Book Review | No More Perfect Marriages by Mark and Jill Savage

no more perfect marriages

Wanting a perfect marriage is typical of newlyweds and romantic hopefuls.  And for a while after the wedding bells are rung, things seem to be just that.  But then dust settles and life takes over, and the real “US”es start to show.  Could it mean that a perfect marriage is unattainable?

Instead of answering that question, I think the question should be, “Are we focusing on what marriage is really supposed to be?” Because the truth is that, if we are, we will realize the truth of what Mark and Jill have written about in their new book, “No More Perfect Marriages”- there is no perfect marriage.  They give very real and candid examples from their own lives and long-standing marriage, which I found to be incredibly admirable, and they discuss many changes that many of our marriages may face.

Understanding that each marriage is unique (remember two of us are becoming one), we have to also understand that both people are bringing their pasts, experiences, understandings, expectations, and realities to the center.  And trying to blend those things doesn’t always work out without understanding, grace and forgiveness at the ready.  So needless to say, we need help for our marriages, picture-perfect or not.

One section of the book that I loved was right in the beginning.  They addressed the masks that we wear.  In any marriage, it’s easy to resort to old habits or hide when we don’t get our way, but the problem lies in what those actions do to our spouses.  We need to be realistic and admit when we let selfishness creep in where God wants us to put the other first.  It’s hard, but can be done with Christ’s help.  And Mark and Jill show us how.

I also love how they laid out some God-tools- relevant for all of us, and practical items that we need on a daily basis to consistently put our spouses first, and recognize how our behavior affects each other.  This book has some additional links for support, a link to Jill’s page ( and many fun, practical ideas for how to get over trying to pretend our marriages are perfect.  You’ll love their honesty, raw emotional stories and uplifting outcomes.

This book is (dare I say, PERFECT) for marriages of any length of time, those who are thriving and those who are struggling.  There is help, and these two, along with Gary Chapman are some great Christian resources!

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I received this book, free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  I am very thankful to Moody Publishers for giving me this advanced reader copy, and providing me an opportunity to post about it with all of you.  Pick up your copy today!

Book Review | The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family by Ron L. Deal and David H. Olson

smart stepfamily

When I was on my honeymoon, I read a book by Ron L. Deal, called The Smart Stepmom.  It was co-written with Laura Petherbridge, and it illuminated a lot of things I hadn’t thought about before crossing the aisle to wedded bliss.  I appreciate Ron L. Deal’s insight on stepfamilies.  He’s a credible therapist with years of experience and success at helping families cope, as well as being a well known author on the topic of blending stepfamilies. Recently he’s co-written a book with David Olsen, founder of PREPARE/ENRICH, to give necessary tools to help couples who struggle as they try to merge preexisting families.

This new book can be added to his other successful works when it comes to pointing couples in the right direction and giving practical advice.  This book comes equipped with some in-depth situations and solutions for those situations that normally wouldn’t have favorable outcomes.  He also points readers to a tool created by David Olson, The Couple Checkup.  If couples take the time to answer the questions truthfully, it can give a breakdown of healthy and unhealthy areas in their marriage that they can tackle together.  The Couple Checkup is a report designed to address the following key areas: Communication, Conflict Resolution, Financial Management, Relationship Roles, Affection and Sexual Relationship, Couple Closeness and Flexibility, Family Closeness and Flexibility and Personality.

I recommend taking the test at any stage of your stepfamily duration.  Once you know about yourself, and your spouse, you have some key areas to strategize over.  Also, the book addresses many of these areas, to directly relate to the checkup.  I think it’s a great resource for anyone who has chosen to remarry, marry someone with children, has questions about stepfamilies, is looking for meaningful resources to help with relational issues, and needs godly wisdom in seeking resolution.  You will not be disappointed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”