I came across Happily Married With Kids on the website last month and decided to request for a review copy.
A lot of couples enter into marriages and when they find out they are going to be parents, they do not realise that having a child is going to change the whole dynamics of the couple's life. That said, it does not mean having a child means your marriage is going to end.
This is why I feel this book is good as it addresses the expectations, crises and provide tips on how to sail through married life happily with kids.
I totally agree with the author's point: "Often, parents don’t realize that one of the best things they can give their children is a good marriage. Not only does it protect children from the obvious financial and emotional disruptions of divorce, a good marriage provides a role model for happiness, kindness, maintaining a sense of yourself in a group, and getting along with people in the world."
The book is broken down into four main chapters: "Baby on Board", "Normal Marriages — Real Problems", "Travel, Holidays, and Other Crises" and "Let’s Talk: Protecting Your Marriage".
In the first chapter, I learned that problems that occur in the family should not be viewed as a negative thing or a failure in your relationship; instead they should be viewed as opportunities to make the couple's relationship better. It reminds us that a happy couple is one that works together to resolve conflicts, respect each other and reconnects back after a disagreement.
I also learned a new perspective from page 38: "Men are taught to emphasize negotiation while women are trained in cooperation." A woman expects her husband to work with her in taking care of the family, while the man would expect some bargaining or barter work (according to the author, bargaining is a form of connection in a man's thinking) in caring for the family. Hence if a couple do not understand this, they end up getting frustrated and angry when they are overwhelmed with the things on their hands.
I loved it when the author said that a happy couple does not necessarily share equally child care in the family, but that each should have a sense of appreciation for what the other brings to the marriage and they should communicate that appreciation to each other.