Does a happy marriage start with a simple approach?
Corey Allan thinks so, and his e-book, aptly named “A Simple Marriage,” applies this belief directly and deeply. You may recognize Simple Marriage because it’s also the name of Corey’s highly successful marriage blog (where I have the honor of being featured as a monthly columnist).
Corey is a Ph.D. and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, so he has the professional credentials to share some powerful advice on building extraordinary marriages. He’s also been a husband for 16 years and he’s a Dad to two kids, so I guess he has the right “street cred” as well. 🙂
Before I sat down to read A Simple Marriage, I had some preconceived ideas in mind about what it would contain based on my faithful following of the Simple Marriage blog for nearly a year now and my own ideas on marriage. I thought the book would focus on better communication, some advice on decluttering, some urging to “grow up” and not be such a Nice Guy or Gal, and some stories from Corey’s experience in counseling. And I figured this wisdom would be wrapped in the context of Dr. Allan’s strong Christian foundation.
Well, this book contains all of those things, but not in the same form or from the same perspective as I expected.
A Simple Marriage is not as much a sit-down-and-read book as it is a workbook that requires some deep thinking and personal introspection. The book had plenty of good advice, but it seemed to have an equal number of probing, soul-searching questions.
I was also a little surprised to discover that the majority of the book did not focus on a couples-united approach to building a better marriage. Instead, most of the exercises are to be completed individually (most have you compare notes with your spouse afterward), and many focus squarely on the vision, purpose and plan for each spouse as their own man or woman.
This focus on the individual first follows Corey’s philosophy, which is stated in bold in the first chapter:
Marriage is designed to grow us up into better humans and I am responsible for my growth, not my spouse’s.
I have to be honest to say this seemed a bit strange at first based on my own strong, spiritual beliefs that marriage is all about the “two becoming one” and my preferred practice of working on marriage enhancement primarily from a couple-first approach. However, I completely respect Corey’s perspective of working first on yourself in order to be a better spouse…after all, he’s the doctor. 🙂
The bottom line is that I enjoyed A Simple Marriage, and I think those couples who are willing to take the time to complete the exercises and work individually to better understand and then improve themselves will be doing a real service to their marriage.
If you are looking for action-packed, quick action exercises that you complete while sitting together and talking as a couple, this e-book is not for you. However, if you are ready to examine yourself and work at improving your own life for the sake of your spouse and family, I’d recommend you work through A Simple Marriage.
By the way, here’s a rundown of the chapters to give you a little more insight into the topics covered:
1. Stretch your thinking
2. Faith and design
3. The vision of a marriage fully alive
4. Survey yourself
5. Live from a deep place
6. The power of purpose
7. Levels of consciousness
8. Marriage designing: Are you thriving or surviving?
9. Living a fulfilled life
10. Marriage design
11. Daily delicious habits
12. What gets in your way?
Please also note that Corey stands behind his product and offers a 100% full money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.