Tomorrow marks my 3 year wedding anniversary, WOW! We've been together 7 years, and it seems so cliche, but time sure is flying. In honor of our anniversary tomorrow, and for all those other married couples out there I had to share this book I just finished. Titled, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn.
Coincidentally it coincided with my anniversary, giving me the perfect opportunity to share some ideas from this book, and prompt you to take the time to read it yourself. Always willing to read about self-improvement and learn more about myself in the process, I gave this a go. Even if I consider myself in a highly happy marriage, I'm very receptive of learning more about how to maintain and grow our marriage. This book is all about those little things that make a big difference in a marriage. Some of it's obvious, other parts I caught myself going "huh, we do that, but I never really grasped how important it was" or "we could improve in this area, that is so easy, we just got to start trying that."
I'd say a lot of these highly happy marriage techniques (comprised from her studies of those couples that both say "YES!" I'm happy in my marriage) are also applicable to improving a variety of relationships. I really recommend this book to anyone, even if you're just a dating couple.
The author takes a religious perspective throughout, which I personally enjoyed, but for those that don't incorporate faithful practice into their marriage, she makes sure to do so in a way that isn't in your face. The psychology/sociology teacher in me appreciates the studies and research she uses to back these techniques, and although filled with surveys, it's well put together to be an easy read.
Here are some of my favorite highlights from the book!
*Happy spouses keep track of what their mate is giving and what they need as a result, and deliberately try to give back.
*Highly happy couples quickly stop a negative train of thought or action, replacing unhappy or angry thoughts or actions with positive ones, in order to change their feelings.
*When highly happy spouses are legitimately hurt, they refuse to believe that their mate intended to hurt them, and they look for the most generous explanation instead.
*The happiest spouses often mentioned that faith in God was vitally important to their marriages.
*Highly happy couples tend to put God at the center of their marriage and focus on Him, rather than on their marriage or spouse, for fulfillment and happiness.
*If I treat you the way God wants me to, then you'll be happy. And then I'll be happy. Wow - that's a great deal!
*We can choose to not hold our displeasure over our spouse's head when they do try to reconnect with us.
*If you wouldn't say it that way to a close friend, don't say it that way to your spouse.
*A happy spouse looks at the other person as their best and closest friend - a friend they want to stay close to no matter what.
*Song of Soloman 5:16 "This is my beloved and this is my friend."