Book Review: A Guy’s Guide to Relationships

A Guy’s Guide to Relationships: Growing Your Relationship through Language and Action is written by a guy for guys, but it is also for anyone who might be looking for help in making sure their relationships succeed.  While this book mainly focuses on romantic relationships and focuses a lot of the author and his wife, I think that the tips and ideas presented throughout this book can work for any sort of relationship – friendship, professional, romantic, etc.  The book is split into 2 parts – Language and Action.  In Part I the author goes over the “Five As”: Affirmation, Admiration, Appreciation, Affection & Attraction.  The second part focuses a lot on Expectations, Actions, Toxic Traits.   It ends with ways to find Growth in your relationship.

This book was interesting to me because it kind of helped me get a guys perspective on things.  Their brains can work a little different than women’s.  For instance, the author spoke a bit about how some men will not always tell their significant other that they like or love them.  They said it initially, so that remains to be true until they tell you otherwise.  But as an anxious woman, this is something that I fear to no longer be true often in relationships and to bring in a point that is made throughout the book – communication is key.  As is learning how your partner communicates and what some of their “tells” are.  The author noted that his wife always knows when he lies because of how he acts when he does it – so he’s simply stopped lying to her because she figures out the truth immediately anyway – so why bother?  But if he needed to lie to someone else who didn’t know him as well, he could probably get away with it.  He also noted that he could tell when his wife seemed to be down and over time was able to figure out what sort of things she might like for him to do or say to her to make her feel better.  He’s always attracted to her and has been since they met, but doesn’t always express that to her and some days she just might like to hear it from him.  I also think that the book focusing on expectations is really important too.  I’m not in a relationship but have spent a lot of time on dating apps and I often will ask the guys I match with what they are looking for as a way to manage my expectations.  If they’re not looking for a serious relationship I should expect them to act differently than someone who is – and then I don’t end up disappointed when further on down the line after I’ve become more attached this comes out.  I also really liked the author touching on various toxic traits –  of course drugs and alcohol came up as well as cheating, which you would expect in a book about relationships but he also focused on a few other traits that made me stop and think – projection, uncontrolled emotions and selfishness and time.

I give this book 4.5 stars.  While this book is, in theory, geared at men – I think it’s really helpful for everyone to take the time and stop and think about themselves, especially if they are in a relationship or are trying to be the best they can be to enter a relationship.

I received a free ARC from Discovery

About the Book

Intimate relationships are one of the most powerful forms of companionship that a person can have. Unfortunately, they are often hard to navigate and can become stale and dull. A Guy’s Guide to Relationships is one guy’s perspective on how to improve your relationship through language and action. This book teaches you the “Five As” of positive language where you will discover how to speak to your partner in a way that not only uplifts them, but improves the relationship as a whole. It also teaches the reader specific actions to support positive language that offers critical insight into not only talking the talk, but walking the walk. Finally, this book will challenge people to address toxic traits that may be corrupting them and their relationship before closing with steps to personal growth. A Guy’s Guide to Relationships is an exciting book for anyone looking to improve their relationship!

Book Review: Freeing Teresa

This book did come with a trigger warning: extensive description and discussion of discriminatory attitudes and actions towards people based on disabilities or age.

Freeing Teresa is about a woman with Down Syndrome, written by her sister, Franke.  When Teresa was born in 1964, doctors suggested to her parents that she be put in an institution.  Her mother refused, and she lived at home with her parents.  Her mother has since passed away, her father is approaching his 91st birthday and Teresa is 49 years old.  Franke and 3 of her siblings are trying to figure out where Teresa should go to live, as her father’s health is failing and they would prefer her to be settled before their Dad passes.  Her brother had initially told his father he would take Teresa in, but now none of the siblings want to take on the role of her sole caretaker and they are looking at other options.  Franke, though busy with her books and traveling to promote them, feels that Teresa is capable of making a decision for where she should live and is trying to advocate for her, but her other siblings keep excluding Teresa and her father from any conversation and have the CCAC deem Teresa incapable of making such decisions.  Franke doesn’t believe Teresa should go to a nursing home and instead thinks it is possible that Teresa can live with others who have Down Syndrome, or with her and her husband.  Her siblings continue to try and block every solution she tries to offer.  Franke’s family did not want this story to be told so many of the personal details have been redacted and their images/likeness have been photoshopped out of all the photos. She writes, “In photos throughout the book, the images of many family members have been blanked-out echoing their absence in my life”

I have to say, this book was not at all what I was expecting.  When I saw it was a true story about fighting ableism, I thought it was going to be some sort of facility or company that was causing all the issues for Teresa, not her own family!  As the story went on, I became more and more frustrated with her family.  Of course, I am reading this from a disabled person’s point of view, and if my brothers wouldn’t help me out when I needed it, I’d be terribly upset! Of course my situation is a bit different as I only have a physical disability – but from what was presented about Teresa she seemed pretty capable of making her own decisions about what she wanted to do and where she wanted to live, but it seemed like no one other than Franke wanted to take that into consideration.  I am not sure if the sister who had the husband who owned nursing homes was making some sort of deal off of her going there or what, but the way the other siblings teamed up against Franke and Teresa and their own father’s wishes was, well, disgusting.  It does seem like there is a sequel coming as the ending did not really resolve much of anything, but I can only hope that there was a happy ending.

I gave this book 4 stars and I would definitely recommend it to others – but be sure to keep an open mind. After the first half of the book I was flabbergasted and thought the whole book was awful, but I stuck it through and rode the rest of the roller coaster with Teresa and was happy I stuck it out.  If you consider yourself an activist or ally for the disabled then I think you would find this book to be rather eye opening.

I received a free ARC from Discovery.

About the Book

Freeing Teresa is a true story about an activist who tries to stop her powerful siblings from putting their disabled sister into a nursing home. She fails. And then must rescue her.
Franke James objected when she heard of the plan to put her disabled sister into a nursing home. Teresa Heartchild was just 49 years old and healthy. But the other siblings, who were acting as Teresa’s “guardians,” said that Teresa, who has Down syndrome, was “incapable.” Despite the objections, the siblings put Teresa into a nursing home, insisting it was necessary. But Franke refused to accept this, and she helped Teresa get discharged. That’s when all hell broke loose. The two sisters had to stand together—against their siblings, the medical system and the police—to defend Teresa’s right to be free.


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