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We’ve had the joy of sharing a few different premarital prep resources over the last few weeks, which I love! Different resources will speak to different couples at different times, so I think it’s wise to have a variety of perspectives on your bookshelf, don’t you?

Today’s tried and true resource, Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, hinges on a very simple finding: that in general, love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man.

Unfortunately, research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved. Yikes – that’s a recipe for a circle of hurt!

“We asked 7,000 people the question, ‘When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?’ says the author. “83% of the men said ‘disrespected’ and 72% of the women said ‘unloved.’ Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict.”

Love & Respect builds on this concept to offer a new way of relating through three cycles, each centered on, well, love and respect:

— The Crazy Cycle: Couples will learn how to resolve conflict through dealing with negative reactions.
— The Energizing Cycle: They will also learn how to motivate each other by meeting each other’s needs.
— The Rewarded Cycle: Those who feel hopeless in their relationships will gain understanding on how to handle an indifferent or unresponsive partner.

If you’ve ever felt like you and your beloved aren’t speaking the same language, lean on Eggerichs’ 30+ years of counseling experience to crack the code and change the way you talk to, think about, and treat your significant other in order to make your marriage even more joy-filled.

Sound intriguing? The New York Times Bestseller Love & Respect is available wherever books are sold in physical, audio, and e-book form. Buy it here on Amazon, and grab a few accompanying freebies right here!

I’d love to hear: What’s the best relationship book you’ve ever read?

This post is sponsored by Harper Collins. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    One consistent thread at Southern Weddings is that we want to challenge you to think differently during your engagement – to interrupt any frustrating, paralyzing, negative thoughts and either swoop in with a solution or offer another perspective. Frustrated with a ballooning budget? Let’s talk about what really matters and ways to cut costs. Over the idea of tossing your bouquet? Skip it! We’ve got some other traditions you might like better.

    Think premarital prep is a waste of time? Think again, my friends! We consistently hear from the couples we feature on SW how valuable, enlightening, challenging (in a good way!), and FUN the time they spent preparing for their marriage was.

    If you’re open to the idea but not sure where to start, let me introduce you to To Have and To Hold by Carla and Byron Weathersbee, executive directors of a retreat center in Texas. (They’re the very couple who walked Chip and Joanna Gaines through pre-marital counseling, and as we all know, if there’s any couple who qualifies for #relationshipgoals, it’s those two!)

    To Have and To Hold is a great resource for Christian couples leading up to their vows or in their first few years of marriage. In each of eight sessions (designed to be completed in eight weeks), you’ll work through four simple activities that address some of the issues vital to a healthy, lifelong relationship. Ideally, the sessions are designed for you to work through as a couple and then to meet with a pastor, mentor, or small group of other engaged couples for encouragement.

    “Our goal in To Have and To Hold is for the two of you to interact, discuss, and possibly debate the subject matter,” say Byron and Carla. “We believe it is better for you to discuss your thoughts, ideals, fears, and questions rather than simply read the latest resource regarding each issue. We encourage you to color outside the lines and creatively adapt each session to meet your needs as you work through the study book.”

    To Have and To Hold can help you:
    — Understand the biblical purpose for marriage to establish a foundation that provides stability and oneness in your relationship
    — Follow responsible stewardship principles for financial freedom
    — Challenge your thinking regarding needs, intimacy, and oneness in marriage
    — Grow in spiritual maturity together
    — Learn the necessary skills to effectively communicate and manage conflict
    — Create healthy expectations for marriage

    The To Have and To Hold study book retails for $12.99 and can be purchased online here.

    I’d love to hear: did you and your future spouse do any sort of premarital prep? Did you feel like it was helpful? Did it bring up any unexpected issues? Was it fun? :)

    This post is sponsored by Lifeway. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Alaina reply

      FYI- the links to cutting costs and to other traditions aren’t working!

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    Happy Friday, friends! We have a Southern Newlywed treat for you today. Audrey and Jeremy Roloff, who run a marriage ministry called Beating50Percent, are here sharing a practice that has made a huge difference in their married life. Don’t miss the promo code they graciously included below! – Emily

    We are stubbornly confident that there are still people in pursuit of covenant marriages: marriages that are undividedly devoted, completely committed, persistently selfless, value-centered, joy-filled, and love-based. In the United States, researchers estimate that 50 percent of all first marriages will end in permanent separation or divorce. The risk is even higher for second marriages (by some estimates, about 60 percent). How is it that our grandparents’ generation is committed to their marriages at age 80, yet as a 24-year-old, most of my friends’ parents are divorced or remarried by age 50?

    What has caused the pendulum to swing so far? Why are people getting married later, ending marriage sooner, and remarrying multiple times? I was in an old antique shop once and read a quote that I think sums it up the best: “Back in our day, when something broke, you fixed it instead of throwing it away.” The quote was inked over a photo of an elderly couple holding each other close.

    But isn’t that just it? When our grandparents were growing up, if their car, bike, sink, dress, bed, or radio broke, they fixed it. Nowadays, most people wouldn’t even know how to fix those things even if they wanted to. If it breaks, they just buy a new one — a better one. Seemingly nothing is irreplaceable. And so the same concept has unfortunately translated to our marriages: if it breaks, just get a new one…

    Dawn Photography

    My husband and I, and I’m confident we’re not alone in this, want to have a marriage marked by “fixing” instead of “throwing away.” To help, we have prioritized a rhythm in our marriage that has led to tremendous payoff: our Navigator’s Council.

    Our Navigator’s Council started out as a weekly “coming together” for Jeremy and I to communicate on important matters, share hurts and struggles, celebrate achievements, review where we’ve been, and dream about where we are headed. We were advised to do this by our pre-marital counselors, who had been asking each other a series of questions and recording their answers in a journal every week since their wedding day 18 years earlier. Jeremy and I immediately latched onto this idea and knew we wanted to do something similar!

    On our honeymoon, we made a commitment to a practice of weekly councils. Here are a few of my favorite questions we ask every week:

    — What’s one thing I can do for you this week?
    — What is something that was hard this week?
    — What is a dream, craving, or desire that has been on the forefront of your mind this week?

    We have been doing our Navigator’s Councils every Sunday since we’ve been married (with the exception of a few, of course!) and each Sunday is a call to reconciliation, a burning away of bitterness, a revelation of truth, and a strengthening of our love.

    Not only is our Navigator’s Council a review of where we’ve been and where we are going, but it is a time to share, a call to transparency, a reminder of truth, a discerning of dreams, and a harvesting of love. As we’ve reflected on old entries, we smile at what this simple journal has prevented us from, and the standard it has held us to. The hour that we set aside on Sundays to create time and space for the discipline of communication has been crucial. Yes, it’s a discipline, but I would argue it’s a vital one for marriage – without communication, we are left to assume, and the Navigator’s Council doesn’t leave room for assumptions. Instead, it turns knowing more into loving more.

    When we launched Beating50Percent, we knew we wanted to take this practice that’s been so helpful for us and make it available to everyone, so we launched the Navigator’s Council journal. The foundation of the journal is six questions that you will ask each other, and record your answers to, once a week. (We share one journal and take turns writing week by week.) Each week also includes a short devotional and a weekly calendar.

    Like us, we hope that someday you will have a bookshelf full of Navigator’s Council journals that have strengthened and recorded the growth of your love. Whether you are newlywed or you’ve been married for 30 years, we believe our Navigator’s Council journal can transform your marriage! We hope that this practice will help you to have the kind of love that’s marked by fixing instead of throwing away.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Audrey! For a 15% discount on the Navigator’s Council journal, head over to the Beating50Percent site and use code SOUTHERNWEDDINGS15!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    6 Comments
    1. avatar Kyla Shattuck reply

      This is an incredible idea! Thank you for sharing! :)

    2. avatar Julie reply

      Tried promo code and didn’t work :( please let me know once fixed. Thx!

    3. avatar Julia reply

      “How is it that our grandparents’ generation is committed to their marriages at age 80” – It’s because there was once a time when women didn’t have many other options besides getting married. I can only speak for myself, but I think that women not having their entire self-worth in the eyes of society tied to being wives and mothers is a good thing. And you know what? It actually makes long-lasting marriages in this day and age more meaningful. Let’s stop romanticizing the past, please. It’s easy to be more “committed” to working through difficulties in a marriage when you have no other choice because otherwise you will be treated as an outcast.

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hey Julia! I think you raise a good point – women have a lot more options in many ways than they used to, and that’s a good thing! I don’t think Audrey was trying to romanticize the past, I think she meant to honor older folks (both men and women) that have put in the effort to have happy marriages for so many years. Thanks for reading!

    4. avatar July 2017 Goals – Kyla Mary reply

      […] wall in our apartment – read Cultivate – begin weekly meetings with Dillon (inspired by this post) – get into a routine with exercise – honor my bedtime – do daily core […]

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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