Monday, November 18, 2013

Related by Chance, Family by Choice

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Related by Chance, Family by Choice

Book Info and Review

Author: Deb DeArmond
Publisher: Kregel Publications
October 2013
ISBN: 978-0825443251
Genre: relationships

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.

RELATED BY CHANCE, FAMILY BY CHOICE is written by a woman who has apparently mastered the relationship issues. I’m not there yet—none of my children are married—but someday I hope to have a good relationship with their wives. The book has some invaluable advice, includes a prayer, and a plan of action for each chapter, with plenty of room to write, if you like to write in books.

I hope to be able to make use of some of the ideas in this book, and bridge the fine line between being too-involved, to not involved. My own mother-in-law doesn’t seem to care less. She has no opinions, and there is only a once-a-year visit sometime turning the holidays, at her house. There is virtually no relationship. I’d like more than that someday with the women my sons marry. As for my MIL, maybe I’ll follow some of the tips in this book and see if that will make a difference. If you want a great relationship with your DIL or MIL, then RELATED BY CHANCE, FAMILY BY CHOICE is a book to consider. $13.99 paperback, $9.99 kindle. 208 pages. 

Related By Chance, Family By Choice: Book Trailer Deb DeArmond
Related By Chance, Family By Choice: Book Trailer Deb DeArmond

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About the author: Deb DeArmond has owned her own leadership training and executive coaching practice for fifteen years. She is an experienced speaker and writer with work appearing in "WHOA" Magazine and "Dallas Family" Magazine and a cofounder of online community for Christian women 50+. Deb and her husband, Ron, have three married sons and three grandchildren, and live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Find out more at

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