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Relationships can be messy. Let’s be real, they are always messy, and difficult if they go beyond surface level. Understanding one another is key to success in any relationship, but particularly in marriage. We all have to keep working on and investing in our marriages in order to develop strong, lasting connections that will persist.

Jimmy Evans, a marriage expert and cofounder of MarriageToday partnered with Allan Kelsey, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach to equip us with the tools we need to develop strong, happy marriages by better understanding ourselves and our spouses. Strengths Based Marriage is based on the principles of the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. The StrengthsFinder assessment is revolutionary in and of itself, so expanding this and applying to the marriage relationship can initiate significant transformation in your life. Evans and Kelsey kept this book incredibly practical while sharing a significant depth of insights and relatable personal experiences. They covered topics like Secrets of Successful Marriages, Speaking Love to Your Spouse’s Heart, and Stopping the Cycles of Pain.

NOTE: The Strengths Based Marriage book does NOT include the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment. I thought they may have included a code to take the basic (top 5) assessment like there is with StrengthsFinder 2.0. That would make this book even MORE valuable, but I could also see this being in the $20-30 range if that was included. You can get your own “Top 5 Theme Report” by purchasing here (aff lilnk), or you can explore the full strengths profile here. My take on this is, investing the cost for you and your spouse to take these assessments is less than the average cost of a single counseling session. Doing this may spare you future counseling sessions, so put some effort into learning your spouse and investing in your marriage relationship now and reap the benefits later. 😉

I was interested in this book because several years ago we had done the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment, and as expected this built upon the assessment in a very helpful way. Strengths Based Marriage was enjoyable for the insights, personal stories, creative strategies, and honing of the tools gleaned from the StrengthsFinders 2.0 book. In particular, the topic on cycles of pain and how that relates to ones own strengths was insightful. In the Secrets of Successful Marriages, they even go as far as to talk about how strengths affect your sexual relationship and offer some great thoughts on ways to embrace one another’s strengths to improve your sex life. Who isn’t up for that?!

Evans and Kelsey did an incredible job of keeping my attention by sharing valuable stories and presenting all of the topics in a very cohesive way. I felt that the teachings and truths talked about were in line with Biblical truth. Overall, this read was encouraging, uplifting, instructive and helpful. There were some key thoughts that I was able to consider and apply in our own marriage that have helped us make progress and begin processing hurts and misunderstandings to promote health and healing. I would recommend this to anyone looking to improve and strengthen their marriage!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”