Bad, Better, Best

Women and Men in Relationship

Non-Fiction - Self Help
218 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Bad, Better, Best: Women and Men in Relationship is a work of non-fiction in the relationship guidance and Christian living subgenres. It is suitable for adult readers and was penned by Margaret Josephson Rinck, who refers to herself as Dr. Meg during the course of the book. As the title suggests, the work focuses on relationships between women and men and explores these dynamics and patterns from a Christian Presbyterian perspective. Based on a series of interesting and insightful lectures, Dr. Meg has developed a work that takes us through bad patterns and game-playing in relationships and identifies ways to behave appropriately to one another, for women and men living in the body of Christ.

Whether they are in a relationship or not, there is much for Christian readers to learn from this work that will help them improve their friendships and romantic prospects, and grow into mature and responsible partners that any other person would be lucky to have. I enjoyed the practical guidance that Margaret Josephson Rinck delivered in this work, which is all about balance within ourselves and with others. The scripture references and biblical ideas posed by the work are well chosen to highlight the core principles of love and harmony, whilst also discussing more modern issues like the balance of power in relationships and co-dependency. Bad, Better, Best is a work that offers a clear organizational structure and an accessible concept backed up by great ideas and good strong values, and it would be a very helpful read indeed for Christians seeking a good model on which to base their relationships.

Philip Van Heusen

Marriage is the best thing that can happen to you - or the worst. It is an institution that must be worked on every day. I was a pastoral counselor for forty years and always told my clients that “the day you stop working on your marriage is the day you start working on your divorce.” In Bad, Better, Best: Women and Men in Relationship, Margaret Josephson Rinck (Dr. Meg) provides information on how the reader can improve any marriage. Dr. Meg discusses what makes a relationship terrible and the first part of the book focuses on the bad parts of a relationship. These include immaturity, burnout, co-dependency, and other unhealthy patterns. She then explains how to make the relationship the best it can be.

How much relationship training did you have before you started your relationship? Unfortunately, if you are typical, you received none. Thankfully, Margaret Josephson Rinck wants to change everything. She has authored the book Bad, Better, Best to help her readers understand how bad a relationship can be. She then gives methods and information for making the relationship the best possible. Her style of writing is engaging. Her knowledge is vital and easy to understand. The first six chapters talk about bad relationships. Don’t stop reading. She does not begin to offer solutions until chapter seven. The book ends with chapter ten, giving hope for the future of your relationship. I like the fact that Dr. Meg mentions the need for laughter. In my forty years of experience, I never had a couple come into my office with a distressed marriage that knew how to laugh together.

Essien Asian

Love is a beautiful thing; it is even better when that love is shared by two individuals who truly understand each other in every sense of the word. Sadly, this occurrence is not as common as we would like to believe. People are getting attracted and committing themselves to individuals whose traits they do not understand, which in turn has led to the increase in divorce and separation of couples globally. What if this could be avoided altogether? Margaret Josephson Rinck uses her years of experience as a psychologist to provide critical information that will help couples intending to settle and those already together to better understand and coexist with their partners. Bad, Better, Best will teach you this and more.

Margaret Josephson Rinck uses an interesting blend of science and religion in her approach to presenting the book. The facts she outlines are exhaustive and very well detailed, leaving nothing out. She even goes the extra mile by providing specific examples where her point may not be so obvious. This is juxtaposed with references from selected parts of the Bible showing her research is not only science-oriented. Her approach to resolving the problems she points out in the book is sympathetic as she constantly highlights that change will not happen overnight when encouraging you to try certain exercises. Rinck has done an excellent job in penning this masterpiece. Bad, Better, Best is one self-help book that I would encourage all couples to read. The knowledge in this book can be the difference between a happy home and a painful divorce.

Joanne Ang

Bad, Better, Best is a self-help book for healthy relationships written by Dr. Margaret Josephson Rinck. With 40 years of experience under Dr. Meg’s belt, Bad, Better, Best is a complete rundown of how relationships end up in heartbreaks and divorces, and how to spot early signs of toxic relationships to avoid unwanted surprises from a partner or a spouse. Most importantly, Dr. Meg also gives incredibly helpful tips and tricks on rebuilding torn relationships to ones that can withstand any thunderstorms ahead. A short and sweet book, this is one to look for when it comes to the how-to’s of maintaining a happy and healthy relationship.

Bad, Better, Best is an incredibly concise and relatable book on improving relationships. I really liked how this book shows an understanding of basic human nature and childhood psychology, along with cultural differences that connect with adult behaviour in relationships, which was definitely an eye-opener. Dr. Meg also successfully captured the complicated signs and effects of unhealthy relationships and simplified it to layman terms with a wide variety of samples that is easily digestible. Bad, Better, Best sees real life situations from a multitude of angles, giving a very comprehensive guide to relationships.

Finally, Dr. Meg completes the book with how a balanced and healthy relationship should be like, coming full circle to find the solution to a deep psychological problem. Overall, I think Bad, Better, Best is one of the most complete and comprehensive guides for those seeking help in a relationship that’s quickly falling apart, not only by educating the reader on the probable history of the partner or spouse, but also including self-help remedies to identifying the root cause.

Edith Wairimu

Bad, Better, Best: Women and Men in Relationship by Margaret Josephson Rinck is an enlightening, actionable self-help guide for identifying dysfunctional relationship patterns, understanding their root causes, and improving marriages. Written from a biblical perspective, it examines four unhealthy relationship patterns: unequal balance of power, codependency, games in a relationship or immaturity, and relationship burnout. It discusses their sources, how they begin, and the symptoms that indicate that such patterns are present or developing within a relationship. The work also explains why games exist within relationships and how to break such habits. It delves into how unhealthy patterns can be dealt with or changed. In its final section, it examines and explains the key aspects of a healthy relationship.

Margaret Josephson Rinck draws from 40 years of experience as a psychologist to clearly address patterns of dysfunction in relationships and offer practical advice for building healthy marriages. I loved that she peppers her work with numerous straightforward examples which help in identifying such patterns and explaining how to break them. I also found the solutions offered encouraging as they show how unhealthy habits can be dealt with. The biblical accounts and teachings were inspiring too. I liked that the book addresses wrong teachings within the Christian community and that it emphasizes God’s forgiveness and the need for finding self-worth in him. Bad, Better, Best by Margaret Josephson Rinck is an insightful relationship guide with profound lessons. It is a powerful guide for improving and building strong, healthy relationships. Highly recommended.