Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married

by Dr. Gary Chapman

Dr. Chapman is the author of the best-selling "The Five Love Languages". In this book, counselors will learn:

1. That feelings of being "in love" cannot sustain a marriage, since the average life-span of these feelings is about two years.
That what sustains a marriage is spouses learning to communicate love in the forms that are most received by their partner.

2. That we will often develop uncanny similarities to our parents, including their drinking habits, communication patterns, energy levels, and appearance.

3. How to resolve marital disagreements without arguing, such as truly listening to the other spouse so as to give an adequate summary of their perspective, agreeing to disagree, and compromising.

4. The importance of spouses making effective apologies for wrongdoing. How learning to speak your spouse's language of apology is more effective than just saying you are sorry. The five different ways of apologizing are 1) expressing regret, 2) accepting responsibility, 3) making restitution, 4) genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior, and 5) requesting forgiveness.

5. How forgiveness is one's decision to offer grace instead of demanding justice.

6. How spouses can agree on doing which household chores.

7. How spouses can most effectively manage their money, and what common major mistakes to avoid, such as purchasing a home they cannot afford, going out to eat too often, buying new cars, and buying too much alcohol. How to live on 80% of your income, give 10% to charity, and save 10%. How couples can agree not to buy something over a certain amount without consulting the other.

8. How to resolve common sexual difficulties, such as: overcoming the myth that husband and wife must reach climax together, that a husband should spend sufficient time caressing his wife, that a husband participating in household chores will often increase desire in his wife for him, and that spouses should only engage in sexual acts they are both comfortable with.

9. How spouses can develop good relationships with their in-laws, by learning to listen empathetically to them, speaking their particular love languages to them, and alternating holidays with them.

10. How spiritual compatibility in marriage has more to do with what each spouse believes in how God speaks to them and what He has said.

11. How spouses can live with a partner who has very different habits, including Morning person vs. Night person, Optimist vs. Pessimist,
Neat vs. Messy, Talker vs. Non-talker, Passive vs. Aggressive, Logical thinkers vs. Intuitive person, and Organizer vs. Spontaneous person.

12. How to have a balanced dating relationship by attending to these areas of growth: Intellectual, Emotional, Social, Spiritual, and Physical.