Title: The A to Z Guide: 26 Days and 26 Ways to a Happier, Healthier Marriage
Author: The Dating Divas
I really enjoyed that Dating Divas’ new book, The A to Z Guide: 26 Days and 26 Ways to a Happier, Healthier Marriage. It felt like I was with a group of my best girlfriends, sitting down to chat and sharing only the very best and most uplifting marital advice. I was pressed for time when I read it, but I will definitely read it again the way it was intended (which is one chapter a day for 26 days) because each thought was simple, but important, and I like the idea of thinking about one specific thing I can do to work on my marriage each day. The writers shared personal experiences that helped everything take perspective as well as motivate the reader to incorporate certain habits/values into their marriage such as gratitude, compromise, optimism, regular dating, and forgiving and forgetting, among many others.
Parts I Liked Best
It’s really hard for me to single out just a few parts. This book wasn’t very long, but was filled to the brim with inspiring and useful suggestions. I really liked the part where it talked about “dressing to impress” your spouse and I have been guilty in the past of not placing very much importance of my appearance. I was overweight for a time and just dealt with feeling frumpy by not taking of myself. When I started to lose a little weight and feel better, I began to buy some new clothes , makeup, and such. I remember going to the mall with my husband one day and watching him just light up as I had my makeup done and realizing that I hadn’t really worn makeup other than mascara for several years! My heart flooded with appreciation for him and the fact that he loved me and told me I was beautiful anyway, but I also learned that “dressing to impress” made a difference not only for him, but for me as well.
Another part that I really thought was important was when it talked about how adversity strengthens a marriage, and that a husband and wife really need to depend on each other. I have noticed in my own life that challenging times in a marriage either bring a couple closer or pushes them apart. I’ve noticed how much harder challenges and hard times feel in my own marriage when I try to take care of and “fix” everything myself, both because tough times are too much for one person to handle, and because it’s important and necessary to trust and depend on your spouse when things are rough. When I remember to put my trust in my husband and to work together to accomplish or face hard things, we always seem to come out stronger as a couple, more appreciative, and more in love with each other than ever before.
One of my favorite chapters talked about being a “one of a kind” couple and setting and achieving goals together. The author also suggests reading a book together, but then confesses that when she and her hubby “read together” it is really her reading aloud to her hubby! It made me laugh because that’s been my experience as well, and sometimes the things that I expect or want from my husband are just not realistic, and that little confession made me realize that I can be a little better about accepting my amazing guy for who he is and not get hung up on silly things like whether or not he finds the time on his own to read a parenting book. I really loved the idea of continuing to work hard on my marriage and set goals to be more loving because I feel like the feelings that a husband a wife have for each other can really set the tone at home. For me, it seems like the harder I work on my marriage and on showing my husband how much I love him, the happier I become and the more loving I am to my children and myself as well. I know that the way my husband and I treat each other will teach my children what to look for and how to treat their future spouse, so why not treat him with the utmost unconditional love, kindness, and respect? Why not continue to be madly in love with a person that I vowed to love forever?
How This Book made an Impact on My Life, Especially as a Mother
This book made a huge impact on my life as mother because every single suggestion made would directly affect my parenting in two ways: 1) Setting the example for my children to learn those specific habits and traits; and 2) treating my children with unconditional love, respect, and kindness is SUPER important for me to do as their mom. There were chapters about things like sharing, compromise, forgiveness, apologizing, learning about other people’s interests, and having fun together that all apply to how I should be as my children’s mother. I can’t really think of more than one or two chapters in the whole book that wouldn’t also apply to motherhood. I feel like reading this book called to attention the things I needed to work on as both a wife and mother, but also brought to my attention the many things that I was doing right. Who doesn’t need a little positive affirmation every once in a while? It made me realize that I’m a better mom than I sometimes give myself credit for, and at the same time, motivated me to be even better and I recommitted myself to becoming a better person not only for me and my spouse, but for my entire family.