Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review - Related by Chance, Family By Choice


Transforming Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships. What does it take to create true family unity between moms and the women who marry their sons?

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.


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

Find out more about Deb at


This book is a Biblical look at how to handle, what can be, the most difficult relationship a woman can have - the one with her mother-in-law or daughter-in-law.

I found this book so helpful, with lots of great advice and insight. I love how the author is so incredibly honest and open about sharing things. I also love that she gives us a chance to be self-assessing and then make a plan of action regarding our relationship with our in-law. I thought this was so helpful because sometimes we just don't know how to go about fixing or making a relationship that's difficult better.

I liked how this book made me look at the fact that we all come into relationships with our own issues and sometimes we have to understand our own, as well as our in-law's issues. Understanding them can help to build a bridge to greater understanding. I also think this book would be so helpful in making our marriages better because how often do we complain about our husband's mother to him?! Making this relationship more loving would make our marriages better, too.

This book was really easy to read and so hopeful! I recommend it to anyone that would like to make their relationship with their mother-in-law or daughter-in-law better!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

Blessings - Julie

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