This year I am participating in a marriage reading challenge. The goal is read at least one book per month from a selection dealing with a specific topic. So far I have really been enjoying participating in this challenge!
The topic for March was Setting Healthy Boundaries. Due to life being so busy I have only recently finished the book I chose last month which was The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. While there were a couple of things that I disagreed with in this book I mostly found that it was a good read and contained helpful tips to being emotionally healthy in yourself, which is necessary of course to a healthy marriage. The book deals with 8 things that you should quit in order to become more emotionally healthy.
1. Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think. This is one area that I have improved in recently. Such a great reminder that as long as our identity is grounded in God’s love for us, we don’t need other people’s approval to give us value.
2. Quit Lying. This is something I really struggle with. Not blatant lies as such. Little things like ‘Whatever you want to do is fine’ (when I do actually have a preference), or ‘I’m fine’ (when I am really not), or ‘It’s nothing!’ (when in fact it is something!). I really got a lot out of this chapter – so much encouragement to always tell the truth. One thing I particularly liked was Geri’s approach to telling the truth – respectfully, honestly, clearly, and in a timely fashion. Such great ways to make sure communication lines are clear and open in marriage!
3. Quit Dying to the Wrong Things. A great reminder not to ignore important relationships and activities and not to expend so much energy for others that you burn out.
4. Quit Denying Anger, Sadness, and Fear. This chapter particularly points out that having these emotions is not a bad thing! It is not wrong to feel angry or sad or afraid. It is what we do with those emotions that is important. Geri stresses a three-step process: feel your feelings (allow yourself to have those emotions); think through your feelings (work out what you are feeling and why); and take appropriate action by working out the best way to handle those emotions.
5. Quit Blaming. This was a great reminder to stop blaming others for problems in your life and to stop looking at the past. Take responsibility for your own life. If it is not how you would like it to be, change it!
6. Quit Over-functioning. This is another big one for me. I find it extremely hard to say no, even if I am already overloaded or stressed.
7. Quit Faulty Thinking. This is expressed in so many ways and Geri goes into a few in this chapter. The one that really stood out to me the most was ‘taking things personally’. I had never really seen that for what it is, but she is right. Such a great chapter that had me thinking for days!
8. Quit Living Someone Else’s Life. This chapter is all about working out who you are and what you want out of life and, instead of living out other people’s dreams, living your life the way that you want. In marriage a big part of this is couple-related as well and should be discussed before marriage if possible. But for me this one is not a big issue. I feel completely happy with where I am and what I am doing in life.
In a nutshell, this book was a good reminder of how to be emotionally healthy. It waffled a little in some parts but was a good book in general and gave me a few things to think about.