Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Project: Happily Ever After – Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters by Alisa Bowman

Ms. Bowman found herself wishing her husband dead and so she embarked on a last-ditch attempt to save her marriage. She gave herself four months to repair their marriage, and if that didn’t work she would consider divorce.

First, she chronicles how she met her husband, what their relationship was like, and how unavailable, uninvolved, and unengaged her husband was. She then goes on to describe what she did to try and improve her marriage.
It does seem like Bowman was able to better her situation by reading a lot of self-help books and learning to ask her husband directly to do things that would help her and their daughter out.

However, it seemed to me like her husband was not really a winner to begin with. There’s basic consideration, respect, and emotional engagement that seems necessary for even just a friendship…and her husband seemed to lack these things. For example, Bowman wanted to increase their emotional intimacy, but her husband told her that “Guys don’t do feelings” (p.208) and that was the end of that conversation. What hogwash.

I was confused whether this was a memoir or a self-help book. It tried to be both, but was mostly a memoir with self-help guidance included every so often in large type. For example,
“Little known fact: a man who tells you that he doesn’t want to have children really doesn’t want to have children” (p.60).
I found these tidbits of “advice” to be very annoying and distracting.

I did not like this book, and I am recommending that you skip it. The writer and her husband never appealed to me so I couldn’t root for them. I’m glad that Bowman now considers her marriage “good” and that she offers hope that things can change. But if you’re looking to improve your marriage, don’t start here.

In the “Special Bonus Section,” she writes: “It’s also my hope that you will agree that the $19.95 you spent on this book was the best $19.95 you ever spent.” Actually…I’m really glad that I checked this out of the library for free and didn’t spend any money on it.

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