The Couple’s Comfort Book – Where’s the beef?

The Couple’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden may sound familiar to you. That’s probably because I wrote about The Women’s Comfort Book by the same author in January. This brings up two points:

  1. I hate not having my Ruby and mad money. It means I can’t get out to shop for more books – used or otherwise! What a colossal bummer! So, I’m delving into authors I’ve already written about. I have about twenty books by those I really like, so be on the lookout for familiar names. Exciting note: Looks like I’m going to get Ruby to the shop later this week! Yay!
  2. Question: Where is The Men’s Comfort Book? Uh, there isn’t one. I know this because I typed “Men’s Comfort Book” into Google and I got comfortable house slippers and breathable cotton briefs. I guess I know where men find their comfort, eh? LOL But seriously folks, it’s why I wrote the tagline, “Where’s the beef?”… because… yeah, where are the men?

That said, men are represented here in The Couple’s Comfort Book. The question then becomes: Will they read it? Probably not, at least not without some prodding on the part of their partner, if she’s a woman, or never, if his partner is a man.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, let’s begin at the beginning.

*Ahem* History of marital coupling by Sheryl:

Once upon a time, a man and woman got together and decided to stay connected forever. He did his thing, she did hers, and they did other things together.

He was happy to work, play and/or watch sports, and do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.

She was happy to cook, clean, and be available for marital relations whenever her husband asked. Also, she was happy to have children and care for them 99-100% of the time, ask her husband for money, borrow the car to shop for groceries, keep herself pretty and be a darling little piece of arm candy whenever her husband needed, forgo college, job, and life outside the house – except to cry on the phone with her mother when she had a free moment.

Win/win. HA!

Now, before you say it’s never been this way… travel back only fifty years or so and do a little research. I’ll wait.

See what I mean?

What’s interesting about this book – and there are a lot of interesting things! – is that it has a whole chapter on “Understanding Gender.” Interesting, right? Well, kinda. Because even as I read it a second time this morning, I realized that Louden was talking to me… the female half of a heterosexual relationship. In fact, most of the book feels this way. Maybe all of it. I don’t feel like reading the whole thing again to find out.

Don’t get me wrong… this book is fabulous in many ways! It’s written from the viewpoint of a woman realizing that she and her husband aren’t connecting like they used to… and therefore, she dives deep into ways to “show up” in the marriage and as a couple.

It’s (by her own admission) a “reference book” and you will find ways to work through pretty-much every issue, problem or complaint you’re up against in your marriage.

There is TONS of stuff to do! Questions and conversation prompts and one hell of a “Comfort at a Glance” chart, oh my!

It’s an easy, comfortable (pun!) read and not meant to be read cover-to-cover. The contents are thorough and the subjects range from recognizing needs to how to talk to one another to exotic delights. (Okay, yeah, there’s a little kink for spice!)

For older couples like my husband and me, there are nice ideas for reconnecting when things get stale in the romance department. (We’re like a couple of old shoes… already very, VERY comfy! LOL)

For young couples, especially in the early years with young kids, a book like this might be just the ticket to pull you back together and focus on each other.

However – and we’re back to the center of the maze – I don’t expect a  man to pick up this book without provocation. I think it’s pretty clear that a woman would pick it up and share it with her husband.

Which brings up a Note: While gay couples are not expressly “represented” here, ANY couple would benefit from the exercises. Just an FYI.

So, do I recommend this book? Yes!

But…

It triggered some thoughts on gender and I couldn’t NOT write about that, too.

Final note:  Some of it felt a bit like a rehash of The Women’s Comfort Book (linked above)… especially the parts about sacred space, music, and spirituality. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  

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