Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Related by Chance, Family by Choice {a LitFuse Book Review}

I've recently had the opportunity to read a really fantastic book Related by Chance, Family by Choice by Deb DeArmond.  This book hasn't been an easy one to read, and it is certainly not something I can just sit down and breeze through.  Far too thought-provoking for that.

First, here is what the publisher has to say:
Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships. What does it take to create true family unity between moms and the women who marry their sons?

The caricatures are everywhere, the jokes are inexhaustible, and the stereotypes fill the screens. From Marie Barone (Everyone Loves Raymond) to Viola Fields (Monster-in-Law) to Internet sites and social media pages like and a Facebook page for ihatemymotherinlaw there is no shortage of examples of the caustic relationships that can develop between the two women in a man's life.

Deb DeArmond and her three daughters-in-law have conducted their own exhaustive research into the status of the women-in-law relationship. Their research, which incorporated online surveys, interviews, and discussions, included asking about the faith factor in the relationships they studied. Of the respondents, nearly 90 percent claimed they were Christians, and 79 percent said their faith was foundational and guided their actions and decisions. As discouraging as it may be, the numbers of those they surveyed who reported that their women-in-law relationships were "bad" were nearly identical to those in a survey conducted by a popular secular website that recorded no statistics on faith.

Beyond the statistics and their analysis, Deb brings to this book more than thirty years working with adults to improve communications and deal constructively with conflict. Aside from her research and her professional expertise, perhaps the most important asset Deb brings to this work is her own relationship with her three daughters-in-law that is so obviously and unusually positive that she-and they-are often asked to explain the secret of the relationships they share.

This practical and unapologetically scriptural book covers issues of personal perceptions, strained communication, the roles of sons and fathers in the relationship's success, how to begin these relationships on the right foot, and the necessity of trust and love. Deb's one motivating objective is to help women-in-law move from women who are simply related to strong and confident members of a truly spiritual family.
For a change, I think that description is quite good.

I had lots of reasons for thinking I ought to read this book.  Four sons, specifically, who hopefully will all someday find that God-chosen woman for them, and I pray that I can have that Daughter-in-Love relationship with all four of them that Deb speaks of in this book.

I've had some pretty amazing examples of truly wonderful MIL-DIL relationships in my life, so I do know those are possible.  I've also seen hurtful examples, and a lot of really strained ones, among people in my life.  One man I know sums it up when you hear him speak of those in-law relationships.  "Oh, I know, in-laws can be pretty awful.  My wife's mother-in-law is a real piece of work."  He always refers to his wife's parents and to "our in-laws."

I don't want my boys to refer to me as their wife's mother-in-law.

I like to convince myself that this isn't something I really need to worried about at this point, but really, my boys are not little anymore.  Three are taller than me (okay, the youngest teen may only be my height, or I may still have have a fraction of an inch on him, but I'm pretty sure he has a fraction of an inch on me).  The oldest is approaching his 17th birthday.  The next will be 15 before this month ends.  The third is now a teen.  Even my baby boy is approaching his first double-digit birthday.

No doubt they are growing up.

I'm trying to work on my part of moving to the leaving and cleaving stage of parenting.  And I've prayed, sometimes fairly consistently but oftentimes not, for their future wives.  This book is convicting me on a lot of fronts.  For one thing, I need to change that "oftentimes not" part.  I need to pray for my mother-in-law consistently too.

Deb (you can read more about her at worked really hard in this book to help you to look at things from a perspective besides just your own.

I think this is a book that almost every mom ought to read (I know a few people who definitely got it right on their own), and I know I need to go back through it again, and probably again when my boys are in serious relationships.

Deb DeArmond is celebrating the release of her book, Related by Chance, Family by Choice, with a "Day of Bonding" Spa giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • A $200 SpaFinder gift card (perfect for a pampering day of bonding)
  • Related by Chance, Family by Choice by Deb DeArmond (2 copies)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced December 2nd at Deb's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Deb's blog on December 2nd to see if you won.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 


Deb DeArmond said...

Debra - thanks so much for taking the time to read and review the book. I appreciate it more than I can say. It's so well written, which is not always the case.I'd love for you to post it (or a portion of it) on Amazon if you have the chance. Again - many thanks, Deb DeArmond

Deb DeArmond said...

Debra - thanks so much for taking the time to read and review the book. I appreciate it more than I can say. It's so well written, which is not always the case.I'd love for you to post it (or a portion of it) on Amazon if you have the chance. Again - many thanks, Deb DeArmond