What separates happy marriages from miserable ones?
Surprisingly, it’s not healthy communication. It’s not conflict resolution skills. It’s actually the size of the marriage’s joy gap .
Joy Gap/joi gap/ (n.)-1. The length of time between moments of shared joy
When the joy gap gets bigger, problems are more likely to overwhelm you, resentment creeps in, and you start to feel distant and alone in your marriage. When the joy gap is smaller, you regularly feel connected and happy, problems feel manageable, and your marriage becomes a reliable source of joy. But how do you ensure that you’re experiencing joy regularly?
Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey have studied relationships (and neuroscience) and discovered four habits that keep joy regular and problems small. Some couples do them naturally, but anyone can learn. That’s why each chapter includes 15-minute exercises that boost joy and re-train your brain to make joy your default setting. You’ll learn new skills including how to:
- return to joy more quickly after disconnection
- create stronger bonds and elongate times of happiness
- boost your enjoyment of physical and emotional intimacy
Find out what your marriage looks like after a little work and a whole lot of joy.
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About the Author
MARCUS WARNER (M.Div., Th.M. and D.Min. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is the president of Deeper Walk International. He is a former pastor and college professor who has written several books on topics ranging from how to study the Bible to spiritual warfare, emotional healing, and leadership. Marcus has done training events for organizations such as Navigators, Willow Creek Prison Ministry, and Moody Church. He has traveled the world with Deeper Walk equipping people on the front lines of ministry with practical tools for dealing with root issues that keep people and ministries stuck and unable to go deeper into what God has for them.
CHRIS COURSEY is an ordained minister, pastoral counselor, published author, and international speaker. He and his wife, Jen, lead and design the THRIVE Training Program that uses brain-based exercises to train leaders, families, and communities in the 19 relational skills and the Immanuel Lifestyle. They are passionate about helping people acquire the skills to make relationships work. Chris and Jen have two boys, Matthew and Andrew.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Shrink Your joy Gap 15
Chapter 2 The Brain Science Behind Joy 27
Chapter 3 Why Joy Can Be So Hard to Find 41
Chapter 4 Habit #1: Play Together 49
Chapter 5 Habit #2: Listen for Emotion 67
Chapter 6 Habit #3: Appreciate Daily 89
Chapter 7 Habit #4: Nurture a Rhythm 103
Wrap Up: Making a PLAN 113
Appendix 1 More "Play Together" Exercises 117
Appendix 2 More "Listen for Emotion" Exercises 121
Appendix 3 More "Appreciate Daily" Exercises 127
Appendix 4 More "Nurture a Rhythm" Exercises 133
Additional Resources 141
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this book, the authors try to explain why people fall out of love and how to prevent that from happening to you and your spouse. One of the examples of why we have issues in marriage is that we lack joy. “Falling out of love is all about the absence of Joy.” Couples who allow the gap between times of joy grow will have issues. They discuss the fact that a problem in finding joy is fear mapping. “This term refers to the habit we develop of scanning our environment for problems to fix instead of looking for blessings to appreciate.” The examples above and others contained within this book seem so clear and yet many times we do not know where to look when our marriages begin to fail. The authors give exercises that can be done in virtually no time at all in an attempt to rekindle joy and the marriage. This is a good book for couples who are experience a lack of closeness, as well as, for those who want to keep joy in their marriage and want to be aware of the pitfalls that they may face. I received an ARC from Moody Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.
The 4 Habits of Joy-filled Marriages April 30, 2019 This book was interesting and inspiring. I received it free for the purpose of review. The book has four habits the authors want you to practice in order to create a joy-filled marriage. They explain well what the causes of the joy bond and the fear bond are and what that means. Their ability to explain it from a physiological and spiritually allows it to make sense. Marriage is a gift of God that is the picture of Christ and His church. A marriage is a covenant and not to be taken lightly. However, two people, man and woman are wired differently, have different baggage, and different ways of expressing feelings. So, it doesn't take long for there to be challenges in marriage. Along with describing the differences and giving thoughts about the how to achieve more of a joy-filled marriage they have exercises that are helpful and worth the time. Each exercise is a benefit to begin to transition your marriage from blah to joy-filled. Fifteen minutes a day is what they ask you to start to reengage on a deeper level with your spouse.
This book is a great book for those who fear their marriage needs work, those who know their marriage needs work, or for those whose marriage is strong and they want to further strengthen their relationship! So...if you are married...you may need to check out this book! The Four Habits described in this book include Habit #1: Play Together Habit #2: Listen for Emotion Habit #3: Appreciate Daily Habit #4 - Nurture a Rhythm Each chapter offers insight as to why these habits are important, examples of what could happen when these habits are ignored, followed by exercises to increase joy in your marriage. This book isn't just a relationship building book, but it demonstrates why you need JOY in your marriage because of the brain science directly related to joy. I highly recommend this book and appreciate the opportunity to receive an Advanced Reader Copy thanks to NetGalley and Northfield Publishing. (and my husband thanks you, too!)
The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages provides interesting ideas about the pursuit of joy in marriage. The chapters are concise and manageable with practical examples and exercises for couples to increase joy on a daily basis. I appreciate the thought provoking questions included. Also, while not in-depth, I felt that the book provided ideas of things that have the potential to steal joy, which would point a person in the right direction to dig further. I think that their principle that your relationship is bigger than anything else is a great idea. Overall, I liked this book and the ideas presented. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are mine.
THE 4 HABITS OF JOY-FILLED MARRIAGES is a very practical guide filled with amazing examples/habits to help married couples to find joy in marriage. I learned a lot from this book and it was somehow a deep self-discover as I was diving into it. With easy and light writing, I finished it in one sitting and found it utterly helpful. Furthermore, it is perfect to also read together with your partner and practice the creative/daily exercises suggested by the authors. I highly recommend this book for any couple who seek more joy in their relationship. [I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher. All opinions are my own]
I love the brain science included in this compact book. I’m fascinated with what makes people tick and why. The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages is filled with wonderful examples, plans, and exercises that help us reach our relationship potential. This book (easily read in an hour or two) presents straight-forward, easy to follow practices that reveal “why” and “how” we act and react the way we do. Not only have I learned more about my spouse, and our life together, but I’ve learned so much about myself. These practical habits and exercises not only have the potential to strengthen the joy in our romantic relationships, but in our relationships with family and friends, as well. Author: Marcus Warner & Chris M. Coursey Publisher: Northfield Publishing Pages: 160 First Line (Introduction): One of the most startling revelations to come out of the latest breakthroughs in brain science is the discovery that there is no more powerful motivator in life than joy. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the MPNews blogger program and under no obligation to post a positive review.