What I Liked
For what it was, I enjoyed the book. It was not written to be the end-all manual for husbands, but a fun overview of some common marital topics and a warning to the newly married man to avoid common pitfalls. It provided some genuinely useful “man” information such as “How to Choose Great Jewelry”, “How To Remember Things Men Don’t Remember”, and “How to Do Simple Wall Repairs.” It gave great ideas like “Six Great, Easy Dates” and “Five Great, Classy Dates”, as well as “How To Serve Breakfast In Bed”. And, it provided some good relational food for thought like, “Be the Master of One Meal A Day”, “How Not To Fight Over Money”, and “How To Make Decisions.” The chapters weren’t very long but generally provided some good information.
What I Didn’t Like
The book is written to be light hearted and funny which worked well when it was actually funny, but it was awkward and felt forced when it wasn’t. One of the first things that didn’t sit well with me (and actually caused me to tell my wife I didn’t think I was going to like it at all) was that the book seemed to be based on the idea that “Marriage is hard, so here’s how to survive” instead of “Marriage is hard, here’s how to thrive.” It seemed to find it’s foundation in the stereotypical husband jokes and work its way out of that muck, rather than start fresh with a message of hope. It felt like a book about dealing with marriage rather than a book about falling in love with marriage. Which, as any visitor to this site needs to know, that is a very important thing to me.
As with any book you read, you’ve got to pick out the bones, and one of the biggest bones I had to pick with this book was a chapter on how to manage one’s erotic materials. The idea was how to keep it safe and secure from anyone else including your wife if you weren’t already open about it. If there’s any message I want resounding from this site is that honesty in marriage is the key to a happy and intimate relationship. Porn destroys marriages, especially when it’s kept secret. Whether or not it’s common doesn’t change the fact that it’s dangerous. The irony to me was that the author often, when telling husbands to do hard things, challenged them with the words “You are a man, you can adapt. You can overcome any obstacle.” Aparently getting rid of an addiction to porn didn’t warrant that kind of admonition.
Since at first glance it looks as though I didn’t like this book twice as much as I liked it, let me say again that, for the most part, I enjoyed it. In all fairness that chapter on porn was a few pages in a book that was full of some good information. If nothing else, it all got me thinking about my own relationship with my wife, and even sparked some conversation. And that, dear husbands, is always a good thing.
Want A Free Copy?
I asked Quirk Books if they’d be willing to give out a copy or two to our readers, and they graciously offered to send five. So if you’d like to a chance to receive a copy of Stuff Every Husband Should Know, simply post your best piece of “Every Husband Should Know” advice in the comments below (keep in clean) by Friday, April 15 at 10pm EST. I will choose five winners using Random.org and announce them on Saturday. Only one comment per person, please. And sorry, but only U.S. readers are eligible.
So what is that one piece of husbandry advice you’d give to someone getting ready to be married?
The book is Available at Amazon in hardback and for the Kindle here.