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on March 18, 2016
Dr. Chapman is the author of the best-selling book, "The Five Love Languages".


1. Feelings of being "in love" cannot sustain a marriage, since the average life-span of these feelings is about two years. What sustains a marriage is spouses learning to communicate love in the forms that are most received by their partner.

2. We will often develop uncanny similarities to our parents, including their drinking habits, communication patterns, energy levels, and appearance.

3. Resolving marital disagreements without arguing. Truly listening to the other spouse in order to give an adequate summary of his or her perspective. Agreeing to disagree. Learning to compromise.

4. The importance of spouses making effective apologies for wrongdoing. Learning to speak your spouse's language of apology is more effective than just saying you are sorry. The five different ways of apologizing are 1) expressing regret, 2) accepting responsibility, 3) making restitution, 4) genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior, and 5) requesting forgiveness.

5. Forgiveness is one's decision to offer grace instead of demanding justice.

6. How spouses can agree on doing which household chores.

7. How spouses can most effectively manage their money, and what common major mistakes to avoid, such as purchasing a home they cannot afford, going out to eat too often, buying new cars, and buying too much alcohol. How to live on 80% of your income, give 10% to charity, and save 10%. How couples can agree not to buy something over a certain amount without consulting the other.

8. Resolving common sexual difficulties. Overcoming the myth that husband and wife must reach climax together. A husband should spend sufficient time caressing his wife. A husband participating in household chores will often increase desire in his wife for him. Spouses should only engage in sexual acts they are both comfortable with.

9. How spouses can develop good relationships with their in-laws, by learning to listen empathetically to them, speaking their particular love languages to them, and alternating holidays with them.

10. Spiritual compatibility in marriage has more to do with what each spouse believes in the way God speaks to them and what He has said.

11. How spouses can live with a partner who has very different habits, including Morning person vs. Night person, Optimist vs. Pessimist, Neat vs. Messy, Talker vs. Non-talker, Passive vs. Aggressive, Logical thinkers vs. Intuitive person, and Organizer vs. Spontaneous person.

12. Having a balanced dating relationship by attending to these areas of growth: Intellectual, Emotional, Social, Spiritual, and Physical.
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on May 29, 2015
My wife and I had a rocky relationship for many years. 8 months ago she died from colon cancer. She was diagnosed about a year before that. Our last year was our best year together. I didn't really understand why until I recently read a book -- Gary Chapman's Things I Wish I had Known Before I got Married. The book includes an abridged discussion of his other book The Five Love Languages. Reading this section I had one of the few "Aha" moments of my life. I gained a lot of insight into why our last year had been our best year and how, given this additional wisdom, we could have come closer during our tumultuous marriage. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
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on July 4, 2017
Most believe that the feeling of love, and attraction, is what's needed to have and instill a successful marriage, If only it were that easy. This read provides the framework for maintaining and preparing for a fulfilling marriage while keeping in perspective the inevitableness of conflict.
Some believe it's as easy as 1,2,3 as long as there's true love, without understanding the issue that there's Two totally different individuals with different upbringings, beliefs and opinions coming together; being joined in matrimony in the hope of a exciting and prosperous future.
The author argues and proves the concept that Love isn't enough, in which I'm sure individuals already married can testify that it takes commitment, and compromise to keep the marriage boat going. There will be times when you will have to pick up the slack for your partner, excuse their bad days, putting yourself last numerous times.
The fundamental belief incorporated within the pages, is that the reason most marriages fail is due to poor planning and understanding of their partners needs, love language and personality.
While in the "love stage", being on cloud nine, we bypass any indication of conflict because we love everything about our person and only want to make them happy. It's not until we slowly come back to reality that we are exposed to traits that "annoy" us. On how different they are from us, on how their beliefs don't align with ours. The way they wish to raise kids, the type of house they want, how they spend and save money, or the most famous, leaving the toilet seat up when it's supposed to be down.
Things I wish I'd known before we got married is a marriage counselors experience and research over numerous years on now to nurture the marriage many desire.
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on July 27, 2016
My boyfriend and I have really enjoyed this book. We bought 2 copies after one of our married friends suggested it to us. It's an easy read, the language is digestible. Please keep in mind that the problems that are mentioned in this book aren't things you have to solve in a day! They're simply things to think about and expect throughout your relationship, into engage tn and marriage.
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on April 20, 2016
Things that you wouldn't normally think of in a relationship are laid out here in this book, right on down to who will clean the toilet! I think this book is not only good for people who are currently engaged or in a serious relationship heading towards marriage, but also for people who will one day want to get married. Why wait until you're in the situation to try to figure things out? Read this book, think about your reactions to the scenarios presented by Dr. Chapman and figure out what really matters to you, what's a deal-breaker for you and what you're willing to compromise on (and how far will that compromise go). I will definitely be re-reading this book at some point.
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on November 27, 2017
This book has given me a new insight on things I wish I’d known many years ago. I recently had my fiancé break off our engagement & I am really trying to see the reasons why things may have fallen apart so quickly. We had great communication, a great relationship I thought ... but we both got way too comfortable too soon ... I think since we had been friends for 17 years prior to dating. Relationships take work to keep the spark alive & it’s important to know how to show love in the right ways. I am hopeful moving forward that Gary Chapman’s books will help build a stronger more confident me & I will know next time how to properly be in a fulfilling relationship.
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on August 7, 2016
I ordered this because I've been dating same guy for some time. We've both been married before and I wanted us to either have some premarital counseling or do a couple's study together before we make any "major" decision. I highly respect Gary Chapman's wisdom and godly advice and this book showed up in my Googling. I just finished the first chapter, and am waiting for the boyfriend and I to discuss tonight. My best girlfriend has already asked for a copy of this book, and she's on her second marriage.
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on January 14, 2018
I am not sure that we were the ideal audience for this book. The author describes his missteps and naivite in a perhaps exaggerated fashion, which makes me think that the book is aimed at a newer couple. We perhaps didn't quite get the full effect of the book.

However, it was still a worthwhile read for a not-quite-the-ideal-audience couple. There are a number of great tips in here, especially those on methods for communicating and interacting with your spouse. We still reference these years after reading the book. Perhaps most importantly for us, though, was the practical tip to sit down and divide up the chores – that has likely saved a lot of resentment and grumbling!
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on October 29, 2015
this is a useful book that introduced me to his GREAT steps for forgiveness and forgiveness languages that I have read is EVEN better than his books on forgiveness that are too fundamentalists for most of us and not psychologically sound. That kind of forgiveness I can be down with vs. the let the idiots maim you again balderdash and that it doesn't mean you automatically or ever trust the person again...great just for that..even though I'm not married and don't see any prospects right now. Good for all close relationships and to have in mind while dating
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on September 27, 2017
Read this! Made my 1st year of marriage way easier than it could have been! Front loaded a lot of our potential issues and worked them out before we got married so when we finally did, it was just awesome.
This is great for ANY year of marriage. Pre-married, 1st year, 20th year, any year there are applicable things!
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