Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reading for the 21st Century Bride (and Groom)

I'm currently in the process, as you regular readers know, of a series about my transition out of singleness and into married-ness. Here is a review of some books I've been reading lately that are great reads for the modern bride - or the modern single women who wants to better understand men or herself!

I was blessed recently, when a friend of mine, who is also one of my bridesmaids, Sarah Martin-Werntz, along with her husband, sent Curby and I a few books as an engagement present.

The first two books were a companion series called "Couples Only." One is "For Women Only" and describes research on men and what men are thinking/feeling/wanting/needing. The other is "For Men Only" and does the same for women. From what I hear, there are a lot of books out there to help men and women understand each other "Love & Respect", "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" etc. The two books Myles and Sarah sent are similar but are smaller and maybe cover more topics (? I haven't read the others, so I don't really know).

This series has been a great read for Curby and me. We have both learned more about each other, and it has led to some great discussions surrounding our emotions and how we're feeling. It has also opened the door for us to say to each other "You do a great job of this!" or "Now I understand why when you do this, I feel this way," or "...when I do this you respond this way" and "OH! I could do more of THAT to bless you, right?"

The "For Women Only" book has also led to some great conversations with me and my friends! I'll say, "I learned this _________, and this is how it changed me....." and they'll say, "What?! I never knew that _________" or "Oh yeah, I learned that one the hard way by making this mistake __________". Even Curby's book "For Men Only" has helped me learn about myself and has led to some great conversations with my friends as I realize that I am always thinking about all different aspects of my life, and Curby may only be thinking about one thing at a time - as my friend Dave says, "Women are like dry erase boards, men are like file cabinets."

If you are dating, in the process of getting married, or married - or just interested in learning about the opposite sex, I HIGHLY recommend this series. I have been so blessed by Myles' and Sarah's thoughtfulness in giving it to us, and I plan to pass the books along to others on their relationship journeys, as well.

The third book I've been reading - and really, I JUST started it today, is called "The Conscious Bride: Women Unveil their True Feelings About Getting Hitched." Essentially, it is a book about the feelings and experiences that people (women primarily) go through in the marriage process, and how to go through them in a healthy and complete way. Sarah told me about it before even reading my blog post about grief and joy in the marriage process! I've only started it and I can tell that there are going to be major parts that I connect to. I know that for me, as I wrote in that earlier post, the feelings of grief were kind of a surprise to me - no one had mentioned it before - so I am really excited to read a book that talks about the transitions that women go through as they leave daughterhood/singlehood and move into wifehood/marriedhood/motherhood, etc. I think that this book will be a great companion on my journey toward marriage - which is happening just a short 3 months and 10 days from today (ahhhh!!!).

This book is for you if you: are thinking of getting married, are married and you feel like your experience differed from the modern "sunshine and roses" myth, or if you are just interested in being more conscious of your identity transitions in your life in general.

A note: Some of us are older brides (like me!). This means that we may have had a lot of other life transitions already that a younger bride might not have - for example, I feel like I transitioned out of being "Chris and Warren's daughter, Tiffani" to being "Tiffani, daughter of Chris and Warren" years ago. So my identity crisis may not come in that transition, but in the transition from a singleton to being part of a couple. But also, I have been dealing with how my relationship (friendship) with my mom will likely change as a result of living with someone else who has my first attention. My point is, the transitions may be slightly different for all of us, but are still valid and worth exploring. I'm excited to be on this journey with Curby, and excited to share it with you, my friends, as well.


Amanda said...

Those sound like great books! Thanks for sharing. I've been reading "Love and Respect," and I loving the insights I get into the male mind. It's also nice to know that the way I act isn't always ME; it's women everywhere :)

Mel Gruver said...

i remember these for couples only books from my time living with Sarah (her and Myles were going through them at the time, I thumbed thru them and she and I would chat a little about them as well) They seemed interesting. I can't help but be frustrated tho that almost ALL the books for couples have images of white couples on the cover, so I'm a bit turned of from purchasing them. At any rate- I'm glad that you are making the most out of premarriage reading.

May I suggest to anyone interested that "getting Marriage Right" by david gushee is fantastic! He was my professor in college and he led a FANTASTIC book club for the text which I would have to say the reflective moments in that reading really prepared me for the way I view marriage and life in general.

love ya, lady!

Tiffani R said...

I definitely feel what you are saying, Melissa, about the covers always being white people. I can say that despite that, the Concious Bride, especially, makes an effort to be inclusive within the text.

Thanks also for the Gushee recommendation! :)