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Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,976 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts (SYMBIS) is the first comprehensive marriage preparation program specifically designed for today's couples. It's also the first program for couples developed by a couple.Les and Leslie Parrott are no ordinary couple. As marriage counselors and teachers, they're on the cutting edge of marriage research and education. Each year they teac ...more
Misc. Supplies, 304 pages
Published October 8th 1995 by Zondervan (first published May 2nd 1995)
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J.E. Jr.
When Marcie and I got married, this was the book (along with the corresponding workbooks) that our pastor used for pre-marital counseling. Ever since I started doing pre-marital counseling, it’s the book that I’ve used, as well. I am finishing up another round of pre-marital counseling this week, and thus I’ve re-read to book again.

The Parrotts (husband and wife writing team) work through several vital questions that, I can say with some experience, are indeed important questions for setting a m
While I admit books about marriage are not my normal reading material(I've been happily married for 52 years), I happened to see this title cited in an article,and it peaked my interest. I found it insightful, refreshing, and a good quick read. It was interesting see the authors' ability to distill many of the challenges encountered by any marriage into short practical chapters. I purchased my book used, and therefore do not have the accompanying workbook. I think anyone contemplating marriage, ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self, psych-misc
Actually not that bad. It even had interesting parts in it. "As strange as it may sound, there is a strong link in marriage between prayer and sex. For one thing, frequency of prayer is a more powerful predictor of marital satisfaction than frequency of sexual intimacy. But get this: Married couples who pray together are 90% more likely to report higher satisfaction with their sex life than couples who do not pray together." Interesting enough, but my favorite bit was, "That doesn't sound quite ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read about 30% of the book and then decided that information was hardly seeping inside me. Plus I felt I'm not clear on what exactly are the questions either (even though they are the topic headings).

In between I felt that there were some theoretical things like "start your relationship with a boost of passion in order to sustain it through the later years of your relationship". To illustrate this there is an example of an airplane that takes off uses 80% of its fuel during the take-off and th
Bill Huizer
Ah, mandatory marriage reading! I wasn't especially thrilled with the title of the book, so I didn't come to this with the most open of minds. There were helpful parts in the Parrotts examination of marriage and its obstacles, but in the end I felt it was too driven by the culture for a book from a Christian perspective. Statistics that say that partners who pray together have better sex lives seem like a bizarre encouragement to walk together on the spiritual journey. I'm also not a big fan of ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: devotionals
Overall, the Parrotts' book was well-written and with relevant questions. The issues addressed were undoubtedly important. Sadly, I felt like the book only focused on the negative, and gave very little example (real-life) as to how you can positively live out your marriage (as opposed to the hundreds of ways to ruin it). Also, as someone who likes psychology, I found little backing for the book in that sense...little backing for why people might do what they do. But I understand that the book wa ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very good insights,
easy to read, sometimes not so necessary info but good for quick advices
recommended for people who want to get married, are married or want to learn how to have a healthy relationship.
Plus: I love the description of love in 3 pillars and the quotes along the book, same as examples and exercises
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: engaged or newlyweds
Shelves: marriage
Every couple considering getting married or recently married should check out this book. Maybe a bit cheesy in places, especially if you're not into getting outside help. However, gave us such a head start on issues and areas we wouldn't have even known to address before we got married. Thumbs up.
Lisa Driskill
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We LOVED this book!!! Helped us in many ways. Would (and do) recommend it to any couple planning on getting married.
Adebayo Adegbembo
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by my partner as a shared resource for our discussion in preparation for the exchange of marital vows. I must admit my ignorance towards books of this genre until I read it. It did help me understand some aspects of our relationship that I was ignorant about. Also laid the foundation for me to read similar books on same subject.
Charles Areson
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, very practical.
Ben Flegal
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
A good and practical course which helps you both prepare for and perpetuate a proper marriage relationship with a focus on God and each partner's relationship with Him.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationship
1. A healthy marriage becomes a place to wrap up unfinished business from childhood. The healing process begins gradually by uncovering and acknowledging our unresolved childhood issues. The healing continues through the years as we allow our spouses to love us and as we learn how to love them.
2. Marriage is a God-given way to improve and hone our beings. Marriage challenges us to new heights and calls us to be the best person possible, but neither marriage nor our partner will magica
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this book last spring through interlibrary loan, but I was only able to read through the first chapter before having to return it. (Last spring was the rough semester of trying to get into the program.) That chapter did help us a lot though… “Have you faced the myths of marriage with honesty?” The first chapter talks about how we have preconceived roles that we expect each spouse to automatically fit in. This was a wonderful opportunity for A and I to nip any of those in the bud. For ...more
Jon Barr
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, straightforward book. I feel like I missed out on much of the potential value of this book by not having the workbooks (there are separate versions for men and women). I will definitely pick them up to glean more from the Parrotts.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated this book. It's quite practical and hands-on in its approach. Typically, I don't relate a TON to stereotypes about women (mainly behavioral ones, I guess,) but this book quite clearly defined the differences between men and women in a way that seemed true to me, and was pretty thought-provoking. I think it's because it based its discussion more on the differences between what MOTIVATES men and women than simply leaving it at "women always want to talk about their feelings/men don't ...more
Nov 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book seem based of the Hendrix book Getting the Love You Want. I would recommend that book over this one if you can only read one. But this book had lots of good points in its own right. I especially had some "lightbulb" moments when I read the chapter about the differences between men and women. The last chapter was a tiny bit offputting in that it pushes shared spirituality and specifically, Christianity. But if you as the reader are able to keep your mind open, you will realize ...more
Wes Martin
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marriage
My fiance and I were given this book by our premarital counselor. After reading several reviews, we were slightly hesitant, but ultimately we found that this book was perfect for us. Many of the "issues" in our relationship that we had secretly thought were abnormal were suddenly forced into the light and it became apparent that we are normal and that other couples struggle with the same things that we do. My favorite thing about the Parrott's book is that it acknowledges many differences betwee ...more
Los consejos prácticos de este libro son útiles para cualquier pareja que esta planeando casarse o que ya esta casada. En la actualidad, vemos la cada vez mas grande ola de parejas que decide que el amor se termino y es “mas sano” separarse. Este libro proporciona reglas para disminuir los principales puntos de tensión entre la pareja y fortalecer su relación en cuanto a comunicación, intimidad, interrelación, etc.
Nos proporciona algunos consejos de comunicación tanto al hombre como a la mujer.
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I started reading this book even before our engagement. The book is very easy to read and it gives you the kind of questions and challenges that will gently force you to discuss serious matters with your partner.

PROS: The chapters of the book are easy to digest and full of real-life examples that reflect the extensive experience of the authors. At the end of each chapter there are questions that work perfectly as a devotional-reflection time with your partner. Though I did not get t
roland simarangkir
Buku ini tidak sekedar panduan sebelum menikah, sepertinya buku ini dirancang sebagai sebuah modul dan program bagi pasangan-pasangan yang akan menikah bahkan yang sudah menikah.

Membahas perbedaan perbedaan mencolok pria dan wanita, buku ini menolong setiap pasangan (saya lebih suka memakai meolong pasangan untuk berjuang) bukan untuk mengatasi perbedaan itu, tetapi menjembatani dan mengerti perbedaan itu dengan kerendahan hati, pelayanan dan kesetiaan. Setiap pribadi sepertinya harus dibangun u
Kami Bee
This is a great book about marriage and male/female romantic relationships in general, ruined by a couple of things.

Firstly: religion. While I have no doubt that religion helps some couples bond, not everyone believes in God or 'does the church thing'. To equate the need for a shared meaning in life solely to a fully-fledged membership in a church is simplistic.

I also felt the male/female stereotypes outlined were a little heavy-handed. I related to a lot of the things meant to be experienced by
Dec 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone preparing for marriage
Recommended to Kristin by: Laura Oprea
Yes, I know...I'm suprised too that I gave a marriage prep book such a high rating, especially with the super-cheesy picture of the authors on the inside back cover. Even more with the fact that their names are Les and Leslie does that even happen!?
Anyway, by far, this was the most helpful book I have read in my quest to become knowledgable about all things marriage. Well, I know I'll never know all things, but I am trying as I will be entering that major life change soon.
The autho
Michael Romans
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pre-married couples, couples wanting to strengthen their marriages
Shelves: 2015-read-list
This was a pretty good book on marriage. The suggestions on what couples can do are pretty solid. They authors do a good job of including ideas for people already married as well. My only real complaint is that this book seems to hinge, or at least persistently puts forward, some pretty stereotypical ideas about gender roles. These may play out as true in research, I don't know, but anecdotally I have found that often they don't play out. For instance at one point the authors say, "When a woman ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, nonfiction
The first chapter was a little slow but set the tone and foundation for the following chapters. I would recommend this book to any engaged couple. The end of the chapter discussion questions are gold and it helps lay aside myths, challenges you and provokes you to examine your own perceptions and thoughts of what marriage will be like and how to commmunicate and handle conflict.

Favorite quote: But fairy tales ussually end at this point with the simple phrase, "They lived happily ever after." Th
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my three favorite books that explain how to make a marriage work. It's not a long book- feels modern and fresh - and, though it includes some references to Christianity and the importance of spirituality in a marriage, it does NOT dwell on issues of sexuality - just includes those as some of the issues in a marriage. I found its tips and lists and scenarios very helpful- and printed off the "end of chapter questions" for future study with my partner. I have pages of notes from this book w ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Engaged Couples and Christians
Recommended to Heather by: seen it is a commonly used book in premarital counseling
This book was okay but I like The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman better. This book made a lot of references to other books and that I didn't like. When I am reading "your" book I don't want to hear about how so and so says this in their book, If I wanted to know about what those people wrote about I would be reading that book not yours. I did walk away with relating to a few points in the book but don't really feel like I have walked away learning much more then before I read it. overall if ...more
Oct 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book to start the conversations couples should have before getting married. I think what I like best is that it is just a start to the process--I can foresee revisiting many of these conversations in the future. But the way the authors approached marriage was incredibly realistic, and helpful. I highly recommend it to any couple who will be getting married, or is considering marriage in the nearish future.
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As our counselor said, this book is really more meant to get discussion going, but the manner in which it did is done with amazing execution. I can't say that I agreed with or appreciated everything in this book, but it is a fantastic text for pre-marital counsel.

it does lose some appeal because the authors are married, and they have the same first name. bleh. some things are too gross even for star-crossed lovers.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts has everything you can ask for from a marriage counseling book. It’s faith-based, cites to scripture and contemporary empirical work, recognizes both the natural male and female perspectives, tells story about real life, and is grounded in reality. There is also homework and accompanying workbooks. The book is aimed for premarital counseling (how we used it), but I think it would benefit couples at any stage.
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#1 New York Times best-selling authors, Les and Leslie. A husband-and-wife team who not only share the same name, but the same passion for helping others build healthy relationships. In 1991, the Parrotts founded the Center for Relationship Development on the campus of Seattle Pacific University - a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of good relationships.

Married in 1984, the
More about Les Parrott III...

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