Before you are married the idea of combining your life with another’s seems romantic; idyllic. But the reality of combing two lifestyles, households, and personalities can be a challenge at best.
I got married to the father of my daughter when I was 20 years old, because thats what you do when you have a baby and someone offers, right?
Ten years later I had been divorced for 6 years, a Christian for 3, and my life was in a great place. I was financially secure, I had lost weight and gotten in shape, and I was happy, even though I was single.
Then I met my husband.
I pretty much knew the minute that I laid eyes on him that I would marry him, and he felt the same. We were engaged after only a few months of dating and were married 8 months after we had met.
I picked a Christian this time! He was a hard worker who didn’t quit his job to stay home and smoke pot! We had both been married before, so we knew what to expect. Right?
Turns out that combining two lives is hard whether you are Christians or not. We went through a very tumultous first year before we got any sort of footing on our marriage.
Team Us: Marriage Together by Ashleigh Slater is a new book that takes a realstic look at the unrealistic expectations a lot of us have going into marriage. The back of the book says, “What are you agreeing to when you say I do?”
After our hellacious first year of marriage I read a LOT of marriage books, so I didn’t have any real expectations when I picked this one up.
This is definitely written from a different perspective than most books on marriage. Instead of providing clinical statistics and a set of rules, Ashleigh shares experiences from her life and marriage and expounds on what she and her husband learned, or what they could have done differently. The book also contains stories and excerpts from some of their friends, and sound bites from her husband.
I really think everyone contemplating marriage should read this book. It hits on a substantial issue – marriage is not the fairy tale most imagine. Each chapter deals with a different issue in marriage, from trust to grace to the blending of two lives and interests, but the unifying theme throughout the book is learning to be a team instead of battling each other.
One passage in the chapter about grace really stuck out to me:
“We attempt to do what R.C. Sproul Jr. points to as the core meaning of this verse. We “under-accuse, over-repent, and over-forgive.” We are not afraid to call sin by its name, but we’re also quick “to forgive and look past it.”
I felt like the book was a little heavy on the personal anecdotes and stories – its almost seemed like there was an attempt to hit a certain words count vs. effectively relaying the message. Perhaps someone whose lifestyle more closely identifies with that of the author’s would benefit more from some of the storytelling. But I did enjoy reading it, I just found myself skimming some of the stories.
This wasn’t a fast read for me because I found myself rereading and mentally chewing on several of the chapters. That’s a good thing. Going through Team Us has convicted me on the lack of grace I often show my husband, and has revealed many areas where I am fighting aginst him instead of with him.
Whether you are looking for some down-to-earth marriage advice, or just want a realistic look at marriage Team Us Marriage Together is a great read.
Sound like a book you need to read? Well lucky you because I am giving a copy away. Enter to win on the widget below, and please share!
Don’t want to take your chances? Grab a copy on Amazon.
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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting LLC for providing the prize for this giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of this product in exchange for this review and post.
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