Monday, January 25, 2016

Married and Still Loving It by Gary Chapman and Harold Myra

★★★★★  The publisher provided a copy for review.
We've been married almost 39 years. It has been a lot of fun and we've been on a lot of adventures together.

But there have been days / months / years when we've wondered if we were crazy to be together. Sometimes living with someone - sticking it out - can be difficult. When you or your spouse are not in synch about finances, life goals, raising kids, etc., marriage can feel like hell.

The advice we always give couples is STAY. Assume best intentions from the other person. Work it out. Do what you can to change yourself and to love your spouse.

One study of happiness and unhappiness in marriage startled me during my graduate classes: most of those who said they were unhappy in their marriage (and stuck it out), rated their marriages as happy 5 years later.

I don't recommend staying to "tough it out" for those being abused or harmed or when the spouse is serially unfaithful. It takes 2 people to make a marriage work.

But in a normal marriage of ups and downs (stone grinding on stone, as it were), there will be great days and hard days. Bliss and blessing. Trial and traction.

Chapman and Myra offer hope for happiness and growth through good communication. The qualities of laughter, resilience, and faith show up again and again in their studies of sound marriages. The authors show how to increase and improve those in your marriage. Well worth reading and keeping on the bookshelf to loan to couples who have been together for a while.

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