My husband and I have been married for 9 1/2 years now, and from the beginning of our romance we realized the importance of constantly working on our relationship. We knew that our marriage was (and is) like a garden, it needs constant tending or it will dry up and die... we DID NOT want that. In fact, when he proposed to me, and again on our wedding day, I very frankly told him, "You know our courtship doesn't end just because we're married... this is truly just the beginning of our life-long courtship..." I said it a little jokingly at the time, and he chuckled while looking adoringly at me- but we both knew it was true if our marriage was going to be truly great. And that's what we aspire to. Because of that, I do a lot of reading during the year as an encouragement to myself to focus on my part in our marriage, as well as seeking the Lord and His divine intervention in those areas where I fall short (trust me, the list is long).
The latest book I've been reading by author Emerson Eggerichs entitled, "The Lanaguage of Love and Respect," is an excellent follow-up to his previous book, "Love and Respect." Though I didn't read the original "Love and Respect," my husband and I worked through Eggerichs' DVD series of the same title with our small group Bible study. This was eye-opening for both of us - as we have on occasion disagreed on different matters, and ended in a frustrated heap with our heads reeling wondering, "what in the world just happened???"
"The Language of Love and Respect" is an excellent addition to any married couple's library. One of the greatest things about the book is that you don't have to read "Love and Respect" prior to this book, as Eggerich thoroughly covers the 'Love and Respect' basics before tackling more specific communication challenges couples typically face. There are tons of practical helps for women and men who literally don't know how to respond when their spouse says/does something that seems unloving or disrespectful. As with anything, the suggestions and helps in this book are not a 'cure-all' nor are they a formula for a marriage that is perfectly happy all the time... marriage takes work... but with the tools presented here, a heart and mind open to the Lord, and a willingness to living up to God's calling as a wife or husband, anyone can make a blah-marriage into a great one.
All in all, Emerson Eggerichs' "The Language of Love and Respect" is a great book for married couples in all stages of their marriages. From the honeymoon phase to the separated, being able to communicate WITH one another is a vital component in a healthy - and happy marriage... it has certainly made a difference in my marriage!