I’m an advocate for constant learning, growing and improving. You are too, aren’t ya? I mean, you’re here reading this! 😉 If you’re like me you love hearing from people that you know and bloggers that you respect and trust and what books they’re using to improve their lives and marriages.
When my husband and I first got together we were wingin’ it – livin’ on a dream and a prayer! Things didn’t work out that well (surprise, surprise) and before we knew it we were on the brink of callous disconnect and approaching divorce. We even filed. It was a tiny spark of hope then that convinced use. We knew we had to start learning and making changes if our marriage was to survive.
The principles and practices in these books have helped us make tremendous improvements to our marriage. So much so that the divorce got dropped and here we are twenty years later with a marriage that people even tell us they admire. 🙂 If you’re looking to save a marriage or improve yours from good to great, here’s your toolbox!
P.S. – I have a full time job, a blog, and four kids on my plate. How do I read? Audiobooks! If you have a library card, check out free audiobooks through Hoopla. If you like to have them in your library forever, Amazon Audible is your new BFF. My favorite tip? Listen at 1.5 play rate.
The Five Love Languages
This book is such an easy one to make your marriage amazing! The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman teaches us that every person speaks and hears love in one primary language. There are five languages and if you identify and learn to speak your husband’s love language the results of your efforts will be ten times what they are when you speak in one of the other four. The fun quizzes and simple tips are super easy to implement and give great return!
HIS NEEDS, HER NEEDS
His Needs, Her Needs is a book that made one of the biggest improvements in my marriage. You mean my husband has needs that I need to meet?! Say whaa!?! 😉 Dr. Willard Harley gives both husbands and wives five basic needs of their spouses and ways to meet those needs. It’s an easy read that is very educational and you walk away from it with a better understanding of your man’s needs and practical solutions to implement.
Love & Respect
In Love & Respect, Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs writes that women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected. When done well, a couple is on an energizing cycle where meeting the spouse’s need motivates them to meet your needs. The crazy cycle is the opposite of this, where disrespect sparks unloving actions which spark disrespect. The author breaks down respect and love into acronyms for each spouse. Many of Dr. Eggerich’s points align well with Dr. Harley’s points. This is an excellent book to help wives better understand the complicated foreign concept that is respect.
The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work
Dr. John Gottman packs his book with clinical research, dives into the four horseman that kill marriage (criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness) and lays out antidotes for each. You’ll improve your marriage by getting to know your spouse even better, working on admiration and appreciation. You’ll learn to turn toward each other rather than stonewalling. Overcome contempt. Rework criticism. This book is packed with high value content and although I’ve listened to it twice, I’ll definitely come back to it again and again to absorb more wisdom and make more improvements.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
While this isn’t a marriage book, Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People covers practices that will affect every relationship in your entire life. Even the relationship you have with yourself! Covey talks about being proactive instead of reactive. This makes major improvements in one’s life and marriage. Thinking win, win is a habit that will greatly improve your marriage as well as implementing the habit of seeking first to understand, then to be understood. Working on all seven of these habits will make great improvements in your marriage!
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win, Win
- Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
THE GOOD FIGHT
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are two of my favorites! Les is a clinical psychologist and Leslie is a family and marriage therapist. They have all the qualifications and teach from a Christian standpoint. In their book The Good Fight they talk about how conflict is actually healthy for a marriage! Healthy practices that will improve your marriage include turning a criticism into a complaint, deciphering between perceived threat and neglect, and sharing what the authors call withholds. One of my favorite tools they share is a conflict card which helps you look inward and analyze how strongly you feel about an argument. No more arguing just to be right! 😉
Build a Library. Build Your Marriage.
There are so many awesome resources out there that break down the psychology between a husband and wife. There’s no need for us to walk blindly through our marriages and wonder what we’re doing wrong. There’s no reason to settle for anything less than a happy, successful, highly effective marriage!
So enjoy! Grab one of these in paperback and build your at home library. Highlight, underline and make notes in them. Then download the audiobooks so you can “read” them while you’re on your run, sitting at your desk, or avoiding all the crazies on your next flight. Start implementing the practices and let me know what improvements make your marriage the most amazing!