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Last weekend I went to the wedding reception of my best friend's little sister. Being me, I always purchase wedding and bridal shower gifts with a specific goal in mind. I try to gift the happy couple with something that will contribute to a strong and happy marriage relationship. Kitchen gadgets, bathroom towels and pillows are all great gifts, but I like to give date night ideas or in this case, one of my very favorite books.
I always wish that I could buy each of these books and gift them in a bundle to every couple in my life, but unfortunately, I'm not made of money. Two of the books are more for parents so they may be better gifted at a baby shower, but I'm including them in this list anyway.
If I had to pick a favorite, The Five Love Languages would probably be it. I took the quiz years ago but never read the book until it was required for one of the classes I took for my major the semester after we got married, I've read it every year since and each time I read it, I take the test again because my love languages have shifted over the years. Along with reading this book, I would share three suggestions for making the most of the love languages in your marriage.
- Learn your love languages. Take the quiz with your spouse. it makes a great date night activity, and take note of what each of your languages is.
- Speak your spouse's language. At the beginning of every week, think of one thing that you can do in the coming week to let your spouse know you love them in the love language that they recognize.
- Be aware of when your spouse is speaking to you in their language. It's always nice when your spouse takes the time do something that makes you feel loved. However, if you keep their language in mind, you'll find more moments when they are showing love to you in their own language.
This is a book that I started one summer and never finished but recently picked up again. It is so good and was a real eye opener to me. There are a lot of different ways that boundaries can help your marriage, some that I wasn't expecting. This book is a great one for couples who are preparing for marriage, but can make a difference for couples in every stage of their marriage. Click here to read my full review and thoughts on the book.
The authors of this book, Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo, are the voices behind one of my favorite podcasts, One Extraordinary Marriage. They share my same passion for helping couples make their marriage a priority. I love this book because it provides couples with a lot of unique questions on a lot of different topics. We went through some of them on a long drive one day and truly learned a lot about each other. Click here to read more about my experience with the book.
I love, love, LOVE this book! I'm a big fan of traditions and rituals and believe that they help couples and families connect. Rituals add meaning to regular routines and give you something to look forward to. This book has ideas for making any moment special, both simple and extravagant. The important thing to remember is that every ritual and every tradition should have a purpose in your family. Don't adopt one just because it sounds fun or because your neighbor does it. Make each tradition meaningful, whether it solves a problem (ie bedtime rituals), carries on the family legacy (ie making your grandma's cookies for Christmas every year) or creates moments for you to bond (ie going on a walk every night after dinner).
This is our personal favorite finance book, but there are a lot of other great ones out there for married couples if you look. I think every couple should have a guide to prompt them to have all of the important financial discussions and keep the line of communication open when it comes to money. We listened to this on our drive back from Disneyland four years ago and are getting ready to start it again. We love the motivation that we have to conquer or financial challenges and make our goals a reality after reading this book.
This was another book that I read for one of my college courses, coincidentally the semester after I had Bensen. I loved the logic behind the parenting approach and how it helps parents raise responsible adults. We discovered the early years version when Bensen was about a year old and use its simple concepts to help with what people assume has to be stereotypical toddler behavior. It is my favorite parenting book the way that The Five Love Languages is my favorite marriage book.
I will continue to recommend every one of these books to couples that I cross path with. They have made a difference in my marriage and I know that they'll make a difference in other marriage relationships as well!
I'd love to hear what some of your favorite marriage and/or parenting books are. Are there any that you'd add to this list or any that have been gifted to you? Share them with me in the comments below!