I just finished reading this book and I have to say it is one of the best books on marriage that I have ever read. I think everyone should work that hard to keep their marriage from falling apart. (there are always exceptions, like adultery & violence) Too many people give up on their marriage because "we just grew apart". I don't believe that excuse personally, I think that we have to choose to be with our spouse on a daily basis, choose to love them, choose to show them how much we care.
Don't get me wrong, I am no where near perfect and there are definitely things I am working on, but the thing is.. I am trying. People expect the other person to do all the work in the relationship and take no responsibility for the things that go wrong. Before you blame everything on your spouse, take a look at yourself.. If you work on you, then chances are your spouse will want to do the same. I know I have said this before but so many people ignore it.. communication is one of the keys! Tell the one you love how you feel, tell them about your day, no matter how stupid you might think it is. Share yourself with them, how will they know something is wrong, if you don't tell them?
Take responsibility, apologize (this one has always been hard for me, but i am getting better) when you are wrong, sometimes you need to apologize even when you aren't wrong! An apology doesn't necessarily mean saying you are wrong, it could mean saying "I'm sorry for the way you are feeling, or I am sorry that I hurt you".
A simple touch can go a long way. You know that crazy urge you sometimes get in the middle of an argument to just reach out and hug your spouse.. DO IT! They want you to! It really can melt away a lot of the stress and anger between you .. it can give you a renewed sense of the situation. It can replace the intimacy between you that arguments can steal. If you can't manage a hug, reach out and touch their hand, grasp it in yours, let your partner know that you care and that just because you disagree does not change your love or devotion. Trust me when a fight occurs it can chip away at those feelings.
Sit down, side by side, and talk, just talk, about everything. Go for a walk and share your insights, hopes, dreams, your love with one another. Renew your relationship daily through small gestures, don't let your love get lazy. I know I have been guilty of just sitting there when my husband comes home. Instead, get up and go hug your spouse! Let them know that they were missed! That can melt away some of the stress from their day and make them happy to be home!
Marriage is hard, it is work, and it is a commitment.
I implore everyone to read Fireproof and try The Love Dare! I know that it will change the way you look at things.