11 Best Premarital Counseling Books To Read Before Tying the Knot

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Couple reading the bible together

So you’re looking for premarital counseling books to brush up on before the big day?

It’s no surprise that most couples spend more time planning for their wedding than for their marriage. Marriage talk between an engaged couple might include topics of flowers, cake flavors, and honeymoon plans when the conversation should be on children, responsibilities, finances, and living arrangements. ... Read more »


The Formula for Fairytales

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Growing up I loved being read bedtime fairytales. The most important stories in my mind always ended with the same phrase: “And they all lived happily ever after.” Yet, I never could imagine my princes and princesses in any sort of married life. They weren’t couples doomed to argue over who did the dishes, or how to raise children, they just lived in the same continued bliss of their courtship, never getting older or becoming less in love, no matter how many years passed.

Now that I’m older, however, I realize how much work goes into finding “happily ever after;” it isn’t something that comes easy after finding the perfect fit for that glass slipper. That being said, I am always looking for a quick answer to one big question. Is there any way to tell whether a relationship is destined for a disastrous divorce or if it’s a happily ever after fairytale? According to Mathematician Hannah Fry, it may be as simple as a formula.

In her newly released book The Mathematics of Love, Fry explains that the ... Read more »


Consoling the Inconsolable

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“To have and to hold…for better or for worse.”  This phrase is familiar to all of us, and many of us have heard the phrase, or one like it, directed towards us and a previous or current spouse.  While this phrase carries a lot of meaning, it highlights one of the key aspects of a successful marriage: supporting one another in good times and bad.

Many of us take this to heart and willingly give of ourselves in support of our spouse.  Whether it be supporting them in finding a job, working together as parents, or being a shoulder to cry on, we all recognize the value of support.  

But what happens when the support we try to give doesn’t seem to have any effect?  If you have a partner who doesn’t feel better with the support you have to offer, then what happens to that value?

According to a recent study by Gelareh Karimiha and a team of scholars from Canada, when the support we offer doesn’t work it can leave us feeling much less valued.

How Inconsolability Affects Us

When a ... Read more »


3 Secrets for Living a Happy Life

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Almost anyone would tell you that happiness is a crucial part of life, but unfortunately, it’s a concept that is hard to accurately study and measure. Luckily, researchers at Harvard have been trying to tackle that challenge, by exploring data in the Harvard Study of Adult Development for the past 75 years. Last year, Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of the study, discussed three crucial findings to the secret of happiness in a new TED talk.

Waldinger begins his presentation by asking, “If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and your energy?” Although many common goals are to obtain money or fame, according to the study – the longest ever study on human development to date, it is good relationships that keep us happier and healthier.

Overall, the study found three big lessons about relationships.  

Connections are healing, while loneliness is toxic.

People who are connected to family, friends, and their communities lead longer and more healthy lives. In contrast, people who are more isolated than they want to ... Read more »


Couples Who Laugh Together, Last Together.

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laughter

When my husband and I were engaged my mother hosted an engagement reception for us. People my parents had known for years showed up, ate food, wished us well, and left, in the way most receptions happen. On a table by the door were slips of paper for every guest to put a piece of marital advice for us and place it in a jar. Most of the advice written out were things I have heard my whole life:

“Don’t go to bed angry” “Communicate with each other” “Be physically affectionate” “Admit when you’re wrong.”

One piece of advice I wish had been written out was “laugh together every day.”

The physical benefits of laughter are well known – laughter can improve health, and lengthen life expectancy in terminally ill patients – but how does laughter aid relationships?

Neuroscientist Robert Provine studied just that, and published his findings in his book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation.

What he found was that, beyond just diffusing tense situations and reducing anger and anxiety, laughter establishes (or restores) a positive emotional connection between ... Read more »