If you are in an abusive marriage, this article does not apply. While some of these books might be helpful, it is important that you seek help in the right places and make sure that you and your children, if you have them, are safe. Focus on the Family has an article with advice for if you are in an abusive marriage.
Sometimes it just feels like marriage sucks. It might feel like your life didn’t end up the way you wanted it to. Maybe you screwed it up. Maybe your spouse screwed it up. In the end, it doesn’t really matter whose fault it is, you are unhappy. Maybe even thinking about calling it quits.
My marriage has been there more times and in more ways than I would ever have thought it would be. But, there is hope! I believe that any marriage can be saved, with God’s help, and if you are willing to do some work. The work might be making changes in yourself and asking forgiveness or it might be the hard work of granting forgiveness and letting go of bitterness. Chances are, it’s at least a little bit of both. Everyone has a different story, but most of the processes to fix it are pretty much the same.
While I was stuck in this stage of my marriage I read lots of books. It was my goal to read at least one chapter a day from a book that would help my marriage. Doing this really helped me to open my eyes and see things differently. Some of these books I have highlighted on the blog before, but they are just too good to not mention again.
1. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This book had a huge impact on our marriage. It helps you learn some of the reasons why you might not feel loved. Shows you some of the ways your husband might be showing you love that you are missing. And, help you find out the right way to show love to your husband (hint: it isn’t the same for everyone). This was eye-opening in helping me recognize what my husband was looking for and how to communicate with him what I was looking for.
If everyone would follow the methods in this book the whole “falling out of love” concept would disappear.
2. Sheet Music by Kevin Leman
Let’s face it, sex is important, strike that, a crucial part of marriage. If you believe otherwise, there is a serious problem in your marriage and you just haven’t realized it yet. This book is very straightforward and addresses points for both the husband and wife, but I found it to be very beneficial to read the whole thing.
3. Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes
This is my all-time favorite book to recommend to wives. It’s also the book that I give at bridal showers and weddings. This book teaches ways to improve your marriage, and the first lesson is learning that you can only focus on what you can do. Sharon Jaynes teaches about the different things that every man wants in his marriage and how it will also benefit you if you will be that woman for your man. I’m not really doing the book justice, so just trust me and give it a try.
It’s one of those books where you might want to throw it across the room at one minute, but you know that she’s actually speaking the truth.
4. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
This book has some extreme opinions, but great ones. It is a tough read because it gives good lessons and isn’t written just to make you feel good. The book walks through the whole scenario, “what if God designed marriage to make you holy and not happy?” It gave me a whole new perspective on marriage.
5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
I’ll be honest, I’m still reading this one, but loving it the whole time. It is taking me longer to get through because there are so many great learning points. Let’s face it, if we are being an effective person our marriage is going to benefit. If we are always playing catch-up in life and giving our spouse the place of controlling how we feel about life, we are going to be a hot mess all the time!
These are just 5 of my favorites. The one thing I stick to when looking for a book to help me through a rough time or point me in the right diretion, is making sure that it is a Christian based book. I’m not saying there aren’t great books out there that are not faith-based, but when I’m feeling down and in a tough place it’s better for me to protect what goes into my mind, and I have found this to be a great way to control it.
What are some books that have helped your marriage through the rough times?