If there is one book that will force you to take a long good look at yourself, and at your relationship, this is it. And boy is it worth the read! Relationship Rescue by Dr. Phil
I am not a fan of self-help books. I usually find them cheesy and condescending. Dr Phil, however, is honest (brutally so!), simple, and very wise.
Going through a difficult time in my own relationship, I wanted a book that would challenge me to honestly evaluate what needed to change between us. I found just the thing.
Dr Phil’s strategies are based on simple logic: You own your relationship, so you are responsible for making things change. So what, I hear you say? So everything. If you really embrace that concept, everything changes. For you, and for your partner.
The book starts by making you evaluate yourself – your beliefs, your behaviour, your dreams. Along the way, Phil ‘gets real’ about relationships, by reminding you what really matters in a union, and the myths we have grown up believing in. He also challenges you to look at your ‘Bad Spirit’ – those negative and destructive characteristics that you bring to the relationship. Yes, you. Out of 10 Bad Spirits listed, I found I had 5. Now THAT surprised me!
Once you start getting really honest with yourself, you are ready to build your Partner Profile. This is a long but very fulfilling task of answering questions on every aspect of your partner, and your relationship. There are questions Phil asks that I have never even thought of!
The purpose of all this work is to understand what you can do to make a difference in your relationship. How do you prioritise your needs and your partner’s needs?
Whether you share your work with your partner or not, you will come away from the exercises feeling transformed. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of hard work, and it takes commitment. But so does your relationship! And it is well worth it, as long as your relationship is worth it.
Phil also gives advice on how to handle more serious problems, such as addictions, abuse, sexual incompatibility etc… Again, the focus is on what you are doing, the messages you are sending, and the behaviour you can change. After all, by changing the behaviour, YOU can change the consequences.
This is a book that resides by my bed. I need to keep re-reading the chapters about Bad Spirit and Relationship Values. I need to keep reminding myself that I can make a difference. As he says, willpower is never enough – you need a strategy and a plan to make changes real and lasting. And THAT is where the challenge lies!
I have recommended this book to most of my friends, and they have all loved it. It is refreshing, humorous, and really very helpful. It will transform the way you look at yourself and your relationship – but you will need to keep working at it! Buy it.