Saturday, January 21, 2012

Save your Marriage

Save your Marriage in Five Minutes a Day. By Bonnie Jacobson with Alexia Paul

Let me start off by saying my marriage isn't in trouble. When I posted that this was what I was reading this I got a few comments to see if we were okay. Brad also saw me reading it and said, "You can't tell people you're reading that they'll think we have problems." Let them think what they will, I'm comfortable enough with my marriage that I don't mind saying I want to be a better person, spouse, mother, friend, etc.

With that kind of feedback I think it's clear there could have been a better title for this book. It's not just for people who have a marriage in trouble. This book has great insight and tips for ANY marriage. A more fitting title would be "Strengthen your Marriage in Five Minutes a Day" or "Improve your Marriage in Five Minutes a day." The author says right in the introduction, "I wanted to write a book...a marriage vaccination to be used for cure or prevention, depending on whether a union is floundering or flourishing."  I really like how she likened it to a prevention. My goal would be to never get to a point where our marriage would need "saving" but that it would be on a path where we are continually striving to improve and strengthen ourselves and our relationship. We're far from perfect so our improvement path is LONG but the one we want to be on. She reminds us of the movie Groundhog's day where the character wakes up to the same problems each day until he changes himself.

Each chapter addresses a different dynamic and talks about them then at the end of the chapter there is a quick reference for things you could do in just five minutes a day to work on that area. She also shows easy ways to ask questions in a non-threatening manner to try to understand and help your spouse understand the why and how you differ in personality or points of view.

One of the chapters deals with affection and why it is important in a marriage. I like how she states, "You need continuity of affection to keep you and your spouse bonded; without it, you risk being together, but feeling alone."  As part of the five-minute strategies she gives the reason why this is important. "Offering your spouse affection through touch is a simple- and quick - way to cement your love on a daily basis. A tender gestures only takes a few minutes, but like a stone thrown into a pond, it will reverberate throughout your day. And, in your darker moments, taking fave minutes to physically shore up your marriage will let the light back in."

Obviously, not everything in the book applies to everybody but there is a little something for everyone, I think. "Five minutes a day is nothing. You likely take that much time to look for your keys or shave, What could be more important than devoting the same amount of time to offering your spouse a daily affirmation?"

One of my favorite quotes from the book has to do with happiness and joy. "Happiness is transient. It is the fun meal out, the day at the spa. Joy is deeper--and more challenging. With joy often comes struggle, but when you get to the other side, it provides deep satisfaction."

All in all I liked the book. There are some good useful tips that I'm trying to incorporate and other items that it was good to be reminded of.

I received this book complimentary from Thomas Nelson via their Book Sneeze Book Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.


Melody said...

Looks like a good read! I like to read marriage books too, even though I wouldn't call my marriage in trouble by any means. I'm trying to get Lee to read 5 Love Languages with me, because after 10 years I STILL don't know what his is...maybe because he doesn't, either. You know Lee. In a serious moment I'll say, "Lee, what can I do that will make you feel really loved?" And he'll say something articulate like "bacon" or "snuh." :)