This book took me a long time to get through, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's just there was a lot of good stuff in here.
The book is about a process that this organization use with couples who are at the breaking point and ready to give up. What's incredible is that it has a greater than 90% success rate. Or so they say. Even though my wife and I are nowhere near that point (not even on the road), the information in here is incredibly useful in a preventive sense, and also in a practical sense for relationships outside of marriage (no... not like that; like friendships and business relationships).
Now that I have a Kindle, the best way (at least for this one) to review the book is to look over some of my highlights... which is super-easy!
The external problem is rarely the real problem. - A good chunk of the book talked about this, and how in most disagreements that get out of control, usually what's being argued about is rarely the root problem. When I approach things with that attitude, I start to understand the other side of the issue a lot easier.
To take personal responsibility means that you refuse to focus on what the other person has done. I.e.:When we begin by attempting to figure out who is to blame or what really happened, we succeed only in fueling power struggles and hurtful disagreements. And: To the extent that you define the problem or the goal in terms of the other person, you remain paralyzed. You will have no power to change anything.
That really sums up the whole latter part of the book. And it's a common theme I've heard elsewhere. It's futile to spend your life trying to "fix" others. The only person you have control over is yourself.
There was also a lot of talk about self-care that was really relevant for me at the time (well, probably at any time). When you begin to see yourself as valuable, when you start to look at yourself as God sees you, you find the motivation to attend to yourself in a way worthy of the real you.
And finally, a quote that is similar to a common idea I learned years ago at a marriage conference and repeat to myself over and over. Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side. Or my version: "we are not enemies."