Author Topic: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread  (Read 20446 times)

lifejoy

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The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« on: May 14, 2016, 11:11:36 AM »
If there isn't already one of these in existence... can we make one?
As we all know, divorce is a Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction (WMFD) and should be avoided when possible.

Personally, I've had a tough year because I've been supporting my DH while realizing that he doesn't have a lot of brain space / time / energy to spend with me, but it's for valid reasons* and I'm trying to be there for him. It's hard on me though and I'm feeling extremely distant from him and slightly neglected. I'd love some books or websites I could read to help me deal with this without adding to DH's stress level.

So post your favourite books and websites! :) Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 11:34:53 AM by lifejoy »

lifejoy

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 11:13:26 AM »
I'll start:

I liked the book, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.

Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. This can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce.

Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five basic love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!


http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/567795.The_Five_Love_Languages

Sailor Sam

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2016, 11:27:38 AM »
I've found that Psychology Today has some pretty good articles about marriage. So far I like this one, and this one the best.

I like them because they both address the idea that how we feel about marriage is malleable. I chose to woo my wife, and I chose to marry my wife when she asked me, and ever since I have chosen to be in a partnership with her. Some days the partnership is work, but mostly it just happens, and it's very good.

I also espouse* the idea of making a Marriage Manifesto, or Marriage Core Value Statement. Reading about them is a little squirmy, the cheese factor can be high, but I love the feeling of being in sync with my wife and knowing how we're going to approach the world together. It's really wonderful.

*sorry, sorry, I couldn't help it. The imp of the perverse too over, and I had to.

lifejoy

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2016, 11:35:23 AM »
I've found that Psychology Today has some pretty good articles about marriage. So far I like this one, and this one the best.

I like them because they both address the idea that how we feel about marriage is malleable. I chose to woo my wife, and I chose to marry my wife when she asked me, and ever since I have chosen to be in a partnership with her. Some days the partnership is work, but mostly it just happens, and it's very good.

I also espouse* the idea of making a Marriage Manifesto, or Marriage Core Value Statement. Reading about them is a little squirmy, the cheese factor can be high, but I love the feeling of being in sync with my wife and knowing how we're going to approach the world together. It's really wonderful.

*sorry, sorry, I couldn't help it. The imp of the perverse too over, and I had to.

Excellent addition! And your pun made me LOL all over the place hahahahahaha!

tobitonic

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2016, 12:07:05 PM »
The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottmann. Besides being full of great advice and examples, it also has lots of exercises couples can work on together.

Kris

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2016, 12:18:01 PM »
I will second, third, fourth, and fifth The Five Love Languages.  I am not particularly a fan of the self-help industry, but this book is gold.  It really resonated with me, to the point of being able to think back to past relationships and sort of instantly understand some key communications issues I had never "gotten" before.

And yes, The Gottman Institute's work is also quite good.

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2016, 12:28:23 PM »
+1 more for five love languages.

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La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2016, 01:10:42 PM »
Complaint-free World. It's not marriage-specific but will change how you talk to everyone, spouse included, for the better.

aneel

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2016, 01:24:30 PM »
A Christian family member shared "love and respect" with me as a wedding gift. The book is has a Christian lens to it and also defi es fender roles. Neither of things fly in my world, but I started reading it anyways. I have learned a lot from it just by skipping the Scripture parts and assuming the he and she roles apply to both people in my hetero marriage.

Cassie

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2016, 03:29:50 PM »
As I recall your hubby is going to be a doc so probably not much time for the 2 of you. I would focus on enjoying him when he does have the time and also plan on you  doing more of the relationship work right now until he is done.  Hugs:))

zolotiyeruki

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2016, 03:39:06 PM »
Yet another recommendation for the Five Love Languages.  Also, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  We were young and innocent, so The Act of Marriage was good for us as well.

Of course, there's also a lot of non-book training we got growing up.  My parents held a Family Council every week to preview the calendar and discuss concerns.  DW and I discussed our budget before we were married as well.  We both came from the same religious background as well, which helps tremendously.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2016, 03:50:28 PM »
Following! I haven't done a lot of the formal reading, although I also have a "Marriage Mission Statement" similar to what Sam mentioned.

lifejoy

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2016, 05:40:51 PM »
As I recall your hubby is going to be a doc so probably not much time for the 2 of you. I would focus on enjoying him when he does have the time and also plan on you  doing more of the relationship work right now until he is done.  Hugs:))

Thanks for the hugs! You're right about the doctor path.

This thread is off to a great start! Thanks for the resources, everyone! :)

lifejoy

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2016, 05:41:59 PM »
I'm going to add the Myers-Briggs test. It helped me know how I operate and how DH operates and things to watch out for and be conscious of.

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp




Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2016, 06:39:48 PM »
We hit a rough patch in our marriage a bit a go (who doesn't in a marriage that's lasted almost 25 years).  We went to therapy and the therapist sucked but she told us to read Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg and it helped a lot in how we communicated about problems in our marriage. We're on the same page most of the time but when we're not it can get ugly and what we learned helped us navigate our disagreements.

Petuniajo

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2016, 10:05:21 PM »
Gottman's work is by far the most evidence-based. He has done decades of research and published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, extrapolating his findings into usable advice for couples (which he delineates in his books).

Yet another recommendation for the Five Love Languages.  Also, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  We were young and innocent, so The Act of Marriage was good for us as well.

Of course, there's also a lot of non-book training we got growing up.  My parents held a Family Council every week to preview the calendar and discuss concerns.  DW and I discussed our budget before we were married as well.  We both came from the same religious background as well, which helps tremendously.

I need to respectfully disagree with the recommendation for Men are from Mars Women are from Venus. It is not evidence-based at all, predicated on the idea that men and women are so fundamentally different we may as well be from different planets, and overall pretty sexist.  See http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2011/6/30/men-are-from-earth-women-are-from-earth.html

(As an aside, Science of Relationships is an awesome site that summarizes peer-reviewed research about relationships in an entertaining way. But, it isn't really "self help")

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2016, 10:14:28 PM »
Gottman's work is by far the most evidence-based. He has done decades of research and published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, extrapolating his findings into usable advice for couples (which he delineates in his books).

Yet another recommendation for the Five Love Languages.  Also, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  We were young and innocent, so The Act of Marriage was good for us as well.

Of course, there's also a lot of non-book training we got growing up.  My parents held a Family Council every week to preview the calendar and discuss concerns.  DW and I discussed our budget before we were married as well.  We both came from the same religious background as well, which helps tremendously.

I need to respectfully disagree with the recommendation for Men are from Mars Women are from Venus. It is not evidence-based at all, predicated on the idea that men and women are so fundamentally different we may as well be from different planets, and overall pretty sexist.  See http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2011/6/30/men-are-from-earth-women-are-from-earth.html

(As an aside, Science of Relationships is an awesome site that summarizes peer-reviewed research about relationships in an entertaining way. But, it isn't really "self help")

I was told in college that he basically cribbed all his ideas from Deborah Tannen, an actual researcher.

Petuniajo

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2016, 10:52:36 PM »
Gottman's work is by far the most evidence-based. He has done decades of research and published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, extrapolating his findings into usable advice for couples (which he delineates in his books).

Yet another recommendation for the Five Love Languages.  Also, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  We were young and innocent, so The Act of Marriage was good for us as well.

Of course, there's also a lot of non-book training we got growing up.  My parents held a Family Council every week to preview the calendar and discuss concerns.  DW and I discussed our budget before we were married as well.  We both came from the same religious background as well, which helps tremendously.

I need to respectfully disagree with the recommendation for Men are from Mars Women are from Venus. It is not evidence-based at all, predicated on the idea that men and women are so fundamentally different we may as well be from different planets, and overall pretty sexist.  See http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2011/6/30/men-are-from-earth-women-are-from-earth.html

(As an aside, Science of Relationships is an awesome site that summarizes peer-reviewed research about relationships in an entertaining way. But, it isn't really "self help")

I was told in college that he basically cribbed all his ideas from Deborah Tannen, an actual researcher.

Possible I guess, certainly there is some overlap in themes (ballsy if that is true, since she has written a number of her own books). I wouldn't say her findings (or rather, interpretations of her findings) are universally accepted as true though, and certainly many question her suggestions about innate differences in conversational styles between boys/men and girls/women.

All that said, while I haven't read any of her books, if you really are interested in in gender differences in communication specifically, she is likely a better source than John Gray (Men are from Mars...)

csprof

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2016, 11:09:25 PM »
Another plug for the Gottman's work.  I have found their explanations of the process of "bidding" and what they call "flooding" to be especially helpful in better understanding my marital dynamic.

And for those who have kids, I think the book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How To Listen So Kids Will Talk" is great not just for improving communication with your kids, but also with your spouse.  I am secretly using techniques I learned in that book (and the others by the same author) on my DH all the time.  And it also helps immensely to reduce tensions in the family if both parents have/are employing a similar philosophy when interacting with and disciplining the kids (still working on that.....)

And even without - it's great people-interaction advice.  Let me +1 this as enthusiastically as I can.  Useful with DHs, DWs, kids, colleagues and coworkers, bosses, ... it pretty much just rocks.

"Communication Miracles for Couples" is a pretty reasonable book also.  I'll say that it's a very weak second fiddle to an excellent couples therapist, but it gets across some of the core principles.

Re stress:  One thing our couples therapist pointed out to us is that times of stress are when it's most important to deliberately carve out a bit of low-stress together time (and self-care time).  It can be mentally hard to implement, but it's a pretty good policy for making sure you're getting the emotional support and space when you need it the most.

obstinate

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2016, 12:03:07 AM »
I like the whole "bidding" theory. I also like the body of theory around agreeableness. Here's a high level overview in the form of New York Post.

This intuitively makes a lot of sense to me -- my wife is extremely agreeable. I'm slightly less agreeable, but still, I think, around the average or maybe a bit better than average. Not on the internet, though -- but I'm trying to work on that. Our marriage is one of the most stable of people we know, and we know plenty of marriages that would be considered stable, and I attribute that mostly to how agreeable my wife is.

How does this look on a day to day basis? It has been more than five years since I yelled at my wife. In the decade we've been together, that's only happened once or twice. Same going the other way. We snip at each other rarely, and when we do, we immediately call the sniper out on it and typically apologize and make up right away. We ask for and give smiles. We don't fight about who does work. This used to be because my wife cheerfully took on an enormously unfair share due to my laziness, but lately I've been bringing up my game. I'm not quite up to 50% yet, but I might be close to 40%. We never fight about money, nor about what activity to do on the next day, what TV show to watch, where to go to eat, what to cook for dinner. We don't count who changed the last diaper or who put the kid to bed more times this week. We just do it.

People used to think marriage was about grand gestures and diamonds and shit. My best guess, looking at the research I've seen and my friends who are doing the best, is that it's all about not being a dick, and not being married to one.

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2016, 12:21:52 AM »
Wow, great idea! Thanks for starting this.

My wife and I have been together since our teen years, and we definitely attribute a lot of our financial success to having a shared vision, strong communication skills, and a deep bond that seems to keep us righted whenever our boat heels a little too far over. Still going strong after 18 years.

With that being said, now have 3 under 3 and this has added a lot of new dimensions to the marriage relationship. I know we are talking about happy marriages, but if you have kids and want to maintain that happy marriage, I strongly recommend the now defunct Happiness Matters Podcast with Rona Renner and Christine Carter.

There is about 2 years worth of amazing content there.

* And The Five Love Languages is essential reading. Amazing book.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 12:30:49 AM by BigBangWeary »

Sailor Sam

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2016, 12:25:55 PM »
People used to think marriage was about grand gestures and diamonds and shit. My best guess, looking at the research I've seen and my friends who are doing the best, is that it's all about not being a dick, and not being married to one.

I really agree. In my mind, I summarize it as 'being polite.' I don't scream at strangers, or blow my stack at friends and family, even when I feel provoked. If I can muster civility when interacting with literally everyone else on earth, shouldn't my wife get the same respect? I can't remember ever yelling at my wife, or her screaming at me.

Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2016, 04:44:54 PM »

People used to think marriage was about grand gestures and diamonds and shit. My best guess, looking at the research I've seen and my friends who are doing the best, is that it's all about not being a dick, and not being married to one.

YES!

fishnfool

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2016, 04:51:08 PM »
I'll start:

I liked the book, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.

Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. This can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce.

Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five basic love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!


http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/567795.The_Five_Love_Languages

I also liked this one!  A lot of truth to the different ways spouses feel loved and appreciated through different acts of expressing that love. We're all wired differently and this book helps define some of those differences.

fishnfool

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2016, 04:53:35 PM »
Men & Women are just wired differently.......

https://youtu.be/LXiC_-kLB48

full 2 hour segment here.....

https://youtu.be/814eR5K7KD8
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 04:55:19 PM by fishnfool »

boy_bye

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2016, 04:58:26 PM »
People used to think marriage was about grand gestures and diamonds and shit. My best guess, looking at the research I've seen and my friends who are doing the best, is that it's all about not being a dick, and not being married to one.

I really agree. In my mind, I summarize it as 'being polite.' I don't scream at strangers, or blow my stack at friends and family, even when I feel provoked. If I can muster civility when interacting with literally everyone else on earth, shouldn't my wife get the same respect? I can't remember ever yelling at my wife, or her screaming at me.

amen! so many people seem to think fighting a lot means a relationship is "passionate" but i believe the more accurate term for that is "shitty." i value peace and agreeableness in my home very highly and luckily my husband does, too.

woopwoop

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2016, 05:43:51 PM »
The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottmann. Besides being full of great advice and examples, it also has lots of exercises couples can work on together.
Really liked this book! And this is a great idea for a thread. I feel like I spend a lot of time getting good at my work and hobbies, but getting "good" at personal relationships is just as, if not more, important.

One thing my husband and I recently did was the "Five Movies" self-therapy thing. You watch five romance movies together and discuss them afterwards. It was fun!
"A University of Rochester study found that couples who watched and talked about issues raised in movies like “Steel Magnolias” and “Love Story” were less likely to divorce or separate than couples in a control group. Surprisingly, the “Love Story” intervention was as effective at keeping couples together as two intensive therapist-led methods."
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/movie-date-night-can-double-as-therapy/
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1516374/movies?spouseID=26746

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2016, 08:47:33 PM »
Following... cuz you just never know...

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2016, 07:11:55 AM »
Just ordered a (used lol) copy of the John Gottman book. Thanks for starting the thread. 

CheapskateWife

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2016, 08:39:00 AM »
One of the books I found super helpful was "I Promise" by Gary Smalley.  The most important point I took away is the establishment of our home as our sacred sanctuary, and that our relationship needed to be the safest place in the world for ourselves and each other.  He needs to be able to come to me with a mistake or problem and know that I'm not going to blow up at him.  By creating that safety, I open our marriage to all new levels of communication and honesty.  10 years and going strong!

DeltaBond

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2016, 10:46:13 AM »
As I recall your hubby is going to be a doc so probably not much time for the 2 of you. I would focus on enjoying him when he does have the time and also plan on you  doing more of the relationship work right now until he is done.  Hugs:))

Hmm, will there be any more time for you, OP, once he's finished and IS a doc??  I've heard a lot of doctors don't have a lot of time for family.

KMMK

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2016, 12:37:16 PM »
One of the books I found super helpful was "I Promise" by Gary Smalley.  The most important point I took away is the establishment of our home as our sacred sanctuary, and that our relationship needed to be the safest place in the world for ourselves and each other.  He needs to be able to come to me with a mistake or problem and know that I'm not going to blow up at him.  By creating that safety, I open our marriage to all new levels of communication and honesty.  10 years and going strong!

Second time around for me, and this advice is what really makes our relationship work very well. We've both shared things that with other people would have resulted in disgust or arguments or judgments or hurt feelings. We are very clear this will never be the case with us, and have both been surprised by the other's mature and calm response.

MrsDinero

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2016, 12:56:32 PM »
This thread has been great and I found 2 books to check out. 

One of my problems is when I am upset at something I turn it over and over in my head trying to figure it out.  What I didn't realize (until I started living with him) is that while I'm turning it over it my head I can become moody or withdrawn.  He asked me "well why don't you talk to me about it?" and I reply "I'm trying to figure out if it is worth talking about."

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2016, 02:03:36 PM »

People used to think marriage was about grand gestures and diamonds and shit. My best guess, looking at the research I've seen and my friends who are doing the best, is that it's all about not being a dick, and not being married to one.

YES!
Yes, YES, YES!

My mom was a constant dick to my dad, and he still called her "The love of my life." I didn't marry until late in life, because I didn't want to repeat their relationship. My DH is so completely not a dick. I'm posting in case I need help in not being one accidently. Learned patterns have an insidious little way about them, don't they?

mxt0133

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2016, 02:49:57 PM »
I'm just staring to get better at not being a dick to my wife.  I realized I was doing this with my children first.  I had more patience for other peoples kids than my own.  At first I justified it by telling myself that I actually care and want to help them.  But loosing my patience, screaming and being mean to them was just me being a dick and going on a power trip.  As I got better interacting with my kids I then started to noticed I was the same way with my wife.  All this time we were together I would act like a complete dick.  Even though I am quick to apologize if I over reacted, it was completely unnecessary to begin with. 

I still have a long way to go but I completely agree with the what everyone is saying about make sure that your spouse should be comfortable with being able to bring up any topic.  They should feel safe when they talk to you without fear of being judged or criticized.

I'll have to try the movie therapy sometime.

StarBright

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2016, 02:51:57 PM »

Really liked this book! And this is a great idea for a thread. I feel like I spend a lot of time getting good at my work and hobbies, but getting "good" at personal relationships is just as, if not more, important.

One thing my husband and I recently did was the "Five Movies" self-therapy thing. You watch five romance movies together and discuss them afterwards. It was fun!
"A University of Rochester study found that couples who watched and talked about issues raised in movies like “Steel Magnolias” and “Love Story” were less likely to divorce or separate than couples in a control group. Surprisingly, the “Love Story” intervention was as effective at keeping couples together as two intensive therapist-led methods."
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/movie-date-night-can-double-as-therapy/
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1516374/movies?spouseID=26746

This sounds like fun! Before the littles DH and I had a standing Saturday morning "film fest" and we'd pick a theme for the month and watch 1 movie every saturday morning while we ate our farmers market baked goods and coffee. I bet I could sell this idea!

obstinate

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2016, 06:29:41 PM »
I think the kids and wife thing comes down to power corrupting. You do have power over your children, and to some extent power over your spouse. It's important to constantly work to diffuse the effect of these power relationships, because when you get used to being obeyed, it's easy to stray into emotionally abusive territory. I don't really know how it's done -- it just seems to happen naturally for us. But I think that's the underlying mechanism of harm.

Psychstache

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2016, 09:33:10 AM »
I think the kids and wife thing comes down to power corrupting. You do have power over your children, and to some extent power over your spouse. It's important to constantly work to diffuse the effect of these power relationships, because when you get used to being obeyed, it's easy to stray into emotionally abusive territory. I don't really know how it's done -- it just seems to happen naturally for us. But I think that's the underlying mechanism of harm.
This was well demonstrated by Dr. Zimbardo's prison experiment. His book,  The Lucifer Effect, is an interesting* read on the matter.

*As defined by me, who reads psych studies for fun on my free time.

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OmahaSteph

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2016, 01:14:03 PM »
Good stuff here. Facing a possible second marriage and we're both wanting to get it right this time. I asked for a long engagement so I could work through some issues from the first time and I think it's important to address those, as well as issues you face as a couple.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2016, 02:06:10 PM »
So glad you started this thread!  I'd be almost FIRE right now if not for a divorce (and I didn't even believe in divorce!).

I love Gottman's work.  Also Willard Harley's Marriage Builders program.  His Needs, Her Needs  helps you identify your top emotional needs and those of your partner.  Lovebusters helps you identify the things that you and your partner do that slowly destroy that love.  It was an eye-opening way of looking at relationships.

Cloud & Townsend's Boundaries in Marriage is also a very good book.

I thought Sue Johnson's Hold Me Tight: 7 Conversations for a Lifetime of Love was good for couples already having some rocky times.

I think the biggest gift anyone can give to themselves is to choose their partner very very wisely.  I married for the first time at 21.  On the surface, we were perfect for each other. Underneath, not so much. Our communication methods were very different.

elaine amj

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2016, 05:17:38 PM »
Men & Women are just wired differently.......

https://youtu.be/LXiC_-kLB48

full 2 hour segment here.....

https://youtu.be/814eR5K7KD8

We LOVED watching this series. He's a hoot ...and before this I had no idea that men had a nothing box.

++1 to Five Love Languages too. I had somehow gotten an old used copy when I first got married almost 16 years ago. After some time, I picked it up to read. I soon realized that we speak very different love languages. All those years ago, I learned that DH feels loved when I do (what I consider dumb things) like bringing him a glass of water when he asks for it. It was a huge battle when we first married because I would argue that he was walking past the kitchen so why not just get it himself. Eventually, I decided to start doing it (even though I still think its rather dumb) and he felt so incredibly loved. So it was worth the effort :)

After many, many, many years he has learned the secret to getting better meals. Last year he started complimenting me lavishly after every meal. And thanking me for regular household tasks. Magically, I started becoming a better cook and we have all benefited from yummier meals :) Even better, he started hanging out in the kitchen and helping too and cooking daily meals became fun.

Dicey

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2016, 10:36:03 PM »
I learned that DH feels loved when I do (what I consider dumb things) like bringing him a glass of water when he asks for it. It was a huge battle when we first married because I would argue that he was walking past the kitchen so why not just get it himself. Eventually, I decided to start doing it (even though I still think its rather dumb) and he felt so incredibly loved. So it was worth the effort :)
DH is a widower and doesn't talk much about his first wife, who was his high school sweetheart. I suspect he fended for himself a fair bit. I make his breakfast, pack his lunch while he's eating, then we walk to his work side by side, hand in hand. He says it's his favorite part of the day. He always gets a big smile on his face when he opens his top drawer and it's full of clean socks and undies. Every. Single. Time. It is so easy to tickle his happy. Much as I don't love doing laundry, I know it is going to make him smile every time I fill that drawer. So yeah, it's those random small things that can have really big impact.

Daleth

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2016, 11:25:19 PM »
Divorce Busting has a cheesy title but great advice.
http://www.amazon.com/Divorce-Busting-Step-Step-Approach/dp/0671797255

Cressida

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2016, 12:33:33 AM »
Men & Women are just wired differently.......

https://youtu.be/LXiC_-kLB48

full 2 hour segment here.....

https://youtu.be/814eR5K7KD8

This stuff perpetuates brainless stereotypes. Not helpful at all.

englyn

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2016, 02:36:55 AM »
Marriage Builders program. 
+1 this website. It's like the Love Languages thing, except a bit more nuanced - there're 10 of them - and the Love Bank and Love Busters, while painfully cheesily named, are such important concepts.

boy_bye

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2016, 08:19:08 AM »
Men & Women are just wired differently.......

https://youtu.be/LXiC_-kLB48

full 2 hour segment here.....

https://youtu.be/814eR5K7KD8

This stuff perpetuates brainless stereotypes. Not helpful at all.

i agree -- the whole "women are like this! men are like that!!" genre is pretty stale to me. if other folks find it helpful that's cool, but ... not for me.

CheapskateWife

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2016, 03:15:31 PM »
Good stuff here. Facing a possible second marriage and we're both wanting to get it right this time. I asked for a long engagement so I could work through some issues from the first time and I think it's important to address those, as well as issues you face as a couple.
For someone contemplating marriage, might I recommend "don't you dare get married until you read this"  http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Married-Until-Questions-Couples/dp/0609807838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463605937&sr=8-1&keywords=don%27t+you+dare+get+married+until+you+read+this

We worked through every stinkin' question...there was laughter, there was tears, there was terrific communication.  Some of the questions don't go deep enough and you will find yourself going deeper on your own.  Some of them are just silly and are one word answers.  We worked through the book while DH was deployed and spent our engagement going through the book via email and phone.  It was fantastic preparation for our marriage. 

Oh, and we are both 2nd timers, so have lots of failures to reflect upon. 

obstinate

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2016, 04:21:17 PM »
This stuff perpetuates brainless stereotypes. Not helpful at all.

i agree -- the whole "women are like this! men are like that!!" genre is pretty stale to me. if other folks find it helpful that's cool, but ... not for me.
100% agreed. Men and women are actually very much the same -- they want respect, love, and of course the baser necessities: freedom from fear, stress, privation. The variance between the specific wants from person to person are far greater than the variance between the genders.

FrugalShrew

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2016, 04:40:32 PM »
Not married yet, but +1 to The Five Love Languages, Marriage Builders, and Meyers-Briggs as offering great insights for relationships. The other resources I'll just have to check out :)

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Re: The Happy Marriage Resources Thread
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2016, 10:07:28 PM »
Anyone have resources for happy finances in a marriage?