Happily Ever After ~ A Review

“My husband and I can’t seem to agree on anything!”
“You spent how much!?!”
“My wife’s parents are driving me crazy!”
”You never listen to me!”
Let’s face it—even the best of marriages hit an occasional bump in the road now and then. The secret to marital bliss lies in how you and your spouse handle those bumps.
I wasn’t sure what I was looking for when I first started reading Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage.
One thing that I do know is that whenever I have a marriage book in my hand, I try to read it 1) to see how it will benefit me in my marriage and 2) how it will benefit other women that I mentor in their marriage.
Conflict resolution in many areas of marriage is the main point of this book.
I do have a favorite quote from the book concerning marital conflict,
Marital conflicts are inevitable, but arguing is an option – an unhealthy option. Arguments never resolve conflicts; they simply intensify them.
Other subjects written about are;
·      Negotiating change with your spouse
Okay…This chapter made me laugh, but also a little disheartened at approaching your spouse to change 1 thing a week! It may work for some people, but even with the suggestions about how to go about doing it would make me crazy! I’d feel like an utter failure if my husband came to me each week saying…”Okay now. Time for more change.” I don’t want to live with a perpetual fault-finder.
I am not saying, however, that we shouldn’t work to improve ourselves. There may very well be times that something may need to be addressed and changed, but I don’t feel to the extent of every week…or even every month.
·      Making Money an Asset in Your Marriage
There are some really great points about trusting God to meet our needs and working as unto Him. Money is a tool and not to be used to replace relationships, or to be seen as a sole source of happiness.
“If you believe that more money and more material possessions will bring you marital happiness, you have the wrong attitude. Money can be used to provide more creature comforts, but money will not create a successful marriage. It is righteous living, love, patience, gentleness, and compassion that build meaningful relationships.”
Mr. Chapman gives many practical tips and advice when it comes to couples and money.
·      Now What? Marriage after the Children Arrive
A word of advice (and Mr. Chapman will agree)…order of importance in the home: God, Spouse, Child(ren). Period. Yeah, yeah, I know…the kids aren’t going to take care of themselves. I have six children; I know this full well. You can take care of your children and still maintain a healthy, rightly placed relationship with your spouse. It is a choice.
·      Making Love
“The couple who are truly following Christ will never be satisfied simply with having sex. They want to be lovers, and they are willing to take the time and effort necessary to make that a reality.
…The couples who will make love for a lifetime are the couples who are committed to learning.” 
Check out the “Making Love” chapter titles:
1.  Love and Sex: Perfect Combination
2.  Making Love Requires Patience
3.  Love Gives but Never Demands
4.  Love is More than a Feeling
5.  Love’s Most Effective Language
6.  Love Inflicts No Pain
7.  Love Forgives Past Failures
8.  Making Love is a Life Long Journey

·      In-Law Relationships: Becoming Friends with Your In-Laws
I was really looking forward to this section. It made me ponder some things; How can I improve my relationship with my mother-in-law? What kind of mother-in-law will I be? Can we all REALLY be friends? How will extended in-law relationships look?
Many of those I already knew the answers to, but I know that there are still many more in-law relationships coming in my life in the future. This is the time to determine HOW to be a blessing to my family.
In this section, I’ll be highlighting some points that had me nodding my head; either if it were something “hard” to hear, or something that was an “aha” moment.
·      At the time of marriage, our (parents of the young adult) goal of helping them become independent reaches fruition. We have helped them move from a state of complete dependence on us as infants to complete independence as newlyweds.
·      Giving unsolicited advice to your married children does not develop positive relationships.
…and my favorite; which I actually did share this with my future in-love (in-law); my daughter’s future mother-in-love…
·      The ideals to which we aspire are freedom and harmony. The married couple needs the emotional warmth that comes from a wholesome relationship with both sets of parents. Parents need the emotional warmth that comes from the couple.
Happily Ever After is an overall great read. I would recommend it to engaged and married couples
I give Happily Ever After by Gary Chapman a
5 out of 5 Coffee Cup rating!

Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
by Gary Chapman
Published in 2011 by Tyndale House
List Price: $15.99
ISBN 978-1-4143-6444-5
Available anywhere books are sold
I received a copy of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage by Gary Chapman at no charge from Tyndale House Publishers. My review of the book is given in exchange.

Living With Sword and Coffee,