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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Kelley

Is a Book on Marriage Enough?

Can a book fix your marriage? Maybe, but you might also need something more.

Dr Eggerichs' book on marriage is one of the best books on marriage I have ever read. Based on biblical principles, it helps couples understand the differences between men and women. Which is countercultural to what our society preaches today.

A Book on Marriage Doesn't Replace Counseling

My first encounter with this book was early in my marriage with my husband, part of a church group. At the time the concepts seemed really interesting. However, once we were done reading it. We went right back to our normal patterns. Today I equate this to clients with the following analogy. If you have a lot of trauma in your past, or a chaotic childhood you may have an overstuffed bookshelf. You want to learn new skills and tools, but you don't have room to add anything new. Your current bookshelf is loaded down by memories filled with unresolved emotion. You get triggered just walking by your bookshelf. Even looking at it is overwhelming because it is so piled up and unorganized. Your life events keep you from having the capacity to apply the new tools effectively.

Counseling to Resolve Trauma

I work with clients to identify the negative memories and to release the emotion stored with them. A memory is like a book. It can weigh 300 pounds, so big you need a trolley to move it around. When we release the emotion of the memory and bring the rational brain online to deal with it, its like shrinking the memory down to the size of a paperback. Do that with enough memories and all of a sudden your bookshelf has room to gain some new tools and to use them in your life.

Apply Love & Respect in Your Marriage

Just as we can shrink negative memories we can strengthen positive resources. None of us does anything new without first imagining it. This creates a new neural pathway in the brain. Using EMDR tools we can strengthen the possibility of using the new tools in Love in Respect while you are still in my office. I have seen couples go from the brink of divorce to healing the rifts in their marriage. It takes work, time, and forgiveness.

Heading #4: The Final Score

So, go ahead and add this resource to your list of books to listen to or read. An education is a valuable resource. Combined with effective counseling and it is dynamite. As for my husband and I, we worked through this book a second time when we were 11 years into marriage. By then we had both done a lot of work and were finally able to apply the tools to our marriage in a way that bore fruit.

Purchase or Library Links

Also Available at North Central Regional Library

Also available on Libby through King County Library

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