Title: It Takes One to Tango
Author: Winifred M. Reilly
Genre/Audience: Nonfiction, self-help, memoir, adult
Publication: Touchstone, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
I’m just going to say that if you’re married and you and your spouse ever have conflict (which is probably just about any couple EVER), I’d recommend you pick this book up.
The subtitle of this book is: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help From my Spouse – and How You Can, Too. In a nutshell, that’s what you’re getting – the story of how the author committed to repairing her marriage by taking that first step on her own, and how you can do the same. I’m a big fan of nonfiction and self-help books, but not when they’re dry or preachy. I’m super happy to say that this book is the perfect combination of self-help, entertainment, and personal memoir. While it contains sound and practical advice, it also contains an interesting personal narrative.
Winifred M. Reilly is a therapist who writes from experience. She offers up advice on how to repair a conflicted marriage, and how you can do it even without the help of your spouse. It seems counter-intuitive to fix or improve a marriage on your own, but her reasoning is sound and backed up by experience, both in her own formerly troubled marriage, and with the couples she has worked with.
I have to admit that I was intrigued immediately when I was offered this book to review. Jerry and I have what I would call at times a passionate marriage (and not in the way that you might think). What I mean is, we have very high highs and very low lows. I’m kind of high maintenance, intense, and fiery. I am stubborn and refuse to back down. Jerry has his flaws too and our backgrounds and upbringings are vastly different, to say the least. All of this sometimes leads to explosive fights and arguments… and yet, we love each other. We have always believed we were soulmates, so we wager on through the hard times because the good times have always been worth it.
Even though I’ve always felt discouraged by any of our fights, Winifred assures me that we are normal. She explains that marriage is hard work and that all couples fight and go through tough phases. Phew. I found myself nodding my head at SO MUCH of what she was saying. There were so many passages that I wanted to re-read and save because they just made so much sense and I could relate 100%. Clearly, she knows her stuff. I felt like she was writing just for me, as if she knew me and my marriage. Because of that relatability factor, I was immediately pulled into the book and sped right along. I devoured her advice and thought long and hard about how I could implement it into my own marriage. Everything she said made absolute sense and I felt so fortunate that this book came to me at such a great time. More than ever, I am determined to improve myself so that I can have the best relationship possible.
Not only was this book full of useful advice, it was just plain interesting to read. Even though it is self-help to the degree in that it offered me a lot of potential solutions and things to try, it’s also a personal story. Winifred openly shares about her own struggles in her marriage and how she overcame them, as well as examples from real life couples she has worked with. I felt like I was reading an actual story and not just your typical, run of the mill self-help guide.
All that said, I immensely enjoyed this book. I found it to be useful, refreshing, and completely fascinating. I kind of wish that Winifred could be my friend, or at the very least, my own personal therapist. This is an insightful guide to marriage that I will keep on my bookshelf for future reference which is not something I do often, as I’m apt to giving away books when I’m finished with them. I think this is a top notch resource book that I can see myself referring to again in the future. I wish I could give a copy to every couple I know. For now, I’m off to put what I learned into practice. Wish me luck!
Highly recommended, obviously!