Book Review: The Heart of the Fight

I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer by Judith Wright and Bob Wright

Published on February 2, 2016.

Goodreads Summary:
Every couple fights—it’s how you fight that can determine the success of your relationship. This book teaches you to look beyond what you and your partner fight about, and discover the core issues that undermine your relationship.

In the midst of a disagreement, many couples ask themselves, “What are we really fighting about?” Sound familiar? As it turns out, breakups and divorce don’t happen because couples fight, they happen because of how couples fight. In this much-needed book, Judith and Bob Wright—two married counselors and coaches with over thirty years of experience helping couples learn how to fight well—present their tried-and-true methods for exploring the emotions that underlie many relationship fights.

In this unique guide, you’ll learn how to use disagreements as an opportunity to deepen your understanding of your partner, bring more intimacy to the relationship, strengthen your bond, and really learn from the conflicts and tensions that occur between you. You’ll also learn how to navigate the fifteen most common fights couples have, including “the blame game,” “dueling over dollars,” “If you really loved me, you’d…,” “told-you-so’s,” and more.

If you’re ready to start fighting for your love, rather than against it, this book will show you how. 

I enjoy a good fight. I come from a family of fighters, so I was intrigued by this book. I was curious how fighting could enhance a relationship. I started this book back in November, and it took me a long time to get through, which isn’t that unusual for this type of non-fiction.

My Review:
The authors believe that fighting can be healthy as long as you know how to fight. Fighting gets things out in the open instead of covering up potential issues or disagreements. Basically, they instruct the reader to look for the underlying yearnings beneath the surface of the argument. They combat many myths about relationships, i.e. being with the right person makes you happy. And they share real stories about real couples and their arguments.

The first section of the book lays out the 15 types of fights. Then the second part walks through 6 tools to dismantle the fights and uncover the yearning beneath. I found the topic very interesting and even their approach made a lot of sense. I was able to relate to many of the types of fights and scenarios they laid out. And there were many tips for examining behavior and feelings and becoming more self aware.

But my issue with this book is that it doesn’t seem like something a couple could actually apply without a counselor’s help. It seems unrealistic to ask people who are having relationship problems to self-discover issues from their past that may be leading to attachment issues, for example.

The text was quite long as well. The introduction was about 26% of the book and dragged a bit for me. Then when it got into the meat of the book, I had a hard time keeping up with all the small strategies being shared. I almost gave up and didn’t finish this book. Most likely it’s not really meant to be read cover to cover. It could be a useful reference guide, but I think their techniques are more likely something that should be taught to counselors to help in their sessions of couples therapy.

Favorite Quote:
Living happily ever after implies unexamined, unconscious, static ways of being. Living happily ever after isn’t the point. Living deeply ever after is what matters.

My Rating: 2 stars
Understand my ratings.

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