BOOK REVIEW: 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
Dear future ‘us-band,’ in addition to reading your bible for the benefit of our marriage you ‘gots’ to read this book!
As a feminist, one of the things that I stand against is the one-sided bunch of marital advices that many people deem “only fit for women” to receive before, during and after their wedding ceremonies. I have been aware of numerous events whereby after the wedding ceremony, the bride would be pulled aside and advised by family and friends, whether distant or close. Hardly are the grooms advised with the same level of intensity or with the mentality that they also need some suggestions to treat their wives well. I think this is highly problematic and this results in a union of 2 people bringing imbalanced levels of care or knowledge towards their marriage.
In the book; Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel, Peter Davidson leverages his experiences to provide numerous suggestions for his grandson. Peter teaches the importance of understanding one’s partner by putting into consideration how his grandson’s wife may think, feel and act in the marriage. What stands out the most about this book is the author’s flawless combination of humor and wisdom in giving important life-lessons. In addition, I am impressed by the high critical thinking skills that Peter Davidson has shown through this book with the way he takes advantages of gender stereotypes and allows the readers to see a positive perspective. He is neither defensive nor offensive in his portrayal of these stereotypes and he provides tips on how they can be beneficial to making marriages fruitful, fun and long-lasting.
Peter starts off the book by listing 20 advices that men are told upon marriage, if at all they are given any. At a first glance, some of these suggestions are baseless, some look unreasonable; even though they are, and others are hilariously true. With Peter’s explanations in the later parts of the book, we have better understanding of these 20 advices that many men receive.
Here are three of the 20 advices from the first pages of the book…
• Your wife will not see the humor in your introducing her to others as your ‘First Wife.’” (No shit.)
• “The key to a successful marriage is to always pick up your socks off the floor.” (Great advice, but it’s not quite that simple.)
• And, finally, a word of wisdom from your Grandfather: “Your mouth will get you into a whole lot more trouble than your Willy ever will.” (From the voice of experience.)
My favorite of these advices is the latter one and although, everyone may not take the message the same way, in the examples that Peter provides, we will see that this advice is true. For example, in one section of the book, Peter teaches his grandson how to answer the question “Does this dress make my ass look big?”
Upon reading this line on page 32 of Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel, my first thought were…
“Dude! It’s a trap, it’s a trap! Abort mission, it’s a TRAAAAP!”
Almost immediately, I remembered one session of the popular TV Show; “The Real” where one of the hosts; Tamera Mowry shared her experience of giving her husband; Adam Housley, a trap question. She asked him if he thought another woman who was in their vicinity was beautiful…
Good news, Adam Housley survived!
In this section of Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel, Peter teaches how to play on language to answer such questions and to respond thoughtfully to one’s wife. Although there is no “one right answer” neither is there “one wrong answer” to these trap questions, Peter teaches how men can avoid the answer that will prevent their wife from throwing them out of the window in the middle of the night.
Still on the topic of the use of language, Peter Davidson is that totally rad and cool grandad who gets it! Trust me, his use of words to explain such minute and big details that can transform relationships is commendable. Peter Davidson writes in such a way that his words draws the reader in a loving and caring manner, so that even if the reader were reading an reprimanding advice, the would take it from a point of self-reflection rather than from a judgmental perspective.
Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel, eats into the cores of marriage by showing the male and female perspective of situations and experiences that can allow a relationship to flourish or wither. This book teaches how love, commitment, consistency, intimacy, and happiness can be achieved from a relationship. I would highly recommend Marital Advice to my Grandson, Joel, to couples who are about to get married and also, to adults, who weren’t privileged to see what a happy and fruitful marriage looks like through their parent’s experiences. For them, this is a book of hope and it brings a life-transforming perspective to the possibility in living “happily ever after.”