisa Bowman approached me to review her upcoming book Project: Happily Ever After. Not being an avid reader of self-help books I was skeptical that the book would be like many in the category and talk at the reader rather than to them. But boy was I wrong. Alisa’s book is more like an educational novel that has a way of identifying with the reader through well-written stories and antidotes.

Not every marriage is perfect. Everyone fights and has disagreements. I believe that a good marriage is being able to identify this and building the skills together in order to solve issues and conflicts. In her book Alisa talks about how her marriage had gotten to such a point where she imagined her husband dropping dead but more importantly how she transformed her marriage from bad to good in just four short months.

I remember taking a marriage prep course through our church before we were married. My husband and I had lived together before we were married and pretty much thought the mandatory course would be a waste of time and a cake walk. I was pleasantly surprised to learn many new things about my husband in that course as well as myself. The course talked about finances, spirituality (our course was through the Catholic church) as well as fighting disagreements fairly through communication.

Much like our marriage prep course, Project: Happily Ever After must only be taken on if you are both willing. Both people must be committed to working through issues and rebuilding the marriage for it to even work. In the first few chapters Alisa begins the book by telling the story of how she first met and fell in love with her husband. I really liked how the book felt like I was reading a story with helpful tidbits sprinkled in. In retrospective Alisa writes about how her husband didn’t necessarily always do what she thought he should have if he really loved her, such as being at home when she first moved into his apartment. A key point from this story and many others from the book is communication. If you want your partner or spouse to be at home when you move in – tell them. People can’t read minds so communicating your wants and needs and eventual compromises must be communicated for any relationship to maintain a strong balance.

Another key point to any great marriage that is highlighted in the book is asking for help. Alisa writes that “saying “I need help” does not mean you are weak. Rather, having the courage to say those words means you are very, very strong.” In this day in age of independence and equality, women (and even men) want to maintain these key personality traits. But just because you are a strong, independent women doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help or rely on your spouse for help. It’s important to work and live like a team, after all it is called a marriage for a reason.

In short, I really enjoyed reading Project: Happily Ever After. I don’t claim that my marriage is perfect. And just like our marriage prep course Alisa’s book gives the reader solid advice; that with hard work, commitment from both people, open communication & ten steps, a marriage can be rebuilt.

Alisa was kind enough to give me a signed copy to giveaway to one of you. Again, the book is an insightful read regardless of how strong your marriage is. To win this copy, leave your name in a comment below. The contest closes Friday January 28 and will be selected by a random number generator.

And please check out Alisa's wonderful blog & site: http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/




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