My husband and I have been reading an amazing book together. I think he first spotted it in Touchstone Magazine and suggested we get it. It sat for about 6 months before we first opened it and has taken us another 18 months to almost finish it. I generally don't recommend books, but this is certainly an exception.
I have seen SO many "trendy" Christian books out there. I don't think the authors meant them to be trendy, but that's what ended up happening. Churches would glom onto a new release from a popular Christian author or pastor and teach it as if it had complete authority in the life of the Church and with her people. What was often implied was, "if you do what is written in the pages of this book you will have 'arrived'." or "just change your life completely around by following these 5 easy steps and your walk with the Lord will be carefree." Some of the books were encouraging and had great suggestions, but most seemed to only deal with surface issues or tried to apply bandaids to emotional wounds that required stitches or possible surgery.
What I love about this book is that it helps you to be "real" about who you are and it helps you to discover how you became who you are. This is not a "blame your parents" book. This is not a book of easy fixes. This isn't a book about "love languages" either. This book is almost like a 12 step book for marriage. Regardless of where you are in your marriage (newlywed to nearly dead ;), there is so much we can learn about ourselves and our spouses which can help us gain understanding about why we do what we do and why we respond the way we do when our spouse hits a sensitive spot. It also gives insight to help us have compassion on our spouse as we gain understanding into how and why they interact in life the way they do.
If you are struggling in your marriage, or if marriage is still a new and wonderful adventure, this is a fantastic tool that encourages baby steps and compassion and communication. Don't be turned off by some of the labels they use like "Soul Words" and "The Comfort Circle", they aren't overly touchy feely :) This book has given us tools to help us to be more open with each other and in meeting the needs of our children. (they have a parenting book out now too called How We Love Our Children, but I'm determined to finish this one before starting that one). We still have far to go, but so does every person on this planet until the moment of our very last breath.
May the Lord bless us as we maneuver our way through the sacrament of marriage. May we not shy away when we discover that the cross we are called to carry is actually heavy. May we willing die to ourselves daily that we may embrace Christ and see Christ in our spouse.
To God belongs all glory. Amen