The Man You Always Wanted is the One You Already Have
Recycling your marriage is a novel concept in this day of wide-ranging disposables; everything from diapers to dinner plates are designed to be tossed in the trash. The frequency with which some people change spouses indicates that many have extended that idea to relationships as well. And, if we personally haven't, then we've become very accepting of those who do, which also helps to promote it. This is not to say that divorce is never acceptable --- merely that there may be other alternatives when a relationship seems "used up."
Paula Friedrichsen is a freelance writer who speaks at women's retreats and conferences. Her insights and commentaries can be heard on Christian radio and television. Now she has taken her experiences and put together an inspiring self-help book that may begin to help reverse the pervasive trend of divorce-as-the-solution-to-relationship-problems.
The author writes from the heart of a woman who has been transformed by the Grace of God. During the early years of her marriage, Paula and her husband Jeff had moved to a new town. Jeff was not a Christian at the time, so Paula went to church by herself and soon got caught up in its activities and the teachings of its dynamic pastor. Need I say more? The closer she got to the pastor through services and projects, the further away she grew from her husband. The better the pastor looked, the worse her husband looked by comparison. While the "affair" was never consummated, its effects were far-reaching. The pastor was asked to relocate, and the damage done to the church was, in many ways, irreparable.
As a result of this experience, Paula came away with many truths, and these have formed the framework for this exciting little book. Sometimes, an author's list of truths may sound obvious, and often it's because we have heard them before but have never incorporated them into our own thinking. The Biblical truths that include forgiveness, honesty, trust and love are familiar, yet many continue to struggle with them.
Included among the interesting chapters is a segment on the Four Temperaments. This concept dates back to Hippocrates, who attempted to explain human behavior with his theory of four distinct personality types. It remains a great tool in helping us to understand and appreciate the differences in the personalities among us. Rather than dwelling on our mate's weakness, we can begin to focus on his/her corresponding strength.
Paula Friedrichsen has tackled a distressing problem that faces believers as well as society in general. Through her transparency and clearly stated insights, she has provided a tool for those who would choose to save their marriage rather than abandon it at the first sign of "wear and tear." THE MAN YOU ALWAYS WANTED is full of helpful encouragement and will provide hope to those who may be growing cold toward their marriage.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on January 16, 2007