Michele Weiner-Davis, M.S.W., is a therapist in private practice specializing in Solution-Oriented Brief Therapy. She publishes extensively in professional journals, and her work has been written about in popular magazines and news papers across the country. Her highly acclaimed workshops have earned her national recognition. She lives with her husband and two children in Illinois (253).
The highlights of this book are how Weiner-Davis illustrates her strategies for marriage-enriching, divorce-preventing techniques. For example, Weiner-Davis makes it clear to the reader that establishing goals are important and helps you to clearly envision what you want to accomplish (107). As Weiner-Davis expressed it the major points are (1) setting attainable goals; for instance, having vague goals is like having no goals at all; (2) Identifying problem-solving behavior and (3) breaking unproductive patterns – Weiner-Davis acknowledges that it is essential that you approach solution finding with a researcher’s mind: Experiment with something new and carefully note your mate’s response. If it appears that the new approach is helping you reach your goal, keep it up. If not, try a different approach. Marriage enhancement (along with parenting or personal growth, for that matter) is a trial-and-error process (142).
Weiner-Davis takes the reader step-by-step in discovering dynamic ways of solving marital problems and communicating more effectively with your mate.
I found this book to be very positive and uplifting. This book allowed me to take a deep look inside of myself, and ask the question, “Do I want to get married? Will I be able to set appropriate goals for my marriage? I believe the audience will get a good understanding of learning to be “selfless,” and take the “butterfly approach.” Reading this book gives the reader a feeling of wanting to hear more, yet the answers kept flowing to resolve marital problems. This book not only helps married couples, but offers solutions for individuals, friendships and general relationships as well.
Weiner-Davis makes it clear to the reader that no matter how much you love your mate, you will always have unmet needs (193). The author stresses that human beings need each other, which is a vital point, not only in marriage, but life in general. The reader is encouraged by the happy tone, and consistent resolutions the author gives in developing patterns that work. The approach that “it takes one to tango,” captures the reader’s attention. This is an odd, yet opposite approach to encouraging the reader. Weiner-Davis concedes that years of experience have taught me that both partners need not be present during therapy sessions for the marriage to change. In certain situations, both parties’ presence hampers the change process (99). This observation is well received by the reader; simply because of the different personalities that are brought to the marriage therapy table. Some people are passive, some are assertive, which means while present in therapy their attitudes could clash with one another.
So the approach that Weiner-Davis takes, “It takes One to Tango, “is a traditional one. Also the author talks about when “techniques don’t yield the best results.” Weiner-Davis concedes that if you make a halfhearted attempt to implement a new approach, you might as well not bother, because “your heart is not in it.” You won’t be believable and it won’t work. If you don’t feel completely comfortable with a particular technique, you won’t seem sincere. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right for you. There are enough choices from which to choose. If your heart isn’t it, do something different (183).
Throughout this book Weiner-Davis shows the readers an optimistic and straightforward approach, which shows the strength of what the author is conveying to the readers. Thus far, I did not find any flaws about the book; accept to say that I somehow wanted to ingest more in the last paragraph: “Close friends and colleagues tell me that I’m a hopeless optimist. But I tell them, “That’s okay, it’s a communicable disease.” (Weiner-Davis, 234). The author leaves the reader with an in-depth curiosity of wanting to hear more. In all of the wonderful strategies the author teaches the reader; the readers wanted more to look forward to, a final test, if you will, or pass and fail strategized outline. Overall, the book accomplished what it set out to do, and that is to “make your marriage loving again.”
The name of the book itself is a blessing. God does not like divorce, so He is the biggest divorce buster on earth. I was truly encouraged by the various strategies used in the “Divorce Buster,” to resolve marital problems. I particularly enjoyed reading “the parting words,” of Weiner-Davis. Weiner-Davis states that even the best problem-solving techniques in the world won’t penetrate the resentment one feels from the lack of forgiveness (231).
Today in the US, statistics show that money is the number one cause of divorce. I can understand not having the basic essentials needed in life, like food, clothing and shelter. No one wants to be without basic needs. However, the world that we live in today have been experiencing mass flooding, in diverse places, which have destroyed homes, businesses, cars and many families lost their love ones. Many people had lost everything and had nothing left but each other to depend on. For those of us who had never experienced such a tragedy in your lives, we can’t imagine that happening to us. The very things that money could buy were destroyed. So you have to ask yourself, “Is money really the number one cause of divorce?” or is love and forgiveness the main causes of divorce? If you really think about it, when your spouse loses his job, the relationship status changes; arguments start to blister, insecurity and lack of respect filters the relationship. However, if you genuinely love one another, it will not matter who lost his/her job, because you are one flesh, and when one person falls, you fall together; when one person rises, you rise together.
Genuine love have no time for unforgiveness or lack of money. The Bible says, the love of money is the root of all evil (1Timothy 6:10). The things we love more than human life becomes our value system. But Jesus has a value system that’s based around love and forgiveness. He taught the disciples and a crowd of families on a mountain, Jesus began teaching the “Sermon of the Mount,” and his values were all outlined in (Matthew 5-7), called the “Beatitudes.” If we embrace the values of Jesus there would be no divorce, but genuine love and forgiveness in our marriages and relationships will be the “divorce buster”. If we don’t forgive, then God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:15). So many people are not only getting divorced from a lack of forgiveness, but many people are getting sick and don’t understand why they are sick in their bodies, or why healing is not taking place in their bodies. All that is necessary is to confess with your hearts and forgive the other person, and a whole new life will began to flourish, simply because of saying, “I forgive you.” Imagine carrying around 5 bags of heavy trash every day, eventually your body will wear down and be destroyed. Well, that is the way it is when you do not forgive your mate. From the book “Divorce Busting,” here is an excerpt from Author, Leo Buscaglia:
“We ignore the possibility that in the act of forgiving and showing compassion we are very likely to discover new depths in ourselves and new possibilities for relating in the future. We are too proud. We engage rather in self-defeating activities which keep us from forgiving; beliefs that if we withdraw and run from the situation we will hurt the other and absence will heal us; the fantasy that in avoidance that can be closure; the naïve hope that in hurting, shaming, blaming and condemning we will be made to feel better. We fail to realize that when we refuse to engage in forgiving behaviors, it is we who assume the useless weight of hate, pain and vengeance which is never ending, and, instead, weights upon us rather than the wrongdoer” (Buscaglia, 1984, pp.96-97). Weiner-Davis concedes as long as you are not forgiving, you can’t be loving. As long as you aren’t loving, you can’t do what it takes to make your marriage work. So decide. Are you going to carry a grudge and stand by while you and your spouse become a divorce statistic or are you going to rid yourself of the shackles of the past which have held you prisoner? Forgive your spouse and start anew (233). Forgiveness is key to living a healthy life, not just for married folks, but for adults, children and young adults as well.
The author captured the readers attention quite well with the information about “forgiveness.” I believe that genuine love and forgiveness is the key to longevity in marriages today. There is usually something hanging in the past that prevents the feuding married couple from progressing in their marriage, and the remedy is love and forgiveness. Weiner-Davis says that most of her clients in therapy believes that staying married is worth the effort (233-234).
I would highly recommend this book to both married couples and single people. This book offers an extensive step-by-step resolution to making your marriage alive and loving again. With the divorce rate as high as it is today, this book would make a great contribution to the newly-weds as well. This book is a great vehicle for single people, who need to know some things about marriage before making that commitment, Weiner-Davis declares that by starting to make changes, by growing in bits and pieces, you can slowly but steadily change your life. Like the rock thrown into the still pond, you create ripples that grow larger in the future. It’s often the littlest thing, viewed over time, that makes the biggest difference (233). The Bible says, above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins (1Peter 4:8).