The Marriage Book

24 Aug

Last week, I said that I enjoy reading. I also said that when I do read a book, it is often of the self-help variety. Let me clarify… most of the books are educational and inspirational, not “poor me, feel sorry for myself” books (if that’s what you were thinking 🙂).

My latest read is one that was given to me by my mom. I knew that she was purchasing this particular book for my cousin, for her bridal shower, but I did not know that she had gotten a copy for me, as well.

I was being artistic when I took a completely off-centered photo 2 weeks ago…(??)

The night I came home from Holiday World, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married, by Gary Chapman, was sitting on my bed. When I was younger, my mom used to place little gifts on my bed every once in awhile, but usually it was a bag of M&Ms or a bar of chocolate. This gift was not chocolate, and yet I was still pretty excited about it. Although the title could make it seem like a light, funny read, it’s actually really informative, written by the same author who wrote The 5 Love Languages.

It’s a short read, and by reading a chapter or two every night after work, I finished it within a week. The verdict? I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in a serious relationship, engaged or married. Actually, I recommend this book to all of the single ladies (and guys) too! The chapters cover various topics that are bound to come up in a marriage. From budgeting and fighting- the correct way, to the differences between men and women when it comes to intimacy, to getting along with the in-laws, dividing responsibilities around the house, the different stages of love, and so on.

Since reading the book, I have passed it along to Jordan, and he has almost finished it too. The end of each chapter features questions to go through as a couple, and at the end of the book there are a few websites to go to, where you can take compatibility tests to learn more about yourself and your partner.

While it might seem like a tedious and a clinical way to think about marriage, I think it’s the kind of book that could prevent a lot of divorces. The author repeatedly says if you’re unsure about your relationship before you get married, then that’s the right the time to get out of it- you’ll be a stronger person because of it. For a girl who has watched way too many Disney movies and romantic comedies in her lifetime (who, me?), this was the kind of book that I needed to read to give myself a good reality check.

The truth is, after awhile, the initial spark of romance and infatuation wears off (according to Chapman, this occurs around 1 1/2 to 2 years, depending on the couple), and the relationship is not as easy. After dating for 2 years and 8 months, I will be the first to tell you that my relationship takes work.

Don’t be deceived- it is not always butterflies and holding hands and sweet glances across the room. And sometimes, I need a reminder that that’s okay. After all, life is not supposed to be perfect.

Read the book if you need those reminders too (or, just read the book).

Have you/would you read any of Gary Chapman’s books?

If you are already engaged or married, did you read any books in preparation for marriage?

8 Responses to “The Marriage Book”

  1. Mallory @ It's Only Life After All August 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    AH I love this post. I am always reminding myself that relationships do take work- and it’s not always rainbows and butterflies! I’ve been with my boyfriend for a month shy of 3 years now, and I’ve been through a lot while with him (parents divorcing being the biggest). He was my biggest supporter through all of it, and now that I’m moving away and things have calmed down I have been asking myself some serious questions about us. While marriage wouldn’t happen for a while, long-term relationships still need to move somewhere! This sounds like a great read.

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 25, 2011 at 7:50 am #

      I am in a very similar spot with my relationship. This transition from college to the adult world has me asking a lot of questions about my relationship…and made me realize that I’m not ready for marriage right now. It is a great read!

  2. sara @ the foodie diaries August 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Although I’m no longer in a serious relationship, I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice. I would love to read this book!!! thanks for sharing I’m going to go pick up a copy 🙂

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      Relationships can always be rekindled, right :)? Sometimes we just need some time on our own to figure ourselves out and grow up a little (I think).

  3. e @thisnotedlife August 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    thanks for the tip i’ll have to check that out!

  4. Morgan @ Endorphaholic August 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    This looks like a great book, I just ordered it! I’m not married yet, but like you, I am in a serious relationship. I think reading books like these, and having an open dialogue are incredibly important for a fulfilling relationship.

  5. Elizabeth August 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Hi Emily! I just stumbled across your blog today, and I absolutely love it! So diverse in topics and full of great information. Thanks for the recommendation on the book– I will definitely have to pick it up, sounds like a great read!

    Take care!


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