Author: Kevin A. Thompson
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian
||How I came across the book
A friend shared this book with and I also had the opportunity to be in a small group where the book was read and reviewed.
I loved the title of this book from the first glance, because it described marriage in a multidimensional way; so I knew I was going to enjoy its content. I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed.
– Marriage is an exclusive relationship. It creates a hard boundary between us and others.
– A successful marriage doesn’t happen on a whim. It isn’t a fortunate twist of fate.
– The number one cause of divorce is a lack of intentional investment in the marriage. Far more marriages die of apathy than adultery.
– Marriage demands courage. It requires strength when we have none to give.
– Marriage calls for transparency when we want to be secretive. We have to run toward problems when we want to run away.
– In marriage, we have to admit fault when we want to deny it. We have to recognize ignorance and do something about it. If an issue is important to one spouse, it has to be important to both spouses.
– Very often, couples do not put in the work because of the misconception that a good marriage is based on luck and doesn’t require work because our spouse is perfect for us.
– We like the idea that love is unexplainable, because if we can’t explain it we can’t be expected to maintain it or grow it.
– Marriage doesn’t make you happy. It’s your happiness that determines whether your marriage is happy or not. Two unhappy people can never make a happy marriage.
– Healthy couples don’t just wait until they feel something to do something. They form the discipline of investing in their spouse (even when they don’t feel like it), and that investment influences their affections.
PART A: Friendship in Marriage
– At the foundation of any good marriage is deep friendship. By no means should a spouse be your only friend, but they should be your best friend.
– The demands of parenting, career, and life can become so overwhelming that the friendship aspect of a marriage is easily ignored.
– Many marriages struggle because the couple does not continue to develop the friendship throughout the marriage.
– Friendship is built on shared attention and experiences. It is more than just positive experiences, but without positive experiences, a friendship ceases.
– Creating positive interactions with your spouse is necessary because the negative interactions within a marriage are guaranteed.
Aim to have your spouse as the first person to share your significant moments with. In doing this, you aren’t just sharing the moment; you’re sharing yourself.
– To give good moments to other friends before you give them to your spouse is to starve your marriage of the very thing it needs to thrive.
– Time is a prerequisite for friendship. If you won’t make time for your spouse, you can not be friends. Do not invest in other friendships at the expense of our spouse.
– Friends talk. They communicate. They interact with one another. The biggest symptom of a dying relationship is silence. Silence is a symptom of apathy.
– We all have friends we haven’t seen in years, and we still feel the same way about them that we always have, because there have not been too many withdrawals.
– Our emotional bank is quickly depleted when we continue to make withdrawals from a relationship without depositing into it.
– Few things breed intimacy as much as playfulness. Friends have fun, and having fun builds friendships.
– When married couples are also best friends, they are comfortable with one another. The marriage is a fort—a place where both partners can find safety and comfort.
– Life is hard enough but friends can help carry the burden, ease the pain and lessen the load.
– It is easier to suffer with another than alone. Marry someone who suffers well. Someone who hopes no matter the circumstances. So that when life falls apart, you have someone you can run to, not someone you want to run from.
PART B: Partnership in Marriage
– When partners begin a business, they bring different strengths, abilities, and backgrounds to the table. They believe that they are better together than apart.
As it is in business, so it is in marriage. Marriage is a partnership. It is a business decision. Many people live in denial of this reality, but it is true.
– The partnership is no less important than the friendship or the sexual connection. Our differences are both the source of our greatest frustration and the place of our greatest potential.
– Partnership doesn’t mean both spouses will perform the exact same tasks. It however means they will be equally involved in energy and effort toward the well-being of the marriage.
– This is the heart of partnership—two people fully committed to the well-being and success of their spouse. As they each benefit the other, they receive benefits from the relationship. Each individual thrives as the relationship itself thrives.
– It reassures us that in failure and success we will have someone to weep with us or cheer us on. It challenges us to live day to day with another adult who is striving to do the best they can.
– Respect is a prerequisite for a healthy partnership. When respect is absent, a husband and wife cannot be true partners. If we treat our spouse in a way we would never treat a stranger, we are not respecting them.
– We respect people’s strengths. This doesn’t happen in denial of their weaknesses, but it is the result of seeing those imperfections within a larger context of abilities, aptitudes, and skills.
– Friendship fuels partnership because it gives us a deeper understanding of our spouse, which causes us to better understand who they are and what is happening in their lives.
– In marriage, conflict is guaranteed. Friction is a must. While we shouldn’t seek it, we should embrace it, because making peace in the midst of conflict is important in marriage.
– Healthy couples are not afraid of negotiation. They understand it is a natural part of being married. The task of a good marriage is to find common ground in the midst of differences.
– Peace is not something that magically happens. Peace is made. It is struggled for and fought for. It is attained through hardwork, sacrifice, energy, and effort.
– Communication is a key skill of good partnerships. Humility and Honesty are necessary ingredients for good communication to take place.
– When couples confront problems as problems rather than people, they remain on the same side. It is them against the problem. While they each may have differing opinions on how to solve it, they are united in their attempt to find common ground.
– Love demands difficult conversations. Issues cannot be ignored. Feelings must be communicated, opinions must be presented, and frustrations must be expressed.
– Love is not the ability to know what our spouse is thinking without asking; love is taking the time to ask, listen, and act in response to what our spouse tells us.
– Wise couples use hard words, not harsh words. They aren’t afraid to say what needs to be said. Hard words provide an opportunity to expose a problem and fix it; harsh words distract from the issue and focus on finding faults with the person.
PART C: Love in Marriage
– In the best of scenarios, a healthy couple will have many meaningful friendships. But they should have physical intimacy with only one person.
The greatest of lovers are the best of friends. The best thing the average couple can do to assist their sex life is to nourish their friendship. Great friends have great sex.
– Sex is a unique connection meant for husband and wife. But being lovers is more than just having sex.
– Feeling cherished, valued, desired, and loved can assist a person in becoming fully alive.
– One of the most fun aspects of marriage is waking up every day knowing someone else wants you to succeed. In a healthy marriage, each person is doing everything in their power to make the other person’s dreams come true.
– The biggest misconception young couples have of marriage is that sex will be easy. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Great sex is rarely easy.
– In fiction, sex appears easy, but real sex is much messier than we like it to be. It confronts our deepest insecurities and wounds, and unless we can trust the person we are intimate with, we will be guarded.
– Pornography and prostitution promise sex without emotional demands, and sex outside of marriage promises the physical experience without any responsibilities. But they never fully provide what they promise.
– A strong sexual connection takes time, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and a lot of trial and error.
– The greatest aspect of sex is giving pleasure. Paradoxically, when each spouse attempts to give pleasure rather than seek it, they both give it and receive it.
– The unknown aspects of life is what makes marriage so risky and what makes the vow to love so beautiful. We vow to one another our very best no matter what might come—for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
– Both partners should be excited to learn, struggle, and figure out how to have a good marriage. No pretending. No posturing. No assumptions. When trust is present, a couple can confront and endure nearly anything.
– Deliberately create time to give your spouse your best. When you are most awake, most refreshed, most alive, give that time to the one you love the most.
– Marriage is best lived in gratitude. Gratitude empowers us to see the good in our spouse. Though life still has its demands, the presence of gratitude helps a couple not be overwhelmed by them.
– Every relationship takes a backseat to marriage, including relationships with other family members. Spouses before children and spouses before parents.
– Marriage is one compromise after another. If you are not willing to give and take in a variety of areas, you are not willing to do what is necessary to be happy.
– To become lifetime lovers, be willing to keep trying, failing, and trying again.
– Being a good spouse is demanding. It is not enough to play one role; we must play three. Unless we are a friend, partner, and lover, we are failing to give our spouse everything we have promised and everything they deserve.
– Friendship and partnership should make us better lovers. Friendship gives us patience with one another. Partnership gives us the ability to learn and grow. When they are put together, we are better lovers because we patiently learn what our spouse needs and desires.
This book has so much depth. I love how it addresses the practical issues of marriage.
To every couple, young or old, willing to make the most out of their marriage. And to every aspiring couple willing to prepare themselves for the requirements of a solid and healthy marriage.
I hope you enjoyed the review.
Thank you for reading,