I recently received and read 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other by Jennifer Roback Morse and Betsy Kerekes of The Ruth Institute.
I have to say that I am very impressed and 101 Tips may be one of the best books for Marriage I’ve read thus far because of its simple and practical wisdom for married couples. I think every married and engaged to be married couple should read this. This is why I've teamed up with co-author Betsy Kerekes to offer you a chance at a FREE copy of her book on my Simplemama blog! Head on over there after you are done reading the rest of the review and be sure to tell your friends (and their spouses) about it as well.
While the title of the book intrigued me since I’m always interested in the subject of marriage, I wasn’t quite sure how much I would enjoy the book and I honestly didn’t think I needed this book. My husband and I have been married for 11 years now – blessed with four beautiful children – and I would say we already have a “happy marriage”. When I showed my husband the book I quickly explained that I only got it to review – not because I thought we needed it because we are already pretty happy. His reply, just like him, was practically truthful – "True. But we could always be happier."
Without knowing it, he basically summed up the premise and purpose of this book. It’s easy enough to have a “happy” marriage, but shouldn't we always be trying to improve and be even “happier”? While I’m being honest, I’ll also admit that I usually don’t like reading books about “How to have a happier marriage” because they are usually long and chunky and full of psychological explanations for why he does what he does and why she feels the way she feels. While those books have a place and can be helpful, they can also be so overwhelming that I take one look at its size and say, no thanks! However, when I received the package for 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage I was happily surprised to see how small and simple it was! The simple format couldn’t be better. There is one short and sweet tip per page with an equally simple accompanying paragraph to enrich and exemplify the tip further. The tips are also separated into various sections pertaining to marriage such as how to decide to love, tips on attitude, and how to handle criticism and conflicts. The format reminded me of one of those flip calendars that give you an inspirational thought or prayer for each day. It could be read as such or you could read one or even two chapters at once. I sped through the book in just a few days because I couldn't get enough of it!
Like I said, I don’t read a lot of “how-to marriage books”, but I’ll still say it again that 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage is an excellent book for those seeking not just a happy marriage, but a happier one as well. It offers simple yet timeless, wise, and relevant tips for any marriage. What I like the most about these tips is that the focus is on how YOU are the one that might need to change, rather than making suggestions about how you an make your spouse change. I could have benefitted greatly from these tips in our early married years (0 – 5 years) but I also don’t know if I would have been as open to them – since I primly thought I already knew everything about being “in love” and how to be “happily married”. This book would also make an excellent gift for young engaged couples and newly married couples, or even as an anniversary gift for the more “seasoned” and maybe not-as-happy-as-they-could-be married couples. I really loved every tip and I should probably re-read the tips over and over and write them on post-it notes throughout the house. Here are some of my favorite tips to share:
Tip #14: "Be grateful for the good things in your life. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself at all costs. Self-pity is deadly because it drains the joy out of life."
Tip # 13: "Make a decision to let go of the small stuff. If it isn’t important enough for you to take care of yourself it isn’t important enough to nag your spouse about."
Tip # 7: "Remember that only God is God. Let your spouse be human. Give your spouse a break from always being perfectly understanding, always loving, and always there for you."
Tip # 37: "Always speak well of your spouse, both in private and in public. Badmouthing your spouse to others makes you look either disloyal or foolish, or both. Say nothing if you truly can’t think of anything positive to say."
Are you happily married? What tips could you offer to others for a happier marriage?
One more P.S. Tomorrow, February 14th Jennifer and Betsy will be on The Good Catholic Life radio program at 1:30 ET, (listen live here) and then later that day Al Kresta hosts them at 5:35p.m. ET. If you have a few extra quiet moments during those times be sure to tune in! (You get another entry for the giveaway if you do so it can't hurt, right?)
Copyright 2014 Erika Marie