As Haltzman (psychiatry & human behavior, Brown Univ.; The Secrets of Happily Married Men) knows-he's been married for 20 years-the idea of shaping one's marriage without it seeming like another job appeals to most women. Together with DiGeronimo (Raising Baby Green), he here proposes that men are hardwired to please women and that if a knowledgeable wife tailors her message to the way her husband can hear it, she will enjoy a deeper connection and achieve happiness without compromise. In a manner somewhat similar to John Gray's in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the authors advise married female readers to speak in shorter sentences, directly ask for what they want, and take charge of their own spiritual and intellectual needs.
Couples counselor Isaacson (The Birth Order Effect: How To Better Understand Yourself and Others) and writer Schneider, meanwhile, help readers navigate the rough spots of marriage-e.g., finances, children, health practices, and potential infidelity-by providing guidelines for fair fighting and ideas for playing in the bedroom. The latter book is a kind of encyclopedia on what to expect in marriage, while the former is more a users' guide. Both are well done and recommended to update marital self-help sections.