"I ALMOST DIVORCED MY HUSBAND BUT I WENT ON STRIKE INSTEAD," by Sherri Mills, Bonneville Books, $12.99, 128 pages
Don't let the title of Sherri Mills book, "I Almost Divorced My Husband But I Went On Strike Instead" fool you. This isn't a book about rebellion, it's about staying married to the man you married.
Mills, a self-proclaimed "psycosmetologist," spent her work days hearing about marriage woes as she cut the hair of her clients. Stories of marital frustration, divorce, broken hearts and, ultimately, unhappiness.
Mills had also become frustrated with her own marriage. She had a job outside of her home, only to return to another full-time job within her Utah home. Cleaning, cooking, taking care of the yard, pets, children — all with little to no help from her husband or children. This, they felt was mom/wife work, not theirs.
Feeling overwhelmed lead to frustration, then resentment, then anger. After seeing how divorce only led to more unhappiness in almost all of her clients, Mills decided that instead of leaving her husband, a man she knew she still loved, she was going to go on strike.
She drafted up a contract and refused to do any work in the home for eight days. The end result? A family who finally understood what kind of work it takes to run a home and a saved marriage.
In a society where marriage is becoming less of a binding commitment and more like a disposable relationship, Mills relates stories, personal experiences and advice on why marriage is worth saving and fighting for.
Almost any woman dealing with household pressures and frustrations will find themselves nodding with empathy while reading about Mills's "overworkd wife" situation, or in the stories she shares of her clients.
Her advice made sense and was refreshing and empowering. Chapters in Mills's book talk about the real cost of divorce, whether or not going on strike is right for you and how to do it, the wrong way to strike, and thoughts on how to stay strong and sustain your love. Mills even provides a "Fair Marriage Contract" and chore lists at the end of the book, along with helpful advice on how to implement them.
Although the idea may sound laughable, Mills's book is worth the read for any overworked or frustrated wife. It has the advice you'd want from your own mother, with the proof and experience of someone who has immersed herself in the mission to save marriage.
Mills shows that changing the way people view household work and family responsibilitiy is a giant key in keeping families happy — with specific strategies to divide up household labor and tips on how to rediscover loving life together.
Says Mills, "I traded my own resentment, unhappiness, anger and ultimate hopelessness for empathy, love and the realization that my husband was never bad, he just had been misinformed."