Building a Lasting Marriage: A Couple's Guide to Happily Ever After provides spouses with 50 tips to help them work towards a stronger marriage. From things like writing a vision statement for your marriage to doing volunteer work together, couples will learn ways to strengthen their bond in fun and loving ways. Each tip includes a "Take Action" item to encourage couples to bring the book to life by taking specific steps to work on their marriage. Author Sharael Kolberg shares personal stories of how the tips have helped her marriage. This book is a must read for any husband and wife looking for advice on how to make the most of their marriage. (from the back of the book)
Let me start off saying, I've been married as long as the author, and wonder if we've had an easier time of it? In thirteen years, we've had our ups and downs, but some of her suggestions seem to be the work that would be necessary to get back on track when a couple has truly drifted apart. At that point, you might need more than this book. Or maybe it would be better suited for a couple just starting out, to be sure you're on the same track at the beginning? I will say, though, that I totally agree that the good parts of our marriage coincide with other suggestions, so I wouldn't just write them off!
A few things that might be helpful at the beginning: Set goals, such as a timeline for the big events such as buying a house or having children. If you're not on the same page in the beginning, that's a situation that probably won't resolve itself. Another idea that can go hand in hand with this is having a couple's journal, where you each write down how you think and feel about certain things. When we were dating, we did this on a whim and it's nice to have it to look back over. It's a way to reconnect with the person you fell in love with. And remember, there is no Mr./Mrs. Right! We all have our faults and no one person is perfect. We each have to decide just how much we can live with. It helps to be reminded of what you loved about your spouse in the first place.
The no brainers that have been the best part of our marriage? Having fun, laughing together, being romantic, complimenting each other, truly appreciating what your spouse brings to the marriage, having pet names for each other, holding hands. There are also the tried and true: don't go to bed angry and have a date night. The time we spend laughing together bring us closer and I never love my husband as much as I do then. And I always tell him!
I've only touched on a handful of ideas in this book. There are many more, some that will work for us, and some that won't. But it's such a slim, easy to read book, I'd recommend everyone pick it up, flip through, and see what works for you!