After reading a couple of Christian books on this topic, I thought it would be interesting to read a secular book. I came across, The 30 secrets of happily married couples by Paul Coleman (Adams Media, 2006), at the library where I work.

Coleman gives us fifteen positive steps couples should take to increase marital happiness and fifteen negative behaviours and attitudes that should be reduced. Many of suggestions are small and simple, yet surprisingly effective. Things like, tap into the power of small talk, give the benefit of the doubt, don’t allow arguments to escalate, reduce conversation killers and stop arguing about problems that will never go away completely.

Coleman is a psychologist and uses his background in solving relationship difficulties in his book. This means Coleman has the advantage of using different personality types in his examples rather than just his own and his wife’s (which was the case in the previous book I reviewed on this topic). Many of the chapters start with a conversation between a husband and a wife. These give a realistic feel to the book and add weight to his ideas. He also includes a few short quizzes, a what to do section and a summary of the main points at the end of each chapter. These touches make it easier to retain and apply the concepts.

I found the book easy to read and very encouraging as Coleman shows it doesn’t take a lot to improve the overall tone of your marriage.

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