TO PREPARE US FOR the workforce we have school, tertiary education, training, professional on-going development, and even mentorships
But when it comes to marriage, there isn't really any formal preparation… apart from some trial and error, and advice from our peers
So when things go bad or even just change, we often don't know what to do
And find ourselves in these loops that just go around and around and get nowhere
Expert advice can help break the loop and change your marriage for the better
But what do you do when you can't get your partner to agree to see a marriage counselor?
The good news is that you can take the fate of your marriage into your own hands…
Books and programs from experts:
Many counselors, psychologists, therapists, and other relationship experts write books about saving and fixing marriages. Are they right for you?
Pros and cons of using books and DIY programs
- You can use them when your partner doesn’t want to try to save the marriage
- They are less expensive than seeing a professional in person (quite a bit so)
- You get the best expert information (doesn’t matter if they don’t live near you)
- It's an easier and more casual way to start working on your marriage. Without the stress of confrontation, and ‘starting formal counselling'.
- No one needs to know that you're marriage is in trouble (not even your husband)
Short Quiz – Should you use a book or program?
- Is your husband happy to talk about your marriage situation?
- In your opinion, does your husband verbalize his feelings, emotions, and point of view clearly?
- Do you know exactly why your marriage is in trouble?
If you answered No to any of these questions, then a book or program is the best place to start.
Books can help provide answers to questions and any loops that you find yourself stuck in. All from the privacy and comfort of your own home, car or favorite coffee shop.
7 Popular Books and Programs
Save the Marriage – Dr. Lee Baucom
22+ years of experience in a book
Dr. Lee Baucom believes that simply having better communication skills is not going to fix your marriage.
In fact, he says that having better communication skills will only make you better at fighting. And that is one of the big issues with traditional marriage counseling, and why the success rates are so low…
His book will show you exactly what you need to do to become a ‘we’ again. And how to change your husband's current perception of you
He addresses marriages all the way from ‘I see problems down the road’ to ‘your husband has left and initiated legal proceedings – no communication’. Well worth the read, even if you are the only one trying to save your marriage.
MY OPINION: A great choice from a trusted source for when only one person is trying to save the marriage. Dr. Baucom also has an optional support group he only offers to people who have read his book (and understand his techniques).
Mend the Marriage – Brad Browning
Simple and easy to follow
Looking for a simple to follow guide for the best chance of saving your marriage?
Brad believes that by changing the way you think about marriage, you can change your marriage. And he has the testimonials to prove it!
Brad’s advice is simple to follow, in fact, he uses his own ABCD system. His book includes a few worksheets that you can work through to help prioritize and understand what’s happening in your relationship.
Included are some special guides on surviving infidelity, managing money and caring for your kids in the midst of a divorce or separation.
MY OPINION: This book contains plenty of good information but is a little light on in the practical side. A good option for the thinkers out there…
The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work – Dr. John Gottman & Nan Silver
Data and science-based advice
Want to know what the data and scientific research says behind marriage breakdown?
Dr John Gottman (from the Gottman Institute) analyzed the difference between successful and non-successful marriages over a period of years from which the seven principles originate from.
This book investigates the issues of marriage in a detailed manner and offers plenty of tips, advice, and exercises to help you and your partner see eye to eye again.
After reading this book, you can expect to feel better and more positive about your husband and your marriage.
Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work – Matthew McKay Ph.D, Patrick Fanning, Kim Paleg Ph.D
A step-by-step guide to the relationship you've always wanted
No one ever said being in a relationship was easy. But if you are prepared to put in the work, this step by step guide teaches you how to work smarter not harder.
Each chapter covers a different vital skill such as communication, better problem coping skills, and healthy ways to resolve conflicts. Most of us have at least the basic skills, or we wouldn't be in a relationship at all. But few go beyond this, which is why so many relationships fail.
In this updated edition is a chapter covering a revolutionary new technique called ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Designed to help build deeper trust and intimacy, you learn how to own your emotions while at the same time accept your partner's feelings for what they are, no judgment.
By following the steps, you will see the real value in your relationship and how to commit to making it better. Get your copy here
MY OPINION: It's good that each chapter stands alone and works on one issue, but some of the language used is overly technical.
Hope for Your Marriage: Experience God’s Greatest Desires for You and Your Spouse – Clayton & Ashlee Hurst
Stories of wisdom over the ‘instruction manual' approach
Marriage counselors Clayton and Ashlee Hurst share their own struggles in 20 years of marriage. During this time, they have raised three children and have learned that God didn't create marriage as a way to make us all happy, what he created was love.
This faith-based approach to relationships is easy to read and offers a wealth of information. Including how to make the transition from the “honeymoon” phase of your relationship to the “everyday” phase successfully.
Rather than just another book with a list of step by step instructions, Clayton and Ashlee share what they have learned over the years.
The book also contains a foreword by Joel Osteen and highly recommended by many top religious figures. Get your copy here
MY OPINION: This book is easy to read and relate to, but there isn't much in the way of new information.
Marriage: From Surviving to Thriving: Practical Advice on Making Your Marriage Strong – Charles R. Swindoll
A fresh new look at making Christian relationships work today
In an era of change where gender roles are changing, author Chuck Swindoll, pastor, and Bible teacher offers a healthy blend of hope and practical advice aimed at helping your marriage work better
With so much change in the world and roles within the family in a constant state of flux, Chuck offers faith-based tips and advice placing God in charge and using His word as the guide to a better more fulfilling marriage
Get your copy here
MY OPINION: Christians looking for practical, faith-based advice will enjoy this book. It is heavily Christian and may not be for everyone
How to Save your Christian Marriage – Dr. Lee Baucom
A comprehensive program to follow for Christian marriages
Has your husband decided to throw in the towel?
If this sounds like you then this is the book you are after. Written by a 20+ year qualified marriage counselor, it is specifically for Christians who want to use their faith to help them save their marriage… Even if only you are trying
Get your copy here
MY OPINION: A comprehensive choice for Christians looking to rekindle and reconnect with their partner. Specially written for marriages where only one is trying
You Can Do It
It's not going to be easy but yes, you can do it. Any of these books is a great start to helping you:
- Understand your husband better & how he sees your relationship
- Discover what is working and what isn't
- How to get your needs met in your marriage
Men (and women) can get disillusioned in marriage. Using these books you can help remind him of why you got married in the first place
Thanks for reading, if you have a question or query you can contact me here
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