[Book Review] Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married

This is a great read from a very knowledgeable and cool cat. Brad and I were quite excited when we came across this book and I’m even more excited to share my findings with you.


The basics

Things I Wish I'd Known by Gary Chapman book coverTitle: Things I wish I’d Known Before We Got Married

Author: Gary Chapman

Publisher: Northfield Publishing (September 2010)

Pages: 176

ISBN-10: 0-8024-8183-3

D&L Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


What inspired you to pick this book up?

Brad and I have been quite dedicated to reading relationship/marriage prep books over the past year. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t read them because we feel we have to. We dive into these books because we’re earnestly interested in learning about how to keep our relationship running like a well oiled machine. And after reading another of Chapman’s books (5 Love Languages), we knew that his reads were insightful and enjoyable. 

While I was on Amazon looking for our next book, “Things I Wish I’d Known” came up in the suggestions. Brad and I started reading not much longer after my find. This time around we tried a different tactic though. We borrowed a paper copy of the book and the audiobook from library, shared headphones, and read along in the book while the narrator guided us through (stopping from time to time to discuss or ask questions). This technique worked so well for us that I’ve considered trying it out with my own personal reads.

What is the author’s writing style like?

Same as last time – Simple, wise, revelational, and anecdotal. Chapman touches on all of the important topics in an inclusionary way and leaves no stone unturned. Each chapter is footed with a series of questions that encourage couples to do a deeper dive into the topic they would have just read about.

Who is this book best suited to?

Couples who are working towards marriage – whether in the hoping stage or the actual planning stages.

What impact has this book made on me?

Brad and I  have both greatly benefited from this book. We’ve been friends for 8 years now and best friends for the majority of that. Sometimes we can approach things with the mindset of “I already know all there is to know about him/her” which is great because it’s indicative of how much we’ve come to know each other over these years. But there’s always something to learn about each other and your relationship. It’s a continuous, imperfect work in progress. So, this book had us engaging in discussions about some things that we hadn’t thought of and that you know … we just assumed the other person knew about or understood. 

Some of the topics were a wakeup call and a reminder to never be complacent. We realized that being best friends for a long time and even reading books like this isn’t enough. We have to constantly be ready and willing to discuss, explore, forgive, and learn.

Speaking about discussions, the chats that Brad and I had while reading this book were incredibly enriching. The questions at the end of each chapter helped us to articulate and explain our thoughts, aspirations, and expectations. And just imagine – the idea of this blog came about in one of those discussions!

Biggest takeaway(s)?

Oh, where do I start?! I learned that my tingles were short, I’m at the intentional stage, I can be very much like my mother, I prefer to meet in the middle, others should accept responsibility, more forgiveness needs to be applied, I won’t be cleaning the washroom, I’m a big spender, we’ve been given two ears and one mouth for a reason, just me and you plus many others, our spirituality is on par, half full and half empty, babbling brook slob, organized aggressive, sometimes a professor and sometimes a dancer. And most of all – I still have a lot to learn about Brad (and maybe myself too). No idea what I’m talking about? You’ll just have to read the book  😉 

Favorite quote?

“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. 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.”

It’s a reminder to get to the good stuff .. the important stuff. I don’t even like those maraschino cherries anyway!

Least favourite part?

There is a chapter entitled “That mutual sexual fulfillment is not automatic” that … ahem … ahahahah … was kind of awkward to read and discuss. I understood the importance of it even as we both shyly glanced at the title when we arrived at that chapter. Sex and money (wait! not together! as separate topics) are huge factors in a marriage yet people often shy away from talking about them … who wouldda thought!? Doesn’t mean I didn’t giggle like an 8 year old though.

Which hashtags would you use for this book?

#marriage #relationships #doinItRight #askthetoughquestions #preparation #inittowinit #engagement

Would you recommend this book and why?

Seriously, “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” is a must read for anyone who is considering getting married. In a relationship you should constantly be striving to making improvements and growing and this book certainly helps facilitate that.

The decision to get married is one of the biggest life decisions you’ll make. We put so much effort into researching our next laptop or phone purchase because we want to make sure that what we’re about to invest significant resources into will reap joy and benefit. Why not put the same amount of effort  when choosing marriage? You’ll want to make sure you’re making an informed decision and preparing yourself as best possible for this next big step. This book is a great tool for you and your future spouse to be in the know and ready for the next phase. Trust me, this book will not disappoint. 


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