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Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,245 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Gary Chapman writes, "Most people spend far more time in preparation for their vocation than they do in preparation for marriage." No wonder the divorce rate hovers around fifty percent. Bestselling author and marriage counselor Gary Chapman hopes to change that with his newest book. Gary, with more than 35 years of experience counseling couples, believes that divorce is t...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Northfield Publishing (first published 2010)
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The Five Love Languages by Gary ChapmanDomination & Submission by Michael MakaiLove and Respect by Emerson EggerichsSheet Music by Kevin LemanFor Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
Must-Read Marriage Books
22nd out of 58 books — 71 voters
The Five Love Languages by Gary ChapmanThe Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie OmartianLove and Respect by Emerson EggerichsI'm Getting Married! Preparing Your Heart for a Lifetime by Jim GrunsethNocturne, Opus 1 by Norene Moskalski
Great books on Christian Marriage
9th out of 36 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

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This is the must read book before we get married. Seriously. So practical !!

Kita selalu dengar " No one plan to fail but they fail to plan " - bunyinya ala2 macam tu la kan.

Semua orang kalau boleh nak kawin sekali je seumur hidup tapi masalanya takda sapa yg pnh plan betul2. Kalau pasal bercuti ka bekerja kita plan dari awal kenapa tidak mengenai perkahwinan. Kalau majlis kawin pun kita plan bagai kenapa tidak mengenai kehidupan selepas itu yg pastinya lebih lama.

Dan utk plan itu,saya syorkan p...more
I guess some might find it odd that someone who's been married for 39 years would read a book writen FOR those who are dating and considering marriag. Well, it was written by a man after he'd been married for quite a few years and there were things he felt were worth knowing, thinking about and talking about BEFORE couples got married; that might actually be useful to know b/c you might just NOT be making the best decision, even though these couples declare they are "in love".
I think a book lik...more
Arwa Basha
Sep 28, 2013 Arwa Basha marked it as to-read
نفسي ألاقيه جدا

Very quick read that I think covered a lot of ground. Its a recommended read for SJSP church for incoming students and I was glad to get three copies to share and then donate to the church. Good date questions and makes me want to read romance novels with this in mind as well as do some movie reviews in light with this knowledge. With so many marriages not making it through the challenges of life, if this is a tool that makes people pause, think and reflect to make sure they are ready for the co...more
If you like talk radio, then you can listen to this audiobook. Certain genres, for example fantasy, where authors spit names and countries spoken in no known language, don't lend themselves to audiobook form. They require attention to retain important details and follow plot movement. I expect all but the supreme multi-taskers can digest audiobooks only during the most menial chores, e.g. driving and washing dishes.

Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married, subject broad, language and conce...more
Sep 06, 2011 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: See my review ;)
Recommended to Brittany by: Gigill
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
How I Came To Read This Book: My sister had it in her suitcase, and she's currently visiting, so I read it.

The Plot: This book is written by a marriage counselor who himself has been in a long-term marriage - but not without its problems. In 12 short and sweet chapters he details, as the title says, things he wishes he had known before he got married. Each 'issue' is tied back both to conflicts in his own marriage, and to the clients he works with. At the end of each chapter, he provides you wit...more
Like many of Gary Chapman's books, this is a fast, easy read filled with useful and practical suggestions. Several of the topics covered in this book at topics I have regularly discussed with people over the last 30 years. My top picks would be How romantic feeling need aren't enough, that you need to work to keep love going. Understanding differences and choosing to love your partner in a way that is meaningful to them. How forgiveness and apologizing are key to making a marriage work. How back...more
Angela Marie
it's great! my boyfriend and i read at least one chapter a week. we schedule specific time for us to read this book and go through it together. definitely recommend this for dating couples... or as the book says, even married couples, or single people!
you can learn what to expect, the changes that can happen, wishes and desires. it also brings up great conversation, things you'd most definitely rather know before marriage.

and don't think you don't need it! my boyfriend and i are the most open a...more
I wasn't very far into this book when I realized that I was probably not Mr. Chapman's target audience. Yes, I'm engaged, and I'm trying to enter into my marriage thoughtfully. But I'm also not 19, religious, and in the throes of a new love affair so passionate it makes me lose all sense of reason and expect love will conquer all. Perhaps for someone in that state, this book would be more of a helpful guide, since it's much more of a basic primer about how to have an adult relationship. But sinc...more
I read Gary Chapman’s book “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” as part of a campus ministry program with my Church. The intent of the book is to provide those considering marriage some issues to reflect on that most dating couples do not think about prior to walking down the aisle. The overriding theme of the book is that during the traditional Western courtship process, people get so focused on being in love and having found “the one” that it is easy to ignore many of the mundane fa...more
I think the idea of this book is great. It's a good idea to talk about a range of issues with your significant other prior to getting married. The book covered the little things, like cleaning, and the big things, like religion. The book also gave advice on arguing, apologizing, forgiving, etc.

Despite the good premise, I didn't really care for the book. There were several things I did not like.

First, my impression from reading this book is that the author and his wife must have gotten married...more
Lindsey Riley
As a part of our pre-marital counseling through his church, my fiance and I read this book and went over it with a mentor couple. The author, the same guy who wrote The Five Love Languages, broke down the twelve things he wished he had known before he and his wife got hitched. He claims that if they had discussed and prepared in each of these areas, the early years of life with his wife would have been less filled with disappointment, disillusionment, resentment, arguments, guilt, and discourage...more
Jun 22, 2014 AbbyJoy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Singles, Couples, Men, Women
This is a book that was assigned to a college class that I wanted to take, but unfortunately was not able to due to conflicting schedules. The class was about marriage and family matters, and I had a lot of friends who were able to take the class. They all agreed that it was the best book assigned to the class, and recommended it. I bought it, but only got the chance to read it now.

Chapman pointed out twelve different areas that most couples don't take the time to discuss prior to marriage, and...more
Liz DeCoster
Seemed a bit geared towards younger couples who don't have a lot of real, adult experiences under their belt, so some of the advice has kind of a "duh" feel to it. Also, as a non-Christian, some of the religious and spiritual components of the advice didn't really fit for me.
Aaron Torres
Short read that gives singles, couples, or married folks some critical questions to ask themselves and each other. Those questions could lead to ending an unhealthy marriage or strengthening a waning one.
Libby Morris
SO grateful for Dr. Chapman's honesty about the struggles he and his wife went through at the beginning of their marriage. Great lessons and practical applications!
Tiana Marie
I think this book gave good advice, but due to me being in a relationship for four years I found some of it to be somewhat obvious. There were specific chapters that stood out to me that I know will help very much in the future. The fact that this book slightly glossed-over the 5 love languages has made me want to read that book soon, I found the online questionnaire to be very accurate for me in finding my primary love language. I finished the book in one day, a quick, simple, to-the-point read...more
Michael Brown
As you can tell by the title of this book, it targets those who are thinking about getting married, in the process of, and newlyweds. I would even suggest this book for a marriage on the rocks; it might help give that couple the chance to step back, look at everything, and possibly see where they can work in order to save the marriage.

I have to admit, my first reaction when I opened this book wasn’t that great. The first thing I read was “On a scale of 0-10, how strongly do you feel the “tingles...more
Izandra Mascarenhas

This book simply saved my marriage. There are things that we know intuitively, but that we do not give due attention; unless a renowned therapist say in a book. And I always spent away from self help books! But this definitely can't be considered a book whatsoever. It shows the real situation of a couple on a daily basis, what every newlywed (and even those that have longer relationships) pass. The ways to solve, what the author makes us see... Is that makes all the difference.

Hanna Caldwell
Maybe it's because I majored in family studies so I've heard/read a LOT of things on strengthening marriages or because I've heard the 5 languages of love one to many times or because this is a book mainly for dating or engaged couples but this book didn't really offer any new insights for me for how to strengthen my marriage. After reading a lot of reviews it sounded like it gave great ideas for already married couples as well, but I felt like once the author brought up something he wished he w...more
Taryn Brittany
I'm a big fan of Gary Chapman's writing, having already read The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts and The Five Love Languages for Singles. In his latest book, Chapman, an experienced counselor, shares his wisdom about the different stages of love and the common problems that all couples face. Using examples from his own marriage and stories of those he has counseled, Chapman provides expert advice on arguing, apologizing, and forgiving your partner. He also asks readers to cons...more
I was given this book AFTER we got married. And even then it was helpful and enjoyable to read.

At first glance I saw things about love languages and groaned but it was actually really informative, it described us in our different "languages" and explained what makes us tick. It was relatable.
My husband and I would talk about the topics in there as I read through each one - topics which we probably wouldn't have covered until much later on in our marriage.

It was fun. There were a few things in...more
Whether you're already married or intend to be in the near/far future, this is a good book to read. Marriage, like any relationship (but even moreso), requires work; half the battle when it comes to a successful marriage is knowing and acknowledging that up front.

If the name Gary Chapman sounds familiar, he's the one behind the delineation and categorization of the five languages of love-- as well as their counterpart, the five languages of apology. (Who knew?)

It is definitely possible to read t...more
Casa Cărţii
Apr 29, 2013 Casa Cărţii rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tineri necăsătoriţi, tineri proaspăt căsătoriţi, consilieri premaritali, pastori
Marele atu al cărţii e acela că, într-o vreme în care îndrăgosteala e zeul suprem şi adesea devine un tiran feroce, aduce în discuţie nişte teme inevitabile, practice cu care tinerii ajung să se confrunte în scurtă vreme după ce „s-au luat”.

Autorul avertizează că e bine ca aspiranţii la căsătorie să fie pregătiţi pentru momentul în care fluturii din stomac se vor fi împrăştiat pe la casele lor. Şi că viaţa în doi conţine o seamă întreagă de aspecte anoste şi chiar situaţii conflictuale, extrem d...more
This short, concise book was very helpful and had a lot of good ideas. I like that the author relates his personal experiences in his own relationship as examples, and I like the brief little recaps of his ideas from other books. It was enough to give you the general idea without you having to go and get a whole other book! I especially found the section on love languages helpful. I am definitely a 'quality time' person, and being able to articulate to my partner that this is a way he can expres...more
This book has a lot of substance despite it being a very short and easy read. There are quite a bit of Christian and even biblical references throughout which you may or may not appreciate. Chapman goes through a series of issues he wish he had discussed with his wife before they got married. The twelve different areas are explored with examples from Chapman's own counselling experiences. Unfortunately, the book ends at raising the issues and it offers few tangible solutions to overcoming differ...more
Great read for serious couples pursuing marriage or engaged couples. Love the questions at the end.

For couples who have been together for a really long time, some of these things will not be relevant because you will have already learned these things or explored the topics, but it's still a good reminder to not get wrapped up in the overly romanticized view of marriage. It's a good, quick read.
Amanda Simmons
There are many good points made here in "Things I Wish..." Some of which I have heard before, and others that I had not. Since I am currently in a relationship with a great guy, this was given to me to read by one of my mentors (aka MOM). I'm not sure if we would discuss every topic in this book RIGHT NOW in our relationship, but down the road...Yes.

Don Weidinger
average initial romantic span 2years, emotional next appreciation service gifts time touch, as parents, conflict builds skills and relationship, apology and forgiveness, sorry specific to change request forgiveness, problems after made money, twice divorce with history of sex, plan to succeed.
Abner Huertas
Aunque aún no planeo casarme "Cosas que hubiera querido saber antes de habernos casado" me ha dado una panorámica totalmente diferente a lo que muchas veces uno de soltero considera de lo que es el matrimonio, desde cuidar pequeños detalles como lo es quién limpia el baño, hasta los aspectos más importantes como lo es la espiritualidad y la iglesia.

Si bien es cierto que ninguno de nosotros nace sabiendo como llevar un matrimonio éxitoso, considero que es relevante que exista una preparación para...more
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Gary Chapman has traveled extensively around the world challenging couples to pursue healthy, growing marriages. His first book, Toward a Growing Marriage (Moody, 1979, 1996), began as an informal resource he gave to couples with whom he was counseling. Once officially published, this book became a blessing to thousands of people and helped launch Gary’s popular “Toward a Growing Marriage” seminar...more
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“People do not get married planning to divorce. Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in an intimate relationship.” 16 likes
“I think the tingles are important. They are real, and I am in favor of their survival. But they are not the basis for a satisfactory marriage. I am not suggesting that on should marry without the tingles. Those warm, excited feelings, the chill bumps, that sense of acceptance, the excitement of the touch that make up the tingles serve as the cherry on top of the sundae. But you cannot have a sundae with only the cherry.” 13 likes
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