A couple of weeks ago I created Familial Ramblings’ Twitter page and if you’ve ever had a Twitter account, you’ll know that one of the first steps is to find people to follow. There is a large variety of people that you can follow ranging from close friends to celebrities to magazines you read and more. I decided to follow some friends from my personal Twitter account along with fellow bloggers to see what they were up to. I also decided I wanted to follow others who were interested in the many aspects of families and relationships in order for me to be able to gain some new ideas of what I could potentially write about. I ended up following one Barbara J. Peters, a licensed Relationship Counselor and author whom I thought may be helpful in getting some ideas about possible future posts on relationships.
I must have followed the right person because maybe a day after I had followed Mrs. Peters, she had sent me a chapter from her book He Said, She Said, I Said.
I was thrilled! I’m always looking for new material to read to help me, not only, with writing my blog, but also with my journey to becoming a counselor. Due to being bogged down with other necessary readings for my classes, I was unable to read the chapter until today. After reading it, I decided that I wanted to share my opinion on the book with you, my readers. Now, do remember I’ve only read one chapter out of this book, so I can only make statements pertaining to said chapter; though, I do hope to read the rest of the book sometime soon and then will be able to write a more in-depth review.
The chapter that I was able to read was called Acceptance, which opens with lyrics from the song Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel. I must admit that when I first began reading the chapter, the style took me a bit off-guard because there was no introduction explaining exactly what the chapter would be about like many of the other books I’ve read since starting on my journey to become a counselor. Instead it jumped right into telling the audience what “She Said” followed by what “I Said”—‘I’ being Barbara Peters’ perspective and voice. I have to wonder if the description of how the book was to be laid out and a detailed description of what each chapter was to be on were in the introduction of the first chapter, but that isn’t something that I will be able to find out until I purchase the book. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s a bad way to start the chapter, not in the slightest; it’s actually what caught my attention because it was different from other books I have read. It does not take you long to understand where she is going with this chapter especially because it’s clearly stated in the title: Acceptance.
I felt the chapter was centered on the key concept that, “In order to have a successful relationship, couples must accept each other for who and what they are” (Peters, 109). I feel as if this is an important aspect of being in a relationship because from what I’ve seen couples are often so focused on changing one another that they forget to enjoy one another’s company. For example, the first “She Said” is from a woman that states, “I want everything to be equally shared…He lives here too, why do I have to be in charge of our entire domestic world?” (Peters, 107). Let me tell you, I know exactly how this woman feels because I often find myself annoyed with my husband for not doing something unless I ask him to do it (Love you hubby!), which becomes frustrating very quickly, but Peters was able to shine a different perspective on the situation.
Peters points out, “The differences between men and women are so numerous that author John Gray [the author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus] has written a whole series of books on the subject” (107). I think this is something that most people know about, but don’t think about, let alone accept it. She goes on to say, “…these differences as long as the world exists, they aren’t going to change just because we don’t like them” (107). How true is that? I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to change some of my husband’s behaviors and how it never works out. There are just some things that cannot and will not change no matter how much effort you put into it; it’s just the way the person is. One thing I’ve learned from this chapter is that instead of wasting all of that energy to try to change someone, you should just accept them for who they are. I mean, look at it this way: why did you fall in love with your significant other in the first place? It wasn’t because they were exactly like you; it was because of who they were. So why are you trying to change them into something they’re not instead of enjoying who they are? “What you can do as a couple is to recognize the differences between the two of you and play to those strengths” (Peters, 108), in other words, use the differences that you and your partner have to get through different situations and to complete the tasks at hand.
I don’t want to give away too much that was said in this chapter because if you go out and buy the book you’ll have to skip the chapter because I’ve told you everything about it. So instead I’ll leave you some overall thoughts I had about the chapter. I found the chapter to be very insightful with a lot of great information that I hadn’t necessarily thought about previously. I found it interesting with how easily I could connect with what was being said because some of it I had experienced in my own relationship with my husband. I believe that the way Peters puts forth the information is very reader-friendly and it is something that not only people in the field can find useful, but also those who may just be searching for advice as to how to improve their relationships.
I am honored and thrilled to have gotten the opportunity to read the chapter and, as I said previously, I hope to be able to read the entire book along with her other book The Gift of a Lifetime, Building a Marriage That Lasts. From reading just one chapter, I know that this will be a book that I can use while in the field.
I want to thank Barbara J. Peters for sending me a copy of the chapter to read and learn from.
If you’d like to find out more about Barbara J. Peters and learn about purchasing her books, please visit her website at http://www.thegiftofalifetime.net/
Peters, B.J. 2011. He Said, She Said, I Said. Boutique of Quality Books Publishing Company.
Photo Credit: Barbara J. Peters
Posted on March 19, 2012 by Felicia