This is a hands on version of Mars and Venus. I liked it so much that I keep it in my bedroom to use a a reference book for my opposite half. It has certainly made arguments go a lot easier. And now when my wife comes home from work and starts talking for 30 minutes straight I know that she just needs to talk out an issue that is bugging her. She does not want me to tell her how to fix the problem, she just wants someone to listen to her. The age old issue of "honey which pair of shoes do you like best?" is answered (here is a hint...dont ever say the red one or the gold one--your wife has already made her decision....say oh the gold one goes really well with your bracelet and earrings, or the red ones really highlight your makeup...)
If you are a guy or girl who does not understand how the other sex thinks this is required reading, one of the best books I have ever read on the subject.
I really wanted to like this book - from the front & back cover, it looks like a John Gray type of "understanding the opposite sex" book, but with some fun and humor thrown in.
However, I was seriously disappointed by the book overall, and downright appalled at some of the "advice" given. I had a difficult time believing that the book was written by a married couple together. Although author Allan Pease has published other books and video programs on communication, I don't know what Barbara's credentials are on the subject, or whether either of them has any kind of personal educational background in human psychology. Some of their scientific information need updating, to reflect more current statistics and research findings, and their professional references also leave a few things to be desired. (Among the "references" listed in the back of the book, you'll find "Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys" and "The Farting Book." The author himself has previously published a book on rude and "politically incorrect" jokes, which this book is peppered with.)
You will definitely find some gender-specific truisms in here, points about each sex that I doubt anyone would disagree with and some that might even prove helpful. However, you will also find some disastrous suggestions, such as telling men that if his wife wants to talk out an argument before bed, he suggest that she put it on ice and say, "can we talk about this over the weekend?" I cannot imagine a single woman in America (aside from Mrs. Pease, apparently) who would respond positively to such a suggestion.
Worse even than that, there is a MARKEDLY obvious bias being perpetuated here - and, no surprise, it's the typical cultural bias that men do their perplexing and sometimes destructive things because they "just can't help it" - their poor widdle brains just don't have the capacity for rational thought, higher communication, or an understanding of commitment and monogamy - and that it's primarily women who should learn to look the other way, adjust themselves accordingly, and modify their expectations. Often the suggestions of how a woman should "handle" or "train" (their words) her man sounds more like a manual for managing willful toddlers or not-so-bright puppies. If I were a man, I would find such positions insulting - and as a woman, I certainly do.
But don't take my word for it - here are some of the most egregious examples: According to the Peases, if a wife is being harrassed and treated poorly by her husband's mother, it's HER fault. She should have made more of an effort to "bond" with the mother-in-law prior to the wedding. And it's now her job to "make nice". She should not "nag" her husband, regardless of how responsible he may be for creating or exascerbating the problem, or whether the truth is he needs to be mature and cut the apron strings, making his current wife & family a higher priority than his nagging, intrusive mother.
If that isn't enough to rankle you, flip forward a few chapters to the extensive area of the book dedicated to breaking down and assessing the physical components of female sexuality, where women are given the following piece of advice toward having a successful marriage: "A good hairdresser can be sought to recommend how to best wear your hair, your dentist can correct your teeth, and lingerie parties will show you how to best display your physical assets." Huh? I've been to a lingerie party (hosted by my boss at work, so I kinda had to make an appearance); I don't remember us gals standing around and practicing "displaying our assets" - not even after several glasses of champagne. But the deep and meaningful suggestions don't stop there - they go on to say: "treat yourself to a nose job or enhance your breasts for your birthday. In the twenty-first century there is no longer any legitimate reason not to look the way you want." I have no further comment.
If you're truly interested in learning about gender and communication styles, I implore you to pick up any of Deborah Tannen's wonderful books, or I can't say enough positive things about Terrence Real's "How Can I Get Through to You?"
For better romance & intimacy, Sharon Wolf's "How to Stay Lovers for Life" and any of the romance books written by Gregory Godeck are great.
For deeper spiritual connection, I strongly recommend Miguel Ruiz's, "The Mastery of Love" or "How to Create A Magical Relationship" by Ariel and Shya Kane.
Any of the above put this book to absolute shame. I wish I could have given it less than 1 star.