Score: 92/100 (9.2 out of 10)
The Essential Rules of Love by Phil Russotti is a beautiful and inspiring self-help book about having and preserving a relationship that lasts a lifetime! The author was greatly inspired by his real-life experiences with his wife, Susan, who tragically passed away from ovarian cancer four years before the publication of this book.
Susan and the beautiful relationship that Phil Russotti had with her for ten incredible years are constantly at the forefront of this book. It's impossible not to feel your heartstrings being pulled and tugged by their real-life tale. This book greatly memorializes Susan's memory and her continued positive influence on the author's life. Their bond and emotional connection seems almost magical and mythical, and it's a great inspiration and example for all current and aspiring couples.
The author also cites scientific research to support his claims as well as popular songs with relevant messages/lyrics. The latter is probably the most unique thing about this book. Music plays a surprisingly big role in it to a degree we haven't seen in other relationship or self-help books. However, the grand majority of the information in this book is based on anecdotal evidence and direct experience. Phil and Susan walked the talk.
We have to say that this book surprised and inspired us at times. For example, the author challenges us to never raise our voices at our partners. This is something he claims helped his relationship with Susan. Wow! Can you imagine that? Never yelling or shouting. And his reasoning for following this advice makes sense. When people are yelled at, they immediately become defensive and on-guard. It's natural. It's instinctive. They immediately feel attacked and are driven to feel that whatever you're saying isn't helpful or useful information but rather the opposite.
Another piece of information we really appreciated was the encouragement for couples to surprise each other and to do exciting and interesting things together like hiking and going to the theater. Our favorite part was just about how important it is for couples to cook and eat together. Cooking and eating are important functions in any relationship. The author says that cooking conveys care, effort, and love. There are few things more romantic and loving than cooking for someone. Some of us went out and got ingredients to make tacos after reading that!
There are also sections exploring some of the evolutionary aspects of relationships such as how men and women compete with other men and women for partners by dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, staying fit and healthy, and even cooking. Again, that encouraged us to cook stuff.
With these book, we're just spoiled. That's all there is to it. We've read so many great relationship and self-help books, and this joins the lot of them.
Check it out on Amazon!