It's been 5 years since writing this review and I'm now going on 15 years of marriage this May (2014). My husband and I still use this book. I've loaned out and given away many copies. I came back tonight to order another one and noticed my original review here so I thought I would let you know how much we still enjoy this book. The questions are still my favorite part and we will sometimes repeat questions because we've found out that the answer can change. Nowadays with four children and extracurricular activities we don't go on dates as often as we used to. When we do have time quality time together we do our best to meet each other's needs. For instance, we have used more of the date ideas given in the book. I wouldn't have thought I was the type of girl who would want a date to focus on shopping for clothes for me, one of the ideas, HOWEVER once we did it and I knew my husband was choosing to do this and ok with it, I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. Usually I wouldn't have made him sit through the torture of trying on clothes trying to find what fits my now older, lumpy and bumpy body. Not to mention the tears that can accompany trying on clothes. Well he stayed with me and we both had fun picking out items that looked attractive on me and what I felt attractive in. Now when getting dressed I can easily pick an outfit and find I feel better about myself and how I look. I feel attractive to my husband. What a wonderful feeling that is. Again, I still believe the questions are the best part but I am putting stock in these date ideas now that we've tried more of them. Interesting thing, one night we ended up spending hours in one of his favorite stores updating his wardrobe too. It wasn't planned, we stopped in to return a pair of shoes he purchased and ended up spending our entire evening there. I did have to assure him I was ok with this. It took a couple of times saying that I wanted to be there and encourage him to enjoy himself and shop, just as he had said to me on my outing. It was a lot of fun and I'm happy to have put not only my time but our money towards him. He is the most important thing to me after only my relationship with God, and by choosing to use our time and money this way is a way of saying "I think you are important and you are worth it."
This is a great book. I have been married for 10 years this May (2009) and have three, almost four, children with my husband. I have loaned this book to many different friends and have actually ended up giving it many times as a present. Our marriage has had the normal bumps in the road, but we do our best to stay close and handle those bumps in a way where each spouse feels love and acceptance. What does this has to do with the book. Well, in my humble opinion the best part of the book is that is gets you talking to each other. And these talks help you to know, to love, and to understand each other more. Thus, getting through everyday problems and the not-so-everyday problems in a loving, healthy way.
The book is broken into two halves. Each half is for one spouse to read giving date ideas to meet specific needs of the other spouse. Both halves have five sections, one section per need. For instance, the needs met for the wife are friendship, encouragement and affirmation, spiritual intimacy, emotional intimacy and oommunication, and unconditional love and acceptance. The needs met for the husband are spiritual intamacy, encouragement and affirmation, friendship, sexual intimacy, and unconditional love and acceptance. Each section provides multiple date ideas, preparation steps, tips, and then discussion questions geared to meeting that specific need.
I personally believe that the discussion questions are the highlight of the book. The date ideas are nice and can be creative, but while out on a date it is almost impossible to not talk about work or kids. The questions allow you to get to know each other better. Take turns answering the question. Or just let one spouse answer while the other spouse listens. Either way, time passes too quickly and before you know it, it is time to go home. But this time when you go home, you should feel closer to each other. Have a better understanding of each other. The intimacy should be there. Sometimes, after the kids are in bed we'll snuggle on the couch with the book and go through some questions.
Some of the questions are:
- What is the best compliment I could give you?
- What are a few things that refresh you the most?
- How can we set the right atomosphere in our marriage so that both of us feel safe sharing secrets and feelings with each other?
- What do you think prevents couples from becoming or staying best friends?
- Are you (the wife) satisified with how I (the husband) make decisions for our family? Why or Why not? What can I do better?
- When do you feel the most distant from me? Does that feeling cause you to want to draw closer, move further away, or stay where you are until the feeling goes away?