Post # 1
Hello my Lovelies!
Ever since I was a teen, I’ve always been interested in reading books and articles about improving communication, emotional intelligence, and overall relationship-building behaviors such as words of affirmation, kindness, compromise, etc. As the day for my wedding comes closer, I’ve been even more interested on reading material on building good habits towards marriage. I’ve been speaking to my parents and listening to their suggestions, researching the internet, and reading a few books regarding the biggest struggles in new marriages and solutions. Military marriage articles have been of special interest to me.
Of course I understand you can’t fully prepare for marriage, it’s something you can’t know until you are into it. But I think that it never hurts to read about communication and emotional awareness of those around you.
So ladies, have any of you read anything to help you prepare, besides discussing with your FI? What have you learned or would like to share?
Any books or articles you would recommend? I’m always open to reading new material!
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
I read The Female Brain back in highschool when I first started dating my Fiance and I think it really helped me understand the chemical aspects of our relationship and helped me prepare for the changes that would come. I think that I would have been confused/overwhelmed with all our relationship changes if I hadn’t read it (:
I also read The Five Love Languages right before we got engaged and I found it really useful, as have many other bees.
Also by Gary Chapman, I read the book Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married right after we got engaged.
I found it really interesting and it gave me new perspectives, although lots of the stuff wasn’t really a surprise to me since my Fiance have been together (and living together) for a while. I like that Chapman’s books have exercises to do as a couple.
I also talk to my mom regularly about marriage and relationship stuff. I’m glad I have her to talk to since I’m the first one of my friends to be engaged and most of my friends haven’t really been in long-term or respectful/functioning relationships.
Post # 4
@sugarpea: I LOVE “The Five Love Languages”! My guy bought a copy of that and he went to a retreat for unmarried soldiers and they discussed it thoroughly. He really felt like he learned a lot, and our communication got even better. We had a great discussion about finances later. 🙂
I’ll definitely check out those other ones you mentioned! I feel like I can never get enough of these type of books. They help with all sorts of relationships, I think.
And I know what you mean about talking with your mom! She’s my best friend. 🙂
Post # 6
I also really enjoyed The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
We also read 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged by H. Norman Wright which I found really useful.
I actually recommend reading this one even if you are engaged or married. There are good thought provoking questions in it that get you both on the same page. After reading it, I found that the issues that came up in pre-marital counseling we had pretty much covered in 101 Questions.
Post # 7
@CMSnails: Thank you! I’ve seen some articles on Pinterest that ask questions like this, although not as in-depth, and I found they really were helpful! It was thought-provoking for both of us! It made it think of questions we never had thought of before. Thank you for this! 🙂
Post # 8
We had some pre-marital counselling with our pastor. He had us read a book called “The First 5 Years” (I wouldn’t reccommend it if you’re not Christian, it’s definitely a look at marriage from a Biblical point of view, but I personally found it quite useful).
Post # 9
@DeathByDesign: I am Christian, so it’s something I would be interested in checking out! A great website I love going to is Focus on the Family, and reading their marriage articles, if you’ve never had a chance to check them out!
Here’s a link if you’re interested!
Post # 10
I really wanted to read some material before getting engaged/married too. I’m an athiest, so I wanted something secular, which was really hard to find! You’d think the non-religious would want to start off their marriage on the right foot too. lol
I’ve been going through 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married (http://www.amazon.com/1001-Questions-Ask-Before-Married/dp/0071438033) with my SO, and I find it quite good (although he thinks it is a bit tedious at times). There are a ton of sections to go through, and some only apply to certain people – there is one section about marrying someone in the military, and others about marrying a celebrity, a noncitizen, etc. Overall I think it provides an awesome tool for discussion. Much of it my SO and I already know about each other, but it’s nonetheless good.
And don’t laugh, but I have also been reading this: http://www.amazon.com/Men-are-Mars-Women-Venus/dp/006123205X/. Some of it is a bit generalized, but overall it’s a good message about how men and women communicate differently and how to work with one another on it. While nothing in the book is incredibly new to me, it still acts as a reminder that my SO and I go about things in different ways, and that is totally okay!
ETA: Like PPs, I also really like The Five Love Languages. I’ve only read snippets. I really need to buy the whole book!
Post # 11
I would highly recommend “1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married.” I’m not gonna lie, though – we got in a few arguments because of how we much we disagreed on certain topics, but we got through them.
Post # 12
@bowsergirl: You’re right; people of all religious/non-religious backgrounds are entitled to preparing for marriage! I’m glad you were able to find some good material! I see that the “1,001 Questions” book is a popular recommendation, and thanks for mentioning that it includes a section about military couples. That’s support I need right now!
And you’re right about “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”! I haven’t read it in a couple of years, but I should come back to it and refresh. I thought it was very insightful about the similarities and differences of men and women in their communication styles. It really helped me in my previous relationships, and made it easier to build the foundation in this one! I definitely recommend the “Five Love Languages”! You’ll love it.
@futuremrsndl: Thanks for your recommendation! I think if you were able to discuss the topics beforehand and at least know where you both stand, that’s what matters!
I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to read about these things. 🙂
Post # 13
I wasn’t a big fan of the 1XXX.. questions to ask your spouse. I mean if you have the big things covered (jobs, kids, money, where to live, skeletons in your closet), then you don’t really have to know every single detail about your soon to be spouse right now! (like what was your first kiss like and stuff – mainly what I’m talking about).
I really like the John Gottman books. He’s a statistician and somehow I just believe/understand numbers and facts more being the engineer that I am.
Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal by John Gottman and Nan Silver
Some other books too: Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages by Robin L. Smith (very misleading title! good book!)5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great by Terri Orbuch (great book as long as the guy you married is an all around good guy of course)
Post # 14
i cant say enough about the five love languages and the seven principles to making your marriage work. Darling Husband and i read both of those before we were engaged, and we still talk about how awesome they were. they were both really fun to read and share too. we made date nights out of the seven principles book, there are a lot of fun quizzes and scenarios! they helped us learn so much that we completely knew how to handle or attack a problem before it came.
Post # 15
I saw your post and just took the 5 Love Languages quiz online. It was so accurate, and based on that and the recommendations here, I’m going to get the book too.
Thanks OP, for the post, and others for the great suggestions!
Post # 16
@sienna76: I see what you mean about the 1,000 questions. I do love statistics, though! I’m a computer programmer. 🙂 I have read half of Gottman’s “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail” while I was at Barnes and Noble one day, and I really enjoyed it. I’ll have to check out his other works! The other books sound great too, thanks!
@wifegoodman: The “Love Languages” book is very popular! I’m glad you were able to get benefit from it as well! Thank you for the book suggestion! I think it’s great when both partners in a relationship enjoy a great book together! 🙂
@MariaW: I’ve taken that quiz, too, and so has my SO, and it’s great! You’re right, it’s really accurate!