The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things that Make Big Difference

by Shaunti Feldhahn

A Review By Tom Kennedy

Most marriages are happy.  That is the result of the research Shaunti Feldhahn reports in her book, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things that Make Big Difference. 

It does not take much to make a marriage happy either, according to Feldhahn.  It is mostly changing little things that could turn a marriage from a discontented one into a happy one.

She points out, “Nearly every wife or husband who thinks, My spouse doesn’t care is flat wrong”. Almost all spouses “care for each other,” but do not show it in ways that are understood as love or caring.  Correcting some little things in the marriage can revitalize it.

Feldhahn points out that happy marrieds just enjoy being with each other and plan to spend a lot of time together.  Time together is important, and happy marrieds many times don’t realize that their time together may not feel “happy” but it a satisfaction that strengthens the relationship.

Feldhahn also covers the following important issues: how to keep score, how “thank you and I love you” are similar, marital generosity, should you try to resolve a problem before bed, negative thoughts, false expectations, the importance of gratitude, how religion helps a marriage, and many more.

If you are irritated with your partner, you need to read this book.



My Take: I recommend this book for all young marrieds to read.  In fact, it will probably help any couple that is feeling chronic relationship stress and yet can’t put their finger on the problem. Family ministers of churches should require this book to be read as a supplemental book to a marriage-focused Bible study.


If you know someone who doesn’t like to read very much, this book has a solution.  Feldhahn summarizes the important information in highlighted sections or sections with a light bulb by it.  Just reading those highlighted areas will give the reader a good summary of the insights of how to make a happy marriage.  Enjoy.

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