Book Review: "The Man's Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage
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I am always on the lookout for great resources for men. I receive a lot of responses to my blogs, requests to do something collaborative, or to help promote other people's blogs, guest post, etc. It is more common for me to turn down such requests, even if I enjoy the content, because it is not in line with my practice and blog nor the needs of my readers, followers, and clients. Recently I was contacted by Steven Schloss, the author of "The Man's Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day." What touched me most is that I found Steven Schloss to be very sincere. He came up with this book after recovering from a divorce after 24 years of marriage then navigating his way to a new, emotionally vibrant relationship. It is not easy to write about personal experience, especially one that many men feel ashamed and reluctant to talk about, or even admit. Steven Schloss does so openly and shares his experience about how to recover and put the pieces together to have a great relationship so so men don't need to be left feeling alone in this process.
After reading through "The Man's Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage" this past week, I say it is a must read for men in a long-term relationship that has started to struggle. The only thing I would consider changing if I were to have written this book is the title, because it does not give the nuggets of relational wisdom inside this book enough credit. Sure, Schloss does make it easy and there are certain actions men can take that only take 10 minutes a day (and that is certainly more time than many men are putting into relating emotionally to their partner each day), but this book goes so much further than that. The book covers relationship troubles when they are just beginning and easier to address, as well as trudges through marriages as they've reached a more chronic, entrenched relationship problems. In either case, there is a chance to turn your relationship around, and this book gives some simple, practical tips to make this possible. I might have titled it "What You Can Do to Save Your Relationship" or "Bringing Your Relationship Back from the Brink" (something along those lines… obviously I am not a marketing guru!).
What impressed me was that the book reminded me of a book by the renowned couples therapist, Willard Harley, whose work I enjoyed when I was doing more work with couples. Schloss provides men recommendations similar to what Harley provides after recovering from an affair (without the affair part). Furthermore Schloss has come to his conclusions based on years of personal experience and reflection after his own marriage fell apart and his recovery from the divorce afterward. In my evolution as a therapist I enjoyed seeing that a person could come to the same conclusions from personal experience as a therapist who has done so through years of professional work. I felt that it makes the book very grounded, and relatable, particularly as men tend to relate better man to man rather than being spoken to from the ivory tower of professionalism.
Bottom line… it does not take an extraordinary event like an affair to leave a previously good relationship in shambles! By simply neglecting basic relating to your partner a relationship can slowly but surely deteriorate, even over a long period of time. What I like about Steve's approach is that, like Harley, it takes you back to what you were doing at the beginning of the relationship when passion and desire were their strongest and you were engaging in the kind of behaviors that make a relationship strong. Maintaining passion in a long term relationship is often overlooked in modern couples therapy, which focuses mainly on conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is important, but if that is all you do, you and your partner may be able to better resolve conflicts or get through an argument more constructively, but it doesn't attune you to doing the kinds of things that keep passion and desire alive in a relationship.
Schloss has packed this book full of specific, detailed advice for men, sometimes even step by step so you can take what he has written and begin to apply it immediately, without elaborate planning, and if your relationship situation is not too far gone, you can apply this advice on your own, without the immediate guidance from a counselor or coach. Some of the advice might not be for everybody, but what makes this a non-factor is that there is so much advice that there is an extensive menu of options to choose from if one doesn't work, or does not fit your personality. The book even has a chapter chapter called "101 Ways to a Sexy Marriage" dedicated to a diversity of activities that is sure to have more than a few that resonate with each man and his partners interests and needs.
"The Man's Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage" is also a good reminder of what we men need to keep up with as we go deeper into a long term relationship or marriage BEFORE it starts to go South. It's a good refresher to keep us on our toes, keep up with the little things we tend to neglect once we become comfortable in the relationship, communicate, stay actively interested in our partner rather than switch into auto-pilot. It is all too easy for us to zone out and not nurture the emotional connection with our partner, which leaves them dissatisfied and feeling taken for granted. This can be prevented by applying the practices from the book as well by instilling good relational habits while the relationship is strong.
Because I felt this book was in line with the needs of my clients and readers, I volunteered to be part of the affiliate program for "The Man's Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage". I have been able to secure a 20% discount for my clients and followers. You must go to www.createspace.com/4224221 and enter promo code 3PHUVMVY to get your discount. Enjoy!
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