How is your relationship with your spouse? Is it everything you want it to be? With Valentine's Day fast approaching, you may be asking yourself these questions. Let's face it, all relationships go through a gamut of trials and tribulations and even the best marriages need to be tended to. No matter how you view your marriage right now, if you could improve your it in just 4 days, would you? If so, New York Times best-selling author and speaker Dr. Gary Smalley and his wife Norma have written a book just for you - 4 Days to a forever Marriage. (Digital edition now on sale through February 14th for only $2.99)
Recently I was given the opportunity to read 4 Days to a forever Marriage and to ask Dr. Smalley a few questions about his newest book. I sat down and read the book, asking myself, "What questions might a couple ask while reading the book?". I settled on three questions, all from Day 2- Communication and Resolving Anger:
- (The Art of Timing – page 36) – If a spouse has closed down and continually fills his/her schedule (even unknowingly) so tight that there seems to be no ‘right time or place’ to communicate, what do you suggest?
Dr. Smalley: "First, if a spouse has closed down you need to work on creating safety within your relationship. Once your spouse feels "safe" he will look for ways to make room in his schedule to be with you. Safety in a relationship is seen when both husband & wife truly value each other to understand their opinions, concerns & expectations without criticism or belittling."
- (The Salt Principle - page 37) Can you give an example of applying the Salt Principle in action, particularly relating a need/concern with an area of high interest of the spouse?
Dr. Smalley: "Let's say the wife is trying to get her husband to do a sport with her so they can spend more time together. First, she needs to identify an area of high interest for her husband to gain his attention. She identifies his high interest - success at work. She does a little fact finding and comes across research that says, "married couples that spend at least one hour a day of meaningful time together see an average of a 20% increase in their annual salary." Next, she crafts two statements to create curiosity from her husband: 1) I just read a reasearch article that guarantees married couples can increase their income by 20% without doing any extra work or money or one of those direct marketing businesses. 2) In fact, if you and I do this I would probably develop a stronger sexual desire. (She knew this was on his high interest list also.) Now, you have his undivided attention."
- (Discovering the Hope of Resolution - page 42) Dr. Smalley, you write, “The most insecure people are those who can’t distance themselves from their loved ones enough to discipline them. Loving discipline may put a temporary emotional distance between people, but if we balance the hard-side correction with softness, we won’t lose love.” What do you mean by ‘loving discipline’ and can you give an example?
Dr. Smalley: "Boundaries. Most couples that I've worked with over the years have a "hot topic" that just by uttering the first syllable of the topic can change the temperature in the room quickly. Example, deciding what in-laws to spend Christmas with can get ugly. If there is a over dominanairing spouse who tends to push until they get their way and the other spouse feels his opinions does not matter it would be good for him to draw a boundary. A boundary that he will not enter into discussions about that topic without a mutual agreeable third party present to help mediate to make sure both husband & wife feel heard and understood. The third party could be a counselor, pastor, or a marriage mentor. Norma and I actually use our small group to help facilitate our "hot topics". This helps build safety and actually helps marriages to grow deeper in love."
4 Days to a forever Marriage is all about using a simple, easy choice that can transform your marriage into a lasting, loving relationship - chosing love or anger. Each day you and your spouse will be guided through a set of questions and then asked to journal your thoughts. It's an easy read but beware...it's very thought provoking and transformation will be within your grasp if you and your spouse commit yourselves to these 4 days.
What are the topics for each of the four days?
- Day 1- Loving Words and Actions
- Day 2- Communication and Resolving Anger
- Day 3- Affection and Intimacy
- Day 4- Trials and Treasures
Also included in this wonderful resource, 4 Days to a forever Marriage, are wonderful resources for couples. These include: Your Season of Marriage, Fulfilling a Legacy Through God-given Dreams, Five Key Scriptures, The Smalley "Fighting Rules", A Dozen Ways to Engage Your Spouse, Romance on a Shredded Shoestring Budget and Have You Become Your Parents?.
To purchase your digital copy (for $2.99 now until February 14th) for Kindle, Nook, or iPad go to:
You can also purchase your digital copy at Christianbook.com.
If you'd like a hard copy of 4 Days to a forever Marriage, you can purchase it at Barnes and Noble here in the Denver Metro Area. Simply go to Barnes and Noble online and click "Pick Up in Store" under Add to Bag. (Regular price $16.99, now on sale for $12.10)
To learn more about Dr. Gary Smalley and his other relationship resources, click here!