How to get the most out of marriage books

So you’ve decided you want to fix your marriage and you’re looking around at the resources out there…. Yikes! Marriage counseling is expensive! And you just don’t feel like talking about your personal life with a complete stranger. Plus, your spouse isn’t into doing couples counseling. Sometimes you’ve got to take matters into your own hands, and books/workbooks can be a way to do that. But with all the marriage books out there, how do you pick one that will truly help you? Po2 Online is a great alternative to marriage books, providing everything you need, plus more (more on that below!). Here are some tips on what to look for as you navigate the world of marriage help:

1. Focus on changing yourself, not your partner

Marriage books should not be about ways of manipulating, pushing, or otherwise getting your spouse to act differently. Marriage help is all about you. A book should teach you applicable skills that you can practice in your daily life. As you change, you should see your partner reflecting those positive changes.

Note: there are a few areas where it really is up to your spouse to change or for you to consider leaving the marriage. This includes alcohol or drug addiction, controlling behavior, or abuse. You can always reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at http://www.thehotline.org/.Also, check out our top reasons for divorce for more guidelines.

2. Look for help with “How” not just “What”

A lot of marriage books will tell you what important topics you should discuss with your partner. That’s great, except actually have the conversation at all is the difficult part! Good marriage books should include instruction on how to 1) bring up the topic 2) maintain a positive conversation 3) regulate emotions and 3) come to satisfying conclusions. There should be an outline for how to conduct a good conversation—not just what you should be talking about!

3. Look for experts

Just because they’re famous (or have had a lot of famous relationships) doesn’t make them an expert at relationships! Instead of being wooed by the glitzy cover of a celebrity writer, look for the author’s credentials. Good marriage books will be written by a professional therapist with years of experience working with actual couples. This means they have the training and first-hand knowledge that will really help you have a great, healthy marriage.

4. Will you actually read it?

So many marriage books end up collecting dust on a shelf. Consider joining the Power of Two Online instead of just buying a book. Power of Two provides all of the things above, with the privacy, self-set pace, and independence of a book. And then it’s so much more! Po2 gives you engaging videos, interactive activities and helpful worksheets. And best of all, you get access to a real, live, personal coach to answer your questions and guide you through the program. When was the last time you had a conversation with a book?

 

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.