Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 1-Star Review that Wasn't

On Sunday, April 15th, The Marriage Challenge was free on Amazon (it's still free through the end of Tuesday the 17th). Within just a few hours of it going free, there was a new review on Amazon. A one-star review. It was entitled "to soon to tell!!" and in it "TJ" said that our marriage of 8 years was too short a time for us to write a book giving advice. TJ also suggested that conversations weren't sufficient to deal with the problems that occur in marriage.

There were several responses to TJ before I saw the review, and all of them were complimentary of the book. Thank you. I also responded to the rating (it's gone now, so I can't quote it). Basically I said that TJ was right, 8 years of marriage isn't enough time to prove that we can give advice and conversations aren't enough to fix a wounded marriage. Andrea and I don't have training as marital therapists, which is why we wrote the book we did. We want to emphasize that we aren't the marriage experts, you are the experts on your marriage.

Later in the day, TJ responded to my response (is this getting convoluted?) and apologized for the harsh review. It was shared that TJ's marriage is hurting because of addiction that's been ignored (by TJ's spouse and the people around them that should've been helping). Fortunately they're in a situation now where the addiction is being taken seriously and they're getting the help they need to heal. TJ was kind enough to remove the one-star review and has promised that they will read through the book.

I don't share this to say how great the book is, but to point out that it's not designed to address deeply wounded marriages. In the introduction it says:
"Most marriages aren’t in meltdown-crisis mode. Most marriages are pretty good; not perfect, but okay. Most marriage books, however, are written for people in crisis mode, about marriages that are falling apart and by counselors who only deal with failing relationships. Those books serve a good purpose, but they don’t help the majority of marriages that aren’t in that position yet. 
This book isn’t about how to fix all the stuff you’re doing wrong. If you need that, you need a different book (and there are plenty of great options out there, check out the bibliography for some of our favorites). But, if you want to start with your marriage that’s alright now and work to make it great, then the Marriage Challenge is what you’re looking for."

3 comments:

  1. How cool that by following up with the reviewer you were able to connect and possibly help direct TJ in a manner that may help his marriage. And that's also the beauty of a book like this - opening up dialogue about marriage.

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    1. I'm thrilled with how it all worked out. It's probably the best thing that's happened with the book so far. The only thing I wish could be different is that I could find a way to reach TJ now that the review is down. There's no email address connected with TJ's Amazon profile.

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