It’s Engagement Season: 5 Books to Read Before Popping the Big Question

best books before marriage proposal
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* Important reads for those planning to pop the question
* Also great for newly weds and those engaged 
* Tackles common marriage problems to prepare you in advance

Needless to say, whether or not to get married is a HUGE decision, and one that should not always be made lightly. While we all love the thought that dating, getting engaged and planning a wedding should be easy and fun, what we should be really planning for is a functional, loving marriage.

The books we have highlighted below can help you with one of the biggest decisions of your life by giving a plethora of thought-provoking questions and exercises designed by marriage and family counselors and doctors who have experience with this sensitive topic. The goal of these books is to help jump-start conversations you may or may not have had with your partner before, with topics that could be a huge learning experience for both of you.

1. Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married

According to the author, Gary Chapman, most marriages suffer due to a lack of preparation and a failure to learn to work together as intimate teammates. In response to this, he has written Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married after more than 35 years of counseling couples. This book is packed with wisdom and tips that will help many develop the loving, supportive and mutually beneficial marriage all couples envision. This book is also ideal for newly married couples and includes some bonus features such as an interactive website to enhance your experience, questions to jumpstart conversations with each other and an appendix on healthy dating relationships along with an accompanying learning experience.

Gary Chapman Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got married Image Courtesy Amazon


2. The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do”

The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do,” is a life-changing resource for couples who are thinking about getting married or are already engaged. This book contains a list of 100 hard and thought-provoking questions and exercises for couples on the road to marriage to challenge and inspire. In answering some or all of these questions, you will gain a deeper understanding of each other while fostering the basis for a long-lasting relationship. Topics range from home, money, work and sex to community, friends, family and spirituality.

Susan Piver The Hard Questions Image Courtesy Amazon


3. Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts: Workbook for Men

Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by doctors Les and Leslie Parrott is a workbook for men that will help you uncover and understand the shaping factors you bring into your marriage both as a woman/man dynamic and as an individual. Twenty-four exercises and assessments will help shed light on the way you are put together, how that affects specific aspects of how you and your loved one relate and how to improve those areas to build a better relationship.

Les Parrott Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts Image Courtesy Amazon


4. 101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged

Relationship expert and couples counselor Norm Wright has written 101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged to help steer potential brides and grooms through a series of soul-searching questions to discern if they’ve really met “the one.” After completing these in-depth and personal questions, couples will be more confident about whether or not to pursue a potential marriage. The author also addresses the subject of whether or not to call off the wedding if readers do discover that a potential mate isn’t actually the life partner for them.

H. Norman Right 101 Questions to ask before you get engaged Image Courtesy Amazon


5. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, PhD. is a culmination of an unprecedented study of couples over a period of years where he observed the habits that can make and break a marriage. These habits have been summarized into seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. These principles will teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground and achieving greater levels of intimacy. This revised edition is filled with new exercises and is backed by latest research to help anyone who wants their relationship to work.

John Gottman Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work Image Courtesy Amazon