Literary Pursuits

Review: Spouse in the House

Today I’m reviewing Spouse in the House: Rearranging Our Attitudes to Make Room for Each Other, a nonfiction Christian marriage book by Cynthia Ruchti and Becky Melby.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher as part of Read with Audra blog tours.

My Review

Spouse in the House is written to wives whose husbands are suddenly home all the time. The main premise is the wife who is used to having the house to herself most of the day and now He’s Home All The Time. (Cynthia tells how she created a HHATT club in one of her novels, which developed into the idea for this book.)

One common scenario for the husband to be home more is, of course, retirement. But with recent developments, another increasingly common reason is that the husband now works remotely from home. That’s the current situation in my own marriage.

Spouse in the House is full of practical tips on how to adjust to being together more. To be honest, Lyle and I haven’t found it to be that much of a challenge. Yes, there have been minor shifts, but nothing we haven’t been able to figure out as we go. I think our lifestyle is maybe not typical, though.

I would recommend this book for wives who love their husbands but are not especially enjoying having them around more.

From the Publisher

There are times in marriage when the hustle and bustle of life, the demands of work, and the busyness of the kids have couples desperate for even just a little bit of time alone together. While two’s company, especially for those who love each other, what happens when—due to retirement, working from home, or even running a business together—spouses find themselves spending what feels like too much time together? When being in the same space all the time is awkward, complex, annoying, and just plain challenging? How can partners coexist without co-exhausting each other? In Spouse in the House: Rearranging Our Attitudes to Make Room for Each Other (Kregel Publications/September 21, 2021/ISBN: 9780825446788/$18.99) Cynthia Ruchti and Becky Melby take a frank and funny look at what to do when time together may seem like too much of a good thing.

Change is seldom easy, and the authors know all too well how adapting to a new, all-the-time closeness can cause the bliss of marriage to form blisters. It is an adjustment to share the same space 24/7, work around each other’s routines, communicate expectations, and divide the chores. Drawing from their own experiences as members of the HHATT Club (He’s Home All The Time), and from men and women across the country in the same situation, Ruchti and Melby take a deep breath and dive into the root causes of the discomfort. They dig into what God’s Word has to say and they offer practical tips for learning the spiritual, emotional, relational, and even physical steps that can help readers replace irritation with peace.

Through Spouse in the House, the authors are hoping to help make the transition from the mindset of “mine” to “our” more smoothly for their readers. For any couple who wants their home to be a refuge of peace and serenity for all—not just themselves—and who wants to know they aren’t alone in the mental and physical claustrophobia of too much togetherness, Spouse in the House is a vulnerable, charming, and pragmatic breath of hope.

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