I am a huge fan of Becky Thompson. Her blog and her first book, Hope Unfolding, speak to me like nothing else I have ever read. When I found out she was writing another book, I knew I had to read it.
Love Unending is a lot different than Hope Unfolding. Hope Unfolding is about the difficulties (and joys) of being a mother. Love Unending is about learning how to like you husband again, after having children. You’re probably thinking, “What do you mean like your husband again?” But if you have had a child, you would know that even though you still LOVE you husband, liking him is sometimes easier said than done.(And trust me, I’m sure our husbands feel the same exact way about us!)
Becky Thompson’s book is a 21 day challenge that encourages us to fall in love with our husbands all over again. Think about the first time you met you husband. How did you feel? Think about the first time you said, “I love you.” Think about the excitement you had every time you saw him after a long day, or in my case, a long week, since we only saw each other on weekends. Becky Thompson guides the reader through a journey to improve their marriage after taking care of little people all day long.
Taking care of a child is exhausting. Taking care of more than one child? Probably 3x more exhausting. If you stay at home, like I do, you count the minutes until you husband comes home. It may not be because you want to see him, kiss him, or hear his voice, it is probably because you want to hand child raising duties off to him so you can cook dinner, and pee in private.
Throughout your 21 day journey, Becky Thompson will guide you through 21 daily challenges and journaling. Some tasks will be as simple (or as hard) as greeting your husband as soon as he comes in the door, instead of bombarding him with immediate tasks or not acknowledging his arrival at all. Another task will encourage you to thank your husband for things that you may take for granted. Each daily task also includes a daily prayer to help you stay focused and committed to your faith.
Don’t get me wrong, this book is not one of those books that encourage you to “serve your husband because he is always right.” It is not even close to that. It is woman centered, and makes you nod your head and want to say, “Yes, yup, that happens, I could fix that, he could fix that.” Being married is about being a team.
I had an interesting experience reading this book. I like to think that my husband are in love (and in like) still, after almost 6 years of marriage (8 years of dating.) I told him I was reading the book for review so that he wouldn’t see it and think, “What is going on?” He kind of thought it was silly, but asked about it for the first two weeks or so. I told him some of the tasks, and kept some of the other ones private (he could have read the book, too, if he wanted to.)
As my journey through the book played out, I did notice our marriage getting even better than it was before. We weren’t struggling, by any means, but let’s be honest, no one’s marriage is perfect. I told him that I wanted a kiss every night when he came home, and even though we now joke about it every night, and laugh, we do it, even if our son is running a muck during witching hour. I realize that I do obsessively read, and I try to put my books down when he is talking and really listen instead of just half listening. Really listening to someone is a game changer, making eye contact is important, and although we are not big cell phone people, I have tried to put mine down after he comes out from putting our son to bed so we can talk about our day, child free.
We have tried to make cuddling a priority, even if it is just during a TV show, or while we are both reading (it helps that is is winter and he is a furnace of heat.) It’s funny because when we were dating, we would always say how we would NEVER sit on opposites sides of a couch. I truly do feel like we started to appreciate our marriage more during the past 21 days. Many of the days and challenges were things we already did. Jim buys me surprises like flowers, several times a year to show me he cares. I also leave him things to let him know I care. But I found some new ways to show my love and it really did make me think about the beginning. Love Unending made me want to focus on us even more than we already do.
I suggest all moms (and dads even) read Love Unending to make your marriage better. Even if you are not suffering a rut (which we weren’t) you could still benefit from this challenge. I must admit, I did not journal throughout the journey, but if that if you thing, or if you marriage truly is on the rocks, journaling may be the right choice for you. Your marriage should be your priority. Even though little ones need so much attention, if your marriage is suffering (or not thriving as it should) your parenting will start to suffer. To teach your children to love, you need to be able to show them how to love.
Someone should send Becky Thompson on a child-free vacation with her husband, she deserves it. As for me and myhusband, we make child-free vacations a priority; once a year is a must. couple of weeks. Every marriage could thrive from a few days away without kids.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.