Monday, October 28, 2013

Be Married to Your Best Friend (Without Changing Spouses)

Want your spouse to be your beloved and your best friend forever?
The Authors
Hal and Melanie Young do, too.  As I understand, that’s why they began writing My Beloved and My Friend: How To be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses.  They wanted to create a written legacy for their children and others about how to grow in a fruitful, Christ-centered, best-friend kind of marriage like they have.

I am so glad they did.  

In My Beloved and My Friend, Hal and Melanie drew from the Bible and their 30 years of marital experience, to weave together wisdom, encouragement and counsel about all areas of marriage, including:

  • becoming one – in flesh, mission, even wallet 
  • having children 
  • surviving – even thriving – through trials 
  • fighting so both spouses win

and more, including, of course, being true and forever friends with your spouse.

Why I Read It
Our Betrothal

When I was offered the chance to read My Beloved and My Friend as a part of the Bow of Bronze launch team for the book, it was the book’s subtitle – How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses – that drew me in.  So many people I know are divorcing.  Marriage seems to be a transient state in today’s world, where one spouse is traded in for another.  My husband and I don’t like this.  We are committed to a “until death do us part” relationship.

Our Wedding Day

However, we are also experiencing a stage where the friendship that first bound us together is flagging.  Reflecting on our day-to-day exchanges, it is sometimes difficult to believe that when we first met, it was our friendship that my husband told me he did not want to lose should he marry someone else.  For, in truth, there are days when we act like anything but friends.  Partners.  Co-parents.  Roommates.  Yes.  Best friends.  Only sometimes.  

The trust, charity, grace and good will that were at the core of every exchange we initially shared are still there, but not always as outwardly evidenced as they once were.  The eagerness with which my husband and I once confided with one another about our days and dreams is sometimes obscured by the busyness and challenges of daily life.

Sure, we love each other.  We have a good marriage.  But, we want a great one.  Even a phenomenal one. One where the immediate friendship that drew us together grows stronger with each successive year we spend living the sacrament we entered into nine years ago.  One where we are truly beloved best friends, successful in our married mission.

Our Journey Going on Nine Years
So it was that I picked up the pre-publishing copy of My Beloved and My Friend, which I was offered in exchange for an honest review, hoping to gain insight and inspiration for being married to my best friend and modeling for our children how to one day do the same if that is their call.

Did The Book Live Up to Its Title?

In a word – yes. 

My Beloved and My Friend, How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses provides chapter after chapter of scripturally-based insight, inspiration and encouragement from two folks who do not sugar-coat their own experiences and insights in an effort to inspire and encourage others.

I was not disappointed as I read the book in a few minutes between homeschool lessons here, a pause from housework there, a before-bed wind down here, and a blessed, rare quiet time there.  And, betwixt readings, I found words and ideas from the book resonating in my mind and heart.

Some of these were about the kindness, charity and love that spouses can and should share.  Words such as:

We need to be aware of how we are communicating with our mates and choose to use words that edify and encourage, while avoiding those that tear down and destroy.” 

Why is it we are so much kinder to our friends and acquaintances, sometimes, than our own spouses?  How can my husband and I work to edify and encourage one another more?

“The friction and division we experience points out the places where we’ve maintained a separate sense of identity and entitlement.”   
Aren’t we supposed to become one?  Are we spending too much time, interest and energy on pursuits that divide us?  How can we invite each other into the must do’s and want to’s that we busy ourselves with each day?

“If God expects ... consideration between neighbors, people no closer than those attending the same church with you or sharing a property line at home, surely He means at least as much between two-made-one-flesh...There’s a sense of restraint and decorum, of respect even
when it’s plain—to one party, at least—that the other person is in the wrong. God desires us to work out our differences by coming to understanding, not by overwhelming the other with physical or verbal force."
Do we fight so we both can win?  What "rules" do we break?  How can we honor one another, our friendship and our marriage even through differences?  How can we practice humility, love and charity even when there is discord between us?

 Soon, I will ask my husband to read the book to see what resonates with him in it.  I don’t hesitate to suggest others read My Beloved and My Friend, How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses, too – whether just getting ready to walk down the aisle or decades into marriage.  That is, with one caveat.

A Caveat for Catholic Readers

I know many readers here at Training Happy Hearts are fellow Catholic-Christians.  So, I would feel remiss not to mention that My Beloved and My Friend, How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses is written from a Christian – but not Catholic – point of view.  In my opinion, that means it contains inspired wisdom and truth that I thoroughly appreciate with gems of thought and sharing I value, but that it is also sprinkled with notations and passages that do not fully support Catholic teaching.  A large believer that the Lord asks us all to love one another and work together for good, I feel that My Beloved and My Friend is a worthy read of Catholic-Christians.  Hal and Melanie share much in their book to help readers strengthen their marriages, be friends and grow in faith and love.  (Don’t gasp, Catholic Readers or Non-Catholic Christians, but I actually read portions of this book at Adoration, amazed with how what it shared dove-tailed perfectly with other readings, prayers and audios I have been immersing myself in, helping me better listen to our Lord about some topics I did not even expect to find in the book!)

Get the Book!

My Beloved and My Friend has not actually been released yet, but you may pre-order it at a discount for $12, thereby blessing yourself, or whoever you gift the book to, with the heartfelt encouragement and Christ-centered advice of a couple who have pulled together Bibles principles and practical sharing about their own learning as a long-married couple in a way that is as applicable to those just entering marriage as it is to those enjoying yet another decade of being together.

To read more reviews about the book, visit the Bow of Bronze Launch Team page.


Related Posts with Thumbnails