We’re officially clocking in on our second year of marriage today, and I’d give this whole married thing a solid two thumbs up. So far, we’re 2 for 2 as far as amazing years of marriage go.
After birthdays and Christmas and Valentine’s Day, we both felt like our gift-giving abilities were limited so we’ve made it a tradition (2 years in a row counts as a tradition, right?) to go in on a gift together for our anniversary and pick out something that is edifying to our marriage or brings us closer.
I’ll be sharing about the gift we chose this year next week on the blog (some related exciting news coming soon–stay tuned!) but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve learned from last year’s anniversary gift.
His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair-Proof Marriage
We thought we had read all the marriage books before we got married, but we were wrong. This one is my favorite because the author isn’t afraid to deal with the reality of a married relationship.
Central to the book is the concept of a “Love Account” that we each have with everyone else in our lives. When we feel loved, a deposit is made in the account. When we feel hurt, a withdrawal is taken out. For two budget nerds, this double-entry accounting method of describing a relationship had a great appeal but I understand that it sounds a little too mathematical to some.
These Love Accounts explain why you can be in love with our spouse/significant other but still have an affair with someone else. You can have two love accounts with lots of deposits each with two different people. As you can tell by the title, the book then describes how to keep withdrawals to a minimum with your spouse and how to avoid making the wrong kind of deposits in someone’s love account who isn’t. What I really appreciated about this perspective is that it explains why
(A) trust and love can be eroded but recovered
(B) it’s easy to get stuck in a non-stellar relationship (romantic or otherwise) but not be able to let go if the love deposits are just marginally greater than the love withdrawals.
One of the ways we can make deposits in the right love accounts is by enjoying recreational time together. During the chapter on this need for joint leisure, the author frankly states that if you don’t share any favorite activities, you’ll need to do some brainstorming to find mutually enjoyable hobbies and then ditch your favorites to make time.
We hear about sacrifices in marriages in vague terms, but I loved the bluntness of this author’s approach. Being married might mean giving up your favorite activities. And that’s okay.
All this to say, read the book. Whether you’re married, engaged, dating, or not interested, it’s an insightful look at how we love. It’s encouraged me to not always insist on my way. It’s also inspired me to be more intentional about finding ways to make those deposits into Luke’s love account.
For a $12 book, I’d say that’s a pretty good ROI.