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3 Books That You Must Read Before You Get Married

3 Books That You Must Read Before You Get Married

Never did I imagine that the best relationship advice I received came from books.

Romantic relationships are not the smooth ride that movies and novels show them to be. 'Fall in love and live happily ever after' is a bit too naive for the complex reality that exists.

If you are someone whose long-term goals include finding the right spouse, settling down, having kids etc., then this article is for you. See, it's not about only getting married, rather you have to stay happily married to reap the benefits of a long-term healthy partnership.

If you are already married, you might have resentments and unresolved feelings. 'Why does he do that?' or 'Why does she not understand?' These are not uncommon.

These books will provide you with a wealth of understanding of the many differences that exist between men and women. They also discuss real-life scenarios and practical solutions to the common complaints that married couples often have.

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3 Books That You Must Read Before You Get Married

It is dubbed the "highest ranked work of non-fiction" of the 90s.

John Gray is a relationship counsellor who has worked with a lot of couples. His experience and wisdom are apparent, once you start reading his book.

Conflict arises when we fail to understand the reasons behind our partner's behavior or actions. Everyone looks at the same situation differently. To you, it's a six. To the person standing opposite to you, it's a nine.

John Gray discusses the many differences between men and women psychologically and across different social situations. He also analyzes the situations and provides practical solutions.

"When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom."

One important takeaway from this book, in my opinion, is the way men and women socialize. Women socialize to connect emotionally whereas men engage socially to solve problems. This is apparent in the way 'girl friendships' and 'guy friendships' work.

This, however, becomes a problem in a marriage. When she shares something for the sake of intimacy, he starts providing solutions because this is how he is programmed.

Just by understanding this difference, a lot of arguments in a marriage can be avoided.

"Men need to remember that women talk about problems to get close and not necessarily to get solutions."

Similarly, there is a difference in how men and women handle stress. He retreats into a 'cave' to silently ponder. She handles stress by talking about it. When she doesn't understand his need to retreat, another reason for conflict arises.

This book will open a new avenue of understanding. You'll start looking at what your spouse does, in a new light.

3 Books That You Must Read Before You Get Married

If a husband and wife love each other, why would they fight anyway?

That's a simplistic way of understanding love. In real life, we manage multiple roles and responsibilities, which are bound to make us feel stressed out at times. Stress exacerbates the conflicts in a relationship.

John Gary's book, 'Why Mars and Venus Collide' aims to address just that. By understanding how our spouse is responding to stress, we can eliminate one major cause of marital discord.

"Our greatest challenge today is that men and women cope with stress differently."

We need to realize that men and women respond to stress in different way.

Understanding these varying ways will increase the likelihood of having a fulfilling marriage. John Gray uses biology and science to back up his analysis. Different hormones in men and women are responsible for their stress handling mechanisms.

Oxytocin is a love hormone in women. When she feels ignored and unsupported, the levels go down. For men, a good level of testosterone results from 'anticipation of success' in a relationship. The different ways in which these hormones act, provide a logical understanding of men's and women's behaviour.

"To experience the excitement of coming together, you must spend time apart."

The differences might be rooted in our biological makeup. But, we can use the

understanding of these differences for a lasting and healthy marriage.

3 Books That You Must Read Before You Get Married

Everyone expresses love differently.

One partner expresses love by hugging, and the other one makes food to show devotion. But the one who hugs wants a hug and the one who makes food, wants the other one to express love through practical actions.

This conundrum is explained in this masterpiece of a book by Gary Chapman. He lays out five different love languages which humans use to express their fondness. These are:

  • Quality Time

  • Words of Affirmation

  • Gifts

  • Acts of Service

  • Physical Touch

For everyone, the ranking of these five languages is different. The person whose love language is 'words of affirmation', wouldn't feel loved if their spouse never verbally expressed their love and fondness.

One of the key takeaways from the book is the concept of a 'love tank'. Our love tank stays full if we are shown love in our love language.

"The person who is "in-love" has the illusion that his beloved is perfect."

In the honeymoon phase which lasts approximately 2 years according to Chapman, the spouses are showing love in all languages. Their love tanks are full. They are happy. The struggle begins after the initial infatuation wears off and practical life sets in.

This book explores the phases of a long-term relationship as well. Understanding them will help you make the bumpy ride a bit smoother.

"When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave."

The concept of love languages doesn't apply only to marital relationships. It can help improve a parent-child relationship as well. There is a chapter specifically on children and love languages.

The concept of love languages can be applied across other adult interactions, like friendship or siblings for a deeper and better understanding of our loved ones.


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