Deseret Book
"You Don't Need to Slay My Dragons, Just Take Out the Trash," by Beverly Campbell, Deseret Book

While browsing through a stack of about 75 books, the title and its honest marital message caught my eye.

The cover features a knight fully adorned in armor and holding a trash bag underneath the title: "You Don't Need to Slay My Dragons, Just Take Out the Trash."

Thanks to Beverly Campbell's 2008 book, men and women don't have to play guessing games or crack codes to figure out what the other is thinking. The 168-page hardcover book describes what men want women to know and what women wish men understood, and helps couples recognize and embrace differences in each other.

"Men want to be told that they've achieved the 'hard' thing, or moved an issue forward," Campbell said. "They want you to ask them direct questions and really listen to their answers before formulating a response."

"Women need to be seen as beautiful in every aspect," she said. "To be told she is beautiful in every respect (both body and spirit), is as important to a woman as it is to a man to be told he is manly, important and a hero."

Campbell, also the author of best-selling books "Eve and the Choice Made in Eden" and "Eve and the Mortal Journey," drew on more than 40 years of marital and professional experience for the book. She also conducted surveys that resulted in mounds of great material. It was difficult to condense, she said.

"It was not a hard book to write because (the subject) is so alive and vital," said Campbell, who has three children and six grandchildren.

The book was designed to spark positive and heartfelt conversations between husbands and wives. Each section ends with a "discussion break" so effective communication can take place. The response to the book so far has been good, she said.

"Some couples say it has saved their marriage," said Campbell, who served as director of International Affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "It is a great tool when you (read) it together."

There are three things that readers should find interesting in her book, Campbell said. First, definitions of what men (who only speak 7,000 words a day) and women (20,000 words a day) wish the other gender understood; second, how to figure out the opposite sex; and third, how little men and women know about each other.

"Many couples have unrealistic expectations or unmet needs for so long that the marriage dissolves," Campbell said. "Couples can read this book together, with an open mind, to have fun exploring new territory and see where it leads."

The biggest thing Campbell hopes readers take away from her book?

"Marriage works," she said. "You can still find joy and happiness in marriage. Your greatest friend should be your spouse.

"We are different people in different stages. We keep changing. Every seven years a couple should readjust."