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Welcome back to our pre-marital counseling series! If you missed the first installment on what pre-marital counseling is and what kind of topics you can expect to cover during your session, get caught up here.
After we had been going to pre-marital counseling for a bit, our counselor-slash-pastor recommended a few resources to help us continue the conversation(s) we had started in his office. Press play on the vlog below to learn more about some of the books we used and how NOT to come to the wrong conclusion when identifying your own love language (#SexIsNotPhysicalTouch).
Below you'll also find more info + links to the most current versions of all the resources mentioned in this video, as well as one bonus book that I forgot to mention at the time of recording. Ha! Enjoy!
Marriage Prep 101: Recommended Books and Resources
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts: Is The Five Love Languages the most popular relationship book ever written? It's highly possible. With that said, I'm betting you've heard of this one! But I'm also betting that you might not REALLY know what your REAL love language is. (Or maybe that's just my husband?) Overall, the information presented in this book is pretty basic, foundation-level stuff. It's a good starting point for further conversation with your spouse-to-be, though. Expect to discuss: how you give love, how you receive love, what makes you feel "full" from a relationship standpoint, and how you're likely to respond when your love tank is running on empty. For those of you who used to enjoy Xanga quizzes as much as I did, you'll be happy to know that a Couple's Personal Profile assessment is also included.
Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage: One of the best books recommended to me by a friend! This is a great resource that is written by a psychologist from a Christian point of view. It speaks to a variety of sexual histories, unpacks a lot of the mental and emotional baggage brought into the bedroom, and answers a lot of questions you might not feel comfortable asking otherwise. Overall, this book is intended to help you and your spouse-to-be approach intimacy with the right expectations...and with excitement! Like I said in the video, my friend recommended waiting to read this book until we were en route to our honeymoon. The author puts it this way in the foreword: "If you're currently in pre-marital counseling, read chapters 1-4 and the 'For Men Only' and 'For Women Only' chapters. But please stop there—and wait to read the rest until after you're married."
For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men and For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women: These are companion books and I highly recommend getting both! This was one of my absolute favorite resources we used during our engagement. Taylor and I read our respective books separately and highlighted sections we wanted to come back to for further discussion. Afterwards, we exchanged books and wrote notes beside sections that definitely did or definitely did not personally ring true for us. I will raise both hands in the air and admit that I grew up pretty sheltered—I had heard terms in church like "men are visual," but honestly didn't fully understand what that meant. This set of books helped lessen my insecurity ("What if he's attracted to someone else? What if I'm not always 'enough' for him?") and boosted my confidence and trust in Taylor. Both good things!
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God: Not mentioned in the video but still worth adding to your resource pile. Like The Five Love Languages, this book was specifically recommended to us by our counselor/pastor (and, like, every other Christian couple on the planet). With that said, I WILL BE HONEST: I found this book hard to get through when we were engaged. Kind of...boring. (Here's hoping I don't get kicked out of the Sunday School Star Reader Program for admitting that.) With that said (ahem: confessed), it's very deep, very rich, and very theologically sound—and for those reasons, I am planning to read back through it again this year since the first time around I was apparently in an "I can't sit still long enough to read complex sentences" frame of mind.
Keep the Conversation Going!
Click the button below to download our free "Preparing for Pre-Marital Counseling" Conversation Guide, which includes a special excerpt from our comprehensive wedding planning eBook—an interview with our pre-marital counselor!
Any other pre-marital resources or books you guys are loving? Comment below and share your favs!