Tuesday 2 August 2016

Stress-Proof Your Marriage - Cory and Heidi Busse

Stress-Proof Your Marriage
30-Minute Read:
Cory Busse and Heidi Busse
Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN 9781592767076
eISBN 9781306068345

This was a great little read. I have worked through it twice now and made a number of notes and highlights. This is also an interesting series from Our Sunday Visitor and I hope it expands beyond the current four volumes. In some ways this book reads like a talk at a retreat or conference. And it packs a lot of great information and advice into its compact 61 pages.

The chapters in the book are:
1. Talk
2. Touch
3. Share
4. Fight
5. Pray
6. Worship
7. Eat
8. Play
9. Grow
10. Laugh

Each chapters has a number of sections expanding upon the topic and wraps up with a key 'Take Away" and some of them gems in and of themselves make the book worth the read.

In the first chapter on Talk the Busse's state: "Everyone tells couples that communication is one of the most important elements of any relationship. The irony is, the advice usually stops there. Ask most people for more concrete examples of good communication techniques, and there is a lot of hedging and head-scratching." And then they go on and give a number of examples of things that work, and the key Takeaway in this first chapters is "The goal of healthy marital communication is to be understood. Speak clearly; listen to each other; and ask for what you want.". Next in the chapter on touch they say "Many times, we've forced ourselves to stop talking and hold hands for two minutes in the middle of a fight. It feels really strange in the moment, and it doesn't solve the conflict or take away the anger. But it does remind us that we are on the same team and, even though we disagree, we do so from a place of love." This sense of touch, physical closeness and presence I really believe is one of the key lessons in the whole book.

In the sake of not spoiling the book I will not be doing a chapter by chapter breakdown. But in the chapter on Fight the take away is "Get good at fighting effectively; then, get even better at forgiving." And really do not think anything else need be added. Another key piece of advice is "Love Each Other for Who You Are … and for Who You Will Become" for that is really a major part of what our role as spouses is to be, to help challenge the other person to growth, growth in holiness to become the man or woman God has really called them to be.  Later they say: "Strong marriages strike a balance between "me time" and "we time."" And this book will in a quick and easily applicable tips and tricks guide us towards that goal.

The book ends with the Couples' Prayer:

Couples' Prayer

God of everlasting love,
help us to find new joy
in the face of routine,
to share our needs
with an open heart,
to acknowledge when
we have been wrong,
to forgive
as we have been forgiven,
to love as your Son, Jesus,
taught us to love.

This was an awesome little read, and I look forward to reading more in the series. If you are married or planning on being so I can highly recommend this book to you.

Our Sunday Visitor 30 Minute Reads:
Simplify Your Life - Woodeene Keonig-Bricker
Why me? When Bad Things Happen - Mike Aquilina
Hope for Hard Times - Scott Hahn
Stress-Proof Your Marriage - Cory Busse and Heidi Busse

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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