The list of failed marriages published in daily newspapers cannot begin to convey the depth of emotion that couples experience in the wake of divorce. When they marry, most people can’t imagine that such an outcome awaits them and their beloved spouses. All too often, the promises made that might have supported a lasting marriage fail to be realized. The solidity of relationships dissolves gradually and may progress beyond repair before partners bring themselves to acknowledge that problems exist.
Trevor J. Dimick, a relationship coach and family life educator, has developed ten basic rules designed to save couples from becoming yet another divorce statistic. He received his family life educator certificate from the National Council on Family Relations.
In The Ten Laws of Happily Ever After, Dimick explains, in simple language, how couples can avoid the difficulties that typically creep into relationships. His laws, derived from what the author describes as Universal Law, involve issues that include choice, symptoms, change, focus, and communication. Individual chapters explain the essence of each law and conclude with work pages for readers to use in identifying their areas of marital concern. Dimick explains that each person has a unique perspective on life, and partners will encounter problems proportionate to the number of conflicting beliefs they fail to negotiate satisfactorily. As a twelve-year veteran of married life, the author references his own relationship to demonstrate how conflicts might unfold.
He urges husband and wife to let go of preconceived notions that work against their desire to build a solid marriage together. “Instead of being the king of one kingdom and the queen of a separate kingdom,” Dimick writes, “They must unite and make one kingdom−with one set of laws that are agreed upon, supported, and enforced.”
Side effects occur in the aftermath of change in any human endeavor, presenting additional challenges. Dimick has developed a method of guiding couples as they cope with these unexpected outcomes. “The ‘circle of change’ is the foundation of my coaching business and the key to success in any part of life,” he says.
Later in the book, a chapter addresses the Law of Side Effects, as it pertains to other relationship laws besides change. Every human trait, whether positive or negative, has both good or bad side effects. “We cannot pick and choose the side effects of our spouse’s traits,” Dimick explains, “but we can manage and maintain the side effects of our own traits.”
The author succeeded in his goal of writing a short, comprehensible book of practical use to couples. He offers readers sound direction in how they might maintain and improve upon the positive aspects of their relationships. Repetition of information serves the useful purpose of reinforcing the book’s objectives, rather than being redundant. Some typographical errors, such as using “quite” when “quiet” is meant, escaped the editor’s eye.
Given that efforts to change any relationship are always fraught with volatile emotions of the heart, Dimick’s reasoned approach would benefit both readers in need of marital guidance and professional relationship counselors.