Can Reading a Relationship Book Really Help You?
By: Elizabeth Lewis, Life Coach/Dating Consultant/Author/Speaker
Can reading a relationship book really make your marriage or dating relationships better? Actually, reading alone, will not magically make any relationship better. BUT it might change your thinking or attitude and if you put into action the things you learn, you might actually move forward to a better place.
Let’s take marriage…. as you know, sometimes things get “routine” in a marriage. Sometimes you have to “mix” things up a bit. Whether you get ideas from a book or from something you see on TV, the important thing is that you follow through with ACTION.
A great idea I got from Larry James (professional speaker, author and relationship coach) was how to read a relationship book TOGETHER. He said,
“First of all, head for the local office supply store and buy two colored highlighters.
While YOU are reading it, mark the passages that are important to you with a bright YELLOW highlighter. Then give the book to your love partner requesting that he or she do the same, marking important passages as they read with a light BLUE highlighter.
Why? Because when there are areas in the book that are important to BOTH of you and the highlighters overlay, you will see GREEN. Yellow and blue make green. When you see green this time, it does not mean envy! Green means “Go!” It means these are the areas of the relationship that are important to both of you.
It is always a good idea to begin with areas that you agree upon. Knowing where you stand and what you both hold to be valuable to the relationship is a must. Some couples never stop long enough to consider how important this kind of information can be.
Next. . . take some time to carefully review the passages your partner has marked with their own color; make notes of what is important to him or her. These are the areas of the relationship that need your careful attention. Do your best to focus on what is important to you and to your partner. You need to know what is essential for your partner’s happiness and to care enough to do your best to provide it.
The next step is to openly and honestly discuss what you have read TOGETHER! What you cannot talk about keeps you stuck! Make a new agreement to talk about anything and everything all the time. Make it a promise you both keep. It may be one of the most difficult promises to keep, however the benefits are worth it.
Caution ~ Resist the urge to mark the passages you KNOW your love partner NEEDS to read. When the student is ready, the teacher appears! Let the teacher be the book. . . not you. Let your love partner read and get from the book what he or she needs to learn. It rarely helps to push your own stuff on someone else. It often only causes resentment or drives a person further away.”
** I’ll give you some good book suggestions as the end of this blog.**
What about singles? There are SO many dating/relationship books (and expensive programs) out there… can they really help you move forward? So many singles tell themselves a “story” in their head (a story which usually is not true) and they will look for evidence to validate these perceived truths. Through their experiences they also can get “stuck” in a way of thinking. Usually they get stuck with feelings of inadequacy, not being “enough” and overall think negatively about dating and what’s available to them. Reading a book with a different perspective makes one reflect/examine his/her ways of being and thinking. True, the entire book may not resonate with you BUT if you walk away with a few ideas from each book you read, you can put it all together and make the new way of thinking work for you.
I just wrote a book about dating the “Next” time around called First Date Next Mate (Perspectives in Dating the “Next” Time Around). This was written for those divorced (one or more times), widowed, or for those a little older and have not found love yet. This book (not out until September 2016) is very practical, filled with do’s, don’ts, pros, cons and tells much of what I’ve learned about dating again. It’s not just what I’ve learned personally, but I quote many authors/experts/therapists from the many books I’ve read and resonated. Some learnings came from blogs read, sermons heard, radio shows recorded, research found and from many of the clients/friends I’ve worked with for years. I’m hoping those who read it will take the parts that resonate with them and apply those to their dating life and discard (or come back to later) the rest.
Stay tuned for book signings and speaking engagements after my book launch (September 2016). If you’d like to learn more about my individual coaching (or group classes), visit my website at www.loveandlaughterlifecoaching.com to learn more.
Book suggestions for married couples to read TOGETHER.
- “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” By Gary D Chapman
- “Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work” By Matthew McKay PhD and Patrick Fanning
- “The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships” By John Gottman
- “When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships” By David Richo
- “47 Little Love Boosters For a Happy Marriage: Connect and Instantly Deepen Your Bond No Matter How Busy You Are” By Marko Petkovic
- Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage By: Milan Yerkovich, Kay Yerkovich
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide for the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman and Nan Silver.
- Communication in Marriage: How to Communicate with Your Spouse Without Frighting by Marcus and Ashley Kusi
- Boundries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud