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Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage: Because a Great Relationship Doesn't Happen by Accident Paperback – August 18, 2015
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“In my research with happy marriages, I’ve found that happy wives have one thing in common: they know that happiness doesn’t just happen. Sheila gives great ideas that challenge our conventional thinking about what goes into a happy marriage—and she nails it! Here’s to a new generation of happy wives.”
—Fawn Weaver, New York Times best-selling author of Happy Wives Club
“What a wonderful book! Sheila has such a delightful writing style that you forget you’re learning so much. The teaching points are inspiring, and the action steps truly can be marriage-transforming. Many readers will particularly appreciate Sheila’s delightful way of challenging conventional wisdom as she offers freshly applied biblical wisdom. One of the best things you could do for your spouse, your children, and your own happiness and contentment in the coming year is to read and apply Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage.”
—Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage and A Lifelong Love
“The truths in Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage hold the power to revolutionize relationships. Sheila Wray Gregoire gives it to us straight: we can be happy, we can have the good marriage that God designed. But first we need to change our thought life. As Sheila challenges pat answers and common misconceptions about what makes a marriage work, she offers an alternate, hope-filled path. Her real-life examples and biblically rooted insights will free you to approach your marriage with a transformed attitude and renewed energy.”
—Shannon Ethridge, relationship coach, speaker, and author of the bestseller Every Woman’s Battle
“In this lively and engaging book, Sheila doesn’t just explode cultural myths about marriage and relationship and replace them with biblical truth; she also provides ultrapractical tasks for wives to apply every bit of their new knowledge. I love the emphasis on working on yourself first, rather than trying to change your spouse. Way to go, Sheila!”
—Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher and best-selling author of For Women Only
“We’ve all heard the adage, ‘It takes two to make a marriage work.’ And it’s true. But with Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, Sheila Wray Gregoire gives women powerful tools to make a huge difference in their marriages all on their own. Instead of focusing on what our husbands should do, Sheila helps us focus on what we as wives actually can do. Actionable, empowering, and freeing. A must read for every woman who wonders if her marriage could be better.”
—Kathi Lipp, author of The Husband Project and Clutter Free
“Although an honest personal assessment can be painful at times in marriage, it is worth it. Sheila takes us on a journey of discovering how our personal thoughts may be interfering with our marriage and gives us practical steps on how to make the lasting change we long for and desperately need!”
—Ruth Schwenk, speaker, author, and creator of TheBetterMom.com
“‘For as [she] thinks in [her] heart, so is [she]’ (Proverbs 23:7, nkjv). Sheila wisely helps women think healthy thoughts so they can create a healthier marriage. Think honest, loving, practical, biblical, relevant—those are the kind of wise thoughts Sheila will help you think so you can discover the power to build a love to look forward to living.”
—Pam Farrel, best-selling author of forty books, including Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and Red Hot Monogamy
“In Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, Sheila Wray Gregoire challenges spouses to take the focus off of what their marriage partner is doing ‘wrong’ and, instead, change their own thought patterns to see their spouse in a whole new light. What I love most about Sheila is that she writes from experience, not just theory. She is transparent about how her own faulty thinking created struggles early in her marriage, and she celebrates how God redeemed her situation to create the beautiful relationship she now enjoys with her husband. Through this, readers will be encouraged that a transformed marriage relationship just may start in changing their own way of thinking.”
—Erin Odom, creator of TheHumbledHomemaker.com and author of Your Retreat: A Guide to Giving Yourself a Personal Planning Day
About the Author
SHEILA WRAY GREGOIRE is the author of numerous books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and To Love, Honor and Vacuum. Her refreshing approach to difficult relationship topics has made her a popular speaker across North America and earned her an online following in the hundreds of thousands. She and her husband, Keith, both avid birdwatchers, are now empty nesters. They're hitting the road in an RV, pulling over for speaking engagements, free wifi, and rare hawks.
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I'm reading it on my phone Kindle, which has the ability to "highlight" text.....there isn't much that ISN'T highlighted, LOL! Sheilas' writing is light, sometimes funny, thought provoking and definitely forces some introspection. Funny thing too is that as I read some of this it dawns on me "oh, my husband has been trying to tell me that for a long time"! I'm just not as resistant hearing it from someone else - and she's a better communicator :)
I have to confess that although I'm a Christian, I'm not a heavily participating one, and I was concerned that this book might be a little TOO religious and "do as God says" for me, but as long as you believe in God at all, this book will improve your marriage.
One thing that stuck out to me was when Sheila says, in chapter 7, "But instead of listening to understand [my husband], I was listening for loopholes." I cannot agree enough as I too struggle with this tendency. I will wait to hear my husband use phrases like "you ALWAYS do ________" or "you NEVER do __________" and then try and prove him wrong with whatever "proof" I can come up with, and then like Sheila said, "All I had to do was find an exception and I could leave his argument in the dust!" This is something I've decided just isn't worth it anymore. It does nothing to improve my marriage and does nothing to improve my communication with my husband.
Sheila also provides "action steps" throughout each chapter to help apply whatever 9 thoughts she discusses. For example, she challenges you to identify your unmet needs in your marriage, and then explains how you should discuss these with your spouse (writing them down all at once, with both spouses having the opportunity to identify their unmet needs, and discussing in a kind and loving manner.)
This book was extremely easy to read, and I felt like I was listening to a wise, seasoned wife who was taking the time to discuss these issues with me in a heart-to-heart. There is humor, there is understanding, and there is truth. Too many times I try and talk to a friend about an issue I'm having, and we end up just both complaining about whatever problems we are facing in our marriage. Sheila challenges you to dig deeper instead of just find a gal-pal who can commiserate with you, even if what you're talking to your friend about is as lighthearted as airing frustrating about your husband's inability to throw a wrapper in a trash can instead of leaving it out on the counter. I have found that the more I bring up such lighthearted issues about my marriage with my friends, the more frustration builds up with whatever other issues I'm having in my marriage. So, stop. Closely examine your heart and be open to biblical instruction and advice from a wife who has been there. Sheila is offering her advice in this book for the taking, and i'm so grateful she has!
I have already begun to implement some of the things Sheila recommends. My marriage is improving! But I have to say, if you are not also adjusting your attitude and thoughts in repentance, and dealing with these issues with Jesus, you're not going to get anywhere. Sheila mentions this in her book too, in various ways. If you're not willing to humble yourself and admit you need to work on some things and that it's not JUST your husband that is giving you issues, you won't have any improvement. But if you go into this with a willing heart, and are willing to let your thoughts and attitudes be challenged...this is a great resource to use.
Truly, even if you aren't a Christian, these 'thoughts' can be applied to your marriage as well. For #1, Be kind to your husband. Treat him as your neighbor because he is one. That's a pretty simple thing to do, isn't it.