“The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages”
A book review of a great marriage strengthening advice by Warner & Coursey.
I, Dr. Lisa (and great husband Bruce), LOVE this WONDERFUL book! Please get it today to start building your joy and take it on a trip to read together & start doing the exercises regularly. It’s best to have a copy for you AND your spouse!
“How 15 minutes/day will help you stay in love & build joy! Brain science hacks that boost you get with an emotional, spiritual & physical connection.” Plan for 15 minutes TODAY & EACH DAY to focus the most important relationship to you, your children & all your descendants!
Quotes from the author: “There is no more powerful motivator in life than joy. Your brain functions best when running on the fuel of joy. And joy is a key to marital bliss. We’re guessing you didn’t get married because you thought you would be miserable with the person you love. You got married because you thought you would have more joy with him or her. However, joy can be an elusive thing, and most of us have no idea what causes joy or how to revive it when it begins to fade. That is what this book is about. Chris & I want to provide you with a clear understanding, path and exercises that will help you build a joy-filled marriage.”
How to Use This Book (Get a copy of The 4 Habits of a Joy Filled Marriage at Excell for Life office for $10.00):
“If you are looking to increase your intimacy and happiness together, this book may be just what you need to put some wind into your sails. Even the best marriages can use a little guidance at times. We think you will find the content in this book an invaluable guide for taking your marriage to the next level. We designed this book with chapters to read followed by 15 minute exercises to practice.
If you read this book and spend 15 minutes a day doing these exercises together for the next month, you will almost certainly begin to see changes for the better in your marriage (and even get better sleep!). If you do them for 60 or 90 days, you will develop habits that make joy the new normal in your marriage. One man who went through this process wrote, “I work from home and I had to cut back on the exercises because my wife and I found ourselves in bed too much during the day and I was not getting any work done!” You’ve been warned.”
Chapter 1: Shrink Your Joy Gap (by making a PLAN to make joy your default and new normal) – “The more joy you build into your marriage, the more that feeling of being “in love” will stay strong and grow. Then the better you can recover from problems and keep your relationship bigger than your problems.”
Chapter 2: The Brain Science Behind Joy – “ By doing joy exercises together for fifteen minutes each day, you literally grow your capacity for joy, which increases your emotional resilience, your attachment to one another, and your confidence in who you are.”
Chapter 3: Why Joy Can Be So Hard to Find – Joy is a feeling when you get when you are happy to be with someone who is happy to be with you… Choosing to forgive and seeing people as God sees them create a powerful one-two punch for dealing with resentment.
Chapter 4: Habit #1: Play Together – In this chapter we will look at 3 practical ways to increase joy in your marriage through play: special events, relational sex, and social routines… Rule #1: We will stop talking about problems and tasks 30 minutes before we go to bed. Rule #2: We will play together and share appreciation before we turn off the lights.
Chapter 5: Habit #2: Listen for Emotion – Validation is the most important tool I know for keeping relationships bigger than problems (you validate someone’s emotions by accurately identifying what they are feeling and offer some explanation that shows you understand why the person is feeling that way). SAD-SAD six core negative emotions: sadness-anxiety-despair-shame-anger-disgust.
Chapter 6: Habit #3: Appreciate Daily – Appreciation attracts. Resentment repels. To put it in brain science terms, appreciation build joy bonds and resentment builds fear bonds… Taking time to dwell on what I appreciate about my spouse is a much different experience than simply saying “thank you” for something they do. Appreciation is a feeling of shared joy… Practice feeling and sharing appreciation as often as you can. You will notice the benefits from the moment you wake up in the morning to the time your head hits the pillow at night!… One great way to build the habit of appreciation in your marriage is to put it in writing!
Chapter 7: Habit #4: Nurture Rhythm – The first & simplest reason the joy gap starts to expand is tiredness. It is hard to build joy when you feel worn out and lack margin… Having a routine to start and end your day nurtures a rhythm that naturally gives you margin and for building joy.
Wrap Up: Making a PLAN
- Play together and keep having fun – build your calendar with joy as a top family priority
- Listen for emotion and not just problems – to keep your relational engine engaged
- Appreciate daily – appreciation is one of the most powerful habits you can form for building joy (and never add a “but” to the expression of appreciation, as it pulls the rug out from under it!)
- Nurture rhythm – incorporate times & habits of resting together which develop a rhythm that creates margin
Appendixes 1-4 have more exercises for each of the 4 habits!
There are over 24 great fifteen minute exercises to do together and build your joy and love. Here is an example:
Triple Your Joy J 15min “Here is an opportunity to practice the exercise that transformed my marriage (Coursey) and led to some really good sleep.”
1. While holding hands or cuddling, take turns practicing the following steps. Be sure you both practice the first step before moving on. Include daily examples for each appreciation step if possible. – 10min
- Appreciation from my day: Share three highlights from your day.
- Appreciation for my beloved: Share three things you appreciate about your spouse.
- Appreciation for God (or your topic of choice): Share three things you appreciate about this topic.
2. Discuss what you notice after practicing appreciation. – 3min
3. Close with several minutes of cuddling and resting together. – 2min