December 17, 2014

30 Lessons for Loving

"Respect means freedom, not control: I give you the right to be yourself.”  ~ eighty-eight-year-old Eula Zimmerman

30 Lessons for Loving is loaded with advice garnered from surveying approximately seven hundred adults age sixty-five and over.

The Marriage Advice Project is a national interview survey. The questions asked were a series of prompts, asking individuals to share love and marriage advice for young people, focusing on topics such as: choosing a mate, dealing with stressors, avoiding break-ups, the role of intimacy, and core values and principles for marriage.

It’s interesting to read about the frustrations and satisfaction these individuals’ have experienced throughout their lives. What better way to educate young couples on such things than to go to the sources with experience?

As someone who has been happily married for three decades, I relate to these individuals’ familiarity and knowledge of marriage, family, and love. Life experience carries an obligation to share both failures and achievements with anyone willing to listen and learn from them.

This book is a collection of thirty lessons, divided into five chapters: Lessons for Finding a Mate, Communication and Conflict, Getting Over the Hard Parts, Keeping the Spark Alive, and Thinking Like an Expert About Love and Marriage. There is also an Appendix, explaining how this study was conducted.

One of the simplest and dearest pieces of advice is found in the chapter on Communication. The lesson titled, Mind Your Manners, shares the importance of how married couples treat one another. When people disagree in the workplace they rarely raise their voices, storm off, call each other names and such, so there’s no call for couples doing so in their relationships.

I especially liked a particular man’s take on this. Seventy-five-year-old Tony Matthews states:

It’s all about demonstrating love and having mutual respect. I think as people are around the same person for a long time, they forget to be polite and just say please and thank you, or offer one another a hand. Simple things that can mean a lot. I know of so many couples where one person becomes grouchy because things aren’t exactly right. I think it’s a matter of not forgetting those simple things that make up politeness.

Cover: Just okay
Title: Like it
Publisher: Hudson Street Press
Pages: 304
Pace: Steady
First lines (Chapter one): My advice? Be extremely careful about who you marry. The most important thing is to pick someone who is a good candidate for marriage. You can’t make something out of nothing. When you’re young it’s easy to be bowled over by how someone looks. But that isn’t enough.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the LibraryThing. 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

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