Author: Steven Shiendling, Ph. D.
You don't have to know anything about football to enjoy and relate to this book about helping men to become better partners in a relationship. In fact, if you didn't understand football before reading "Fumbles, Field Goals, and the Myth of the Hail Mary," you will after (which will also help you to sit in front of the television as your partner chomps popcorn, chugs his root beer, and roots for his favorite team). You won't have to find the knitting needles or the crosswords -- all the while wishing he enjoyed conversation with you as much as this game of flags and huddles.
"Fumbles, Field Goals and the Myth of the Hail Mary" is presented in four sections -- much like you would find at any stadium. Section I deals with mistakes and penalties. If you don't know how or why you're losing -- you are bound to repeat the mistakes and continue receiving the same penalties -- losing all the while.
The "myth of the hail Mary" was a term I was unfamiliar with in football. However, it turns out I was on first name terms with it after I understood what it meant. In football, it means that there's three seconds on the clock, your team is losing, and you throw a "long, desperation pass into the end zone" with the hopes of scoring a touch down. The ball is released and a prayer is said. Dr. Shiendling admits that most of the time this never works -- the losing team is still the losers. In a relationship, the partner that was more concerned with anything but the relationship is the losing team here. The guy throws the ball (brings home flowers, for example), in hopes of the wife or girlfriend forgetting that he's been too lazy, preoccupied, busy, or anal to maintain his part in the relationship. He hopes she will see the gift, throw her arms around him, and all will be behind him -- thus, he sees himself winning the game.
Section II addresses the "game plan." It's a basic blueprint for winning the game through understanding and support. Even though your rough and tumble guy looks like a warrior on the outside, he has emotions and vulnerable areas, too.
Section III is the "vital link" -- communication. "Fumbles, Field Goals, and the Myth of the Hail Mary" gives us a resource to communicate in a way the football fans in our life will truly understand. Instead of saying the dreaded, "We need to talk," try, "We need a huddle." The football fan will certainly understand that the huddle is the group form of communication on the field, it sounds less threatening, and it gets the job done -- a win-win situation!
Section IV helps us to understand "positive strategies and winning plays." Instead of arguing, throw the red flag for a time out. Opt to punt -- giving up control of the ball can be a good thing.
"An avid sports enthusiast, Shiendling realized during his years of relationship counseling that football metaphors motivate men to discuss communication issues, while helping women connect to their partner through his favorite sport. In "Fumbles, Field Goals, and the Myth of the Hail Mary," couples learn how to avoid penalties and create a winning
relationship game plan."
"Steven Shiendling, Ph.D., is a licensed mental health counselor and an adjunct professor for Central Michigan University, where he teaches graduate-level courses including human relations skills and advanced educational psychology. In the past, Dr. Shiendling served for over ten years as the clinical director of a mental health treatment program in
Florida for children and adolescents. He currently resides in Davie, Florida, where he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children."
I still say the book should come with a red flag!
The above review was contributed by: Sue Vogan, Writer & Author of NCO-No Compassion Observed: To read more of Sue's reviews Click Here