Saturday, April 24, 2010

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage

The book starts out with an amusing anecdote which illustrates the emphasis of so many couples on the preparation for the wedding and reception which last several hours rather than on the marriage intended to last a lifetime. Early on my then fiancé, now husband, and I decided that we were going to be different in that respect. We were going to devote a significant amount of time preparing for our marriage and take a more simple approach when it came to the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception. We’ve never regretted that decision.
As a counselor and married man, the author of What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage has a great background from which to speak about the vocation. He goes through the major aspects of marriage, identifies what can either strengthen or weaken it, and does so by using examples from couples with whom he’s worked as well as some pointers he’s learned from his own marriage and family life.
Oftentimes he makes references to popular culture, characters from different movies, and/or the subjects treated in TV series, which make some of the scenarios he describes easier to imagine.  His sense of humor makes the sound advice seem more palatable and practical.
I figured since my husband and I are in our fifth year of marriage now would be an interesting time to read this book. Petitfils has gleaned wisdom from a number of sources to put together a relatively short, but easy-to-read guide to creating and maintaining a strong marriage. There are few books I reread, but I decided I would read this one all the way through and then go through it a second time, reading it aloud and answering the questions with my husband.
It can become far too easy to take marriage and spouse for granted. Having reminders like the ones in this book about the marriage relationship needing ongoing work to make it strong and keep giving it new energy are important to have, especially when the stresses of daily life begin to bog each of you down. I believe we can always improve our communication skills. The guidelines provided for effective, healthy relating are clearly set out in this book and match exactly what I’ve heard and read elsewhere.
The questions at the end of each chapter really get to the heart of what the relationship is built upon and are geared to help couples discover their strengths and identify their weaknesses.
This book is a good one for couples preparing for marriage, newlyweds, as well as couples who would like to revitalize their marriage.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage. I receive a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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