What Men Say Motivates in Marriage And WW Linkup!

buoys in marriage

I’m back from Christmas vacation and I have to tell you, it’s been hard to get back into the swing of blogging again. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but currently I feel a bit burned out by it all, since my life at the moment has less margin than I would like for it to have.

In fact, my word for 2016 is “Release,” so I may be releasing some connections or interactions here to a degree over this next year in an effort to deal with this problem. I absolutely HATE doing that, but it is where I find myself in life. I hope you’ll understand. 🙂

Today I want to pick up where we left off unpacking the “Men and Openness” survey results by dealing with the next question on the survey.

Question #3 – What outside sources motivate or have motivated you to be open and share your feelings with your spouse? (I allowed the men to choose all that applied.)

Here’s what they said …
40.68% – Marriage or relationship books I’ve read.
38.98% – My involvement in a small group of some kind that has stirred me to consider my feelings.
37.29% – Conferences, sermons, or other times of teaching.
37.29% – Counseling
8.47% – When I was growing up my family demonstrated and encouraged openness.

The results of this question do not really surprise me. They are probably where I would have ranked based upon my own life. I might have put small group involvement over marriage books, but that’s because it is often in the context of a small group that I work through a particular marriage book.

I, for one, have seen the amazing power of friends opening up about their marriage struggles and discussing the principles of a particular marriage book in light of their own relationships that has chiseled away at my stony heart and myopic perspective. #doesnotgetbetter

I also notice that the top four responses on question number 3 are so very close that it seems they are ALL powerful catalysts of change in men’s marriages—and I would venture to say it is the same for women. 😉

So this leads me to ask you, in particular the men who read this blog, …

[Tweet “How active are you in working through a marriage book with your wife? #getlearning”]
[Tweet “How active are you in going through a small group experience with your wife? #getinvolved”]

Remember …

[Tweet “Marriage takes work and that work is best done in the presence of godly friends.”]

I’d like to offer some suggestions on marriage and relationship books that I have found especially helpful to me and my husband.

Boundaries in Marriage
This is one of my all-time favorites! I am a big fan of Cloud and Townsend and like their Boundaries book, but feel Boundaries in Marriage is far superior, easier to comprehend, and more practical. Just sayin’!

Intimacy in Marriage

Families Where Grace is in Place

Here are two suggestions for wives only …

Emotionally Healthy Woman

Super Mom Myth
This one is the premier book by our bloggy friend, Becky Kopitzke. 🙂 I’m going to be doing a review and giveaway on this book in two weeks, so I hope you’ll check it out on the 20th. This book covers both marriage and motherhood and is an incredible read, my friends!

Which of the top four sources of support—marriage books, small groups, conferences or counseling—are you currently pursuing?


What books or conferences would you recommend to Messy Marriage’s readers?


If you feel like your marriage needs more than a book or a small group can offer, then consider marriage counseling or life-coaching. Currently, I am all booked-up on my coaching practice, but if you live in my neck-of-the-woods, I could give you some referrals if you contact me. Another great source of referrals can be found at Focus on the Family.

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, DanceWithJesusFriday and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Join our Wedded Wednesday Linkup!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to Wedded Wednesday or Messy Marriage as well. For Wedded Wednesday guidelines and buttons, click here.

Messy Marriage
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13 responses to “What Men Say Motivates in Marriage And WW Linkup!”

  1. Beth, I’m a big fan of Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s Boundary books too. Glad to see you back. I’m always evaluating where I’m to spend my time. I know God will honor your heart and lead you. God bless!


  2. Hi Beth! It is so good to see you back! I am so sorry you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. I will be praying for God to show you the right things to release! I know… it’s not easy to make those choices!
    For us, I’d say Godly friends and books, but I can’t say there is one in particular I would recommend. It has been a long while since we have worked through a book together! Thank you for the good suggestions, though 🙂
    Much love,


  3. I took a much needed rest over Christmas and I do feel that it has helped my feeling of being overwhelmed and tired.
    After we moved in September and found a new church, one of the very first things we did was find a small group to join. Small groups are very important in our family…it was in a small group that launched my hubby into a relationship with Christ!


  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Of those four…none of them.

    I’m a reader, Barb reds leadership stuff, counseling and conferences are financially out of reach, and there’s no way I can participate in a small group.

    I’d like to say we’ve overcome the obstacles, and found another way. I’d like to say it.



  5. Absolutely LOVE the Boundaries book, too – really helped me change some unhelpful patterns that I had developed in my life. (Although when my hubby first saw the title, he said “it sounds like a way to close off your spouse…”. It’s actually quite the opposite, but the comment is telling…
    I “get” the overwhelmed feeling, Beth, working on that one m’self… My word for 2016 is “Endure”, as in: to last. Hoping that helps me focus a little better on getting rid of the superfluous…
    But back to your post: Paul and I get started on books together, but I don’t think we’ve ever finished one 😦 We’re involved in a small group at church, but your post makes me consider looking for a group that might be more focused on marriage issues…. Hmm…something to think about.
    So glad to see you here and share in the party again today! Wishing you all the best in 2016 ~ and looking forward to see how “Release” works out for you!!!


  6. Thanks for tweeting about this. I think our church small group could benefit from a study! Your ideas prompt me to speak up to our friends about doing one!


  7. Such an excellent post and reminder that our marriages need to continually be invested in. Have you read “His Need, Her Needs” yet? The concept of filling your spouses love-bank is something that really resonated with me. It’s a book that I highly recommend to couples.


  8. I’ve read and was greatly impacted by the Boundaries book, but haven’t read the Marriage one. Sounds like I should! My husband doesn’t read books much and as he’s not a believer (yet!), small groups are not possible…but we have done the five love languages test and talked through the Boundaries book and both were helpful…but the biggest help has been making the time to sit, listen and chat through things.


  9. Welcome back and Happy New Year! I am relating to your difficulty in getting back into the swing of blog business. I was only away a week and was feeling rusty. Life goes on and it is starting to kick up a notch or two since the new year began. I will be praying for you as you learn balance, release the extras to God and follow Him as you move forward.

    I am a small group person because developing relationships are very important to me. With that said, I have found great direction and insight from books, many of which are read on my own. I love hearing that men benefit from small group too because I hear more about women engaging in them. Thank you for your words!


  10. Lots of good suggestions, here!

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing your survey results.


  11. I completely understand the release thing, and also how hard it is to come back after a break! I took a break as well, and I’m struggling to get back to the routine. Sometimes, though, you really just need to recharge. There’s just so much work, as you know, in one post, and I’m back to work after a break, and helping a variety of people/friends with things–and staying on top of a FLEA PROBLEM of all things! Oy vey! But it’s all good. There is a blog in the flea thing too, I’m sure. Good to see you again, my friend. I found the results to that question interesting in that the percentage who chose the last choice was so low. Makes you realize that there aren’t a whole lot of non-dysfunctional families out there! (Oops, I think that’s a double negative-but functional is so overused! haha)


  12. Books and small groups have definitely helped us so much! Last year, our small group read “His Needs, Her Needs” and it sparked a lot of great conversation. I felt closer to my husband and to the rest of the group after that study. Some other books I’ve loved are “The 5 Love Languages” and “For Women Only/For Men Only.” All great!


  13. If it’s on my heart and bothering me? It’s important enough to tell hubs. I leave nothing concealed. God likes Truth in the secret places – so I think marriage should too!


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