"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Reluctantly Related by Deanna Brann, Ph.D.

Reluctantly Related
Author:  Deanna Brann, Ph.D.
Illustrator: Donald Hoenig
Publisher:  Ambergris Publishing
Published:  2013
Pages: 185 including a questionnaire and a brief biography
Genre:  self-help: relationships
Edition:  ARC

Source:  I received this advanced reader's copy from Rebecca at Cadence Group in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

With humour, compassion and focus, in-law expert Dr. Deanna Brann shows you step by step how to bring positive, lasting change to your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law (MIL or DIL) relationship.  Her groundbreaking research and powerful techniques have helped women nationwide to live happier, healthier and more peaceful lives with the women in their extended-by-marriage families.

  • Understand why your in-law relationship is so hard
  • Learn powerful tools and techniques to bring peace and lasting change to your in-law relationship
  • Change your relationship without having to confront your in-law

My thoughts:

When I was asked to consider reviewing Reluctantly Related I really wanted to so I could be sure I would be the kind of mother-in-law I wanted to be, not that any of my grown children are married yet but they will be, right?  Reluctantly Related helped me beyond my original intent.  It helped me realize that I, perhaps, am not the most ideal daughter-in-law.  Gasp!

Dr. Deanna Brann eases the reader in by telling her story of a conflict with her daughter-in-law from both her own perspective and then from her DIL's, helping us to see both sides to the story, because there are always two sides, right.

Following which, we are introduced to the three main types of MILs and DILs, not to mention the types of sons-in-law and husbands.  I want to be Comfortable Carla, to have an identity beyond being a mother and to be clear about my new role as mother to a grown son.  I don't want to be, most of all, the Off-the-Wall Wanda!  (see page 74 for clarification).

Now, just so you don't think I am totally to blame in my DIL relationship with my MIL, let me share a couple scenarios.  

MIL comes up, a 6 hour drive, for an extended visit.  Upon viewing our new house she says, "That reminds me.  I have to clean my blinds." Or another visit where she just got out the vacuum and started vacuuming!  My house is not dirty but at the time I had five young kids and little things like dusting were not so important as taking care of our family was, plus I had a full-time job outside the home.  I think I dusted the blinds once a month.  So now I am getting defensive.  See the pattern?
Dr. Brann helps the reader identify patterns. Examining backgrounds of the individuals with case examples, she helps the reader to see beyond their own situations and to better understand the intent behind actions and words.  

Now, understanding that my MIL is likely a Mothering Margaret, I can tolerate her actions a little better and know how to react in a peaceful manner without holding in my temper and later sulking and telling on her to my husband.  Yes, I did that!

So, what began as an endeavour to be a good MIL myself, might just make me become a better and understanding DIL too.  More good than I bargained for.

If you have relationship "issues" or have the same desire as I, to be a good MIL or DIL; I highly recommend Reluctantly Related.  PS Having your husband read it too would be a good thing!

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