Review of "Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel"
How to be a husband your wife won't throw out of the window in the middle of the night.
Sweet Memories Publishing 2018
Arnolds Park, IA 51331
SC 137 pages. $10.95
"Researchers have determined that there are one hundred sixty-seven different reasons why a woman may be silent," he says. "Some of which are good[,] some of which are bad, and some which are neutral." He cautions men to not even try to figure it out because they can't (72).
“Just treat her like one of the guys” (4) is what Davidson’s well-meaning friends told him prior to being married. Advice like this is not what Davidson wanted his grandson to receive, especially with divorce rates what they are today. So, what began as a few words of wisdom soon developed into a light-hearted book that helps all men and not only Joel. Men begin to realize the misunderstandings that can occur because “Women are different than men” and men’s natural sense of humor is appreciated by most women. Marital Advice to My Grandson, Joel takes an amusing and entertaining view of four important areas men need to know about if they don’t want the woman they love to run for the nearest exit.
In the first section, Davidson offers “Settling into Married Life” (13), which contains eleven sub-headings: “Compatibility or Compromise,” “Sharing,” “Mommy’s Little Helper,” “Bragging Rights,” “Bedroom Bliss,” “Does this Dress Make Me Look Big?” “The Look,” “Shut Up and Eat It,” and “Let the Training Begin” (13-15). This section attempts to remind men they are part of a couple now and making decisions based on their needs and thoughts only is in the past. As part of a couple, they need to consider what their partner needs and thinks too. For example, if a man decides to buy a banana for himself and not one for his lady because she doesn’t like them, men will soon realize “sharing in a marriage is not the same as sharing in kindergarten” (16-17). Though Davidson leaves his reader to “figure it out” (17) the message is clear: the question isn’t whether or not a man’s lady wanted a banana or not.
In the second section, Davidson offers “Understanding Your Wife, and Other Myths” (53), which contains these headings: “Female Shopping Logic,” “There’s No Stopping the Shopping,” “Look at That!” “Your Wife, The Entrepreneur,” “Your Wife the Addict” and “Her Silence, But Very Loud Language.” It is in this area Davidson attempts to explain as best as he can how to read women and what their logic is and when he doesn’t know an answer, he simply says he doesn’t. For example, he shares his experience on why women sometimes are silent: “Researchers have determined that there are one hundred sixty-seven different reasons why a woman may be silent,” he says. “Some of which are good[,] some of which are bad, and some which are neutral.” He cautions men to not even try to figure it out because they can’t (72). As much as men want a roadmap in understanding their partner, Davidson enforces the reality that there is no such thing, and when a woman is too quiet sometimes, the best a man can do is “consider everything, and then….GUESS!” (78). Davidson explains that in reading a woman and “her arms are crossed in front of her chest, [understand] she is probably feeling negative and is blocking out what you are saying, or worse yet, blocking you out” (77).
In the third section, Davidson offers areas that cover “Becoming Even More Exemplatory” (79) and contains these headings: “Unpredictable You,” “The Perfect Greeting Card,” “Eating Etiquette,” “Chivalry,” “Keeping Your In-Laws From Becoming Out Laws,” and “The Wind Beneath Her Wings.” It is with these topics Davidson continues his recommendations. In case his readers still don’t understand, he adds a sobering chapter for male readers that spells things out. He explains that men should also know about themselves that even as fabulous and wonderful [as they] are, there may room for improvement (79). He reiterates women like to be thought of. He explains men should try and remember special anniversaries and holidays, especially Valentine’s Day and her birthday. That is what warms a woman’s heart. Davidson’s message is that if a guy grabs any card off the shelf, the results may not be ideal. Just because a man is a “Rocket Shopper” that isn’t a plus to most women because they see shopping as different. Instead, many women see shopping as something to be savored. Davidson even helps readers by supplying over a half of a page of “wonderful words” to put inside greeting cards (89). He even offers sentence starters too (89-90).
Yet another topic Davidson brings in that adds extra charm is chivalry. “It’s not dead,” he says. A chivalrous man shines. Remember, women are impressed by thoughtfulness and if the man adds a little extra act of kindness, his lady will see him as her perfect knight. He adds a chivalrous man also supports his lady’s goals too, even if she doesn’t do them well.
The rest of Davidson’s marital advice concentrates on financial security, investment, and few final words to consider when his lady is too quiet. When she says “nothing,” he warns, that almost always means “something.”
Men and women are different and a book such as Davidson’s illustrates the likelihood misunderstandings will arise. Like many men, Davidson uses humor to help him deliver his message, something most women appreciate. Humor is one of men’s best natural tendencies. At a time when divorce is more the exception today statistically, Davidson’s book is appreciated. A note to women: the idea that a book like this exits shows men want to get “things” right, even though they may not. Why else would a book like Davidson’s exist? Maybe Mrs. Davidson needs to write a marital advice book for women.