Let's Learn @ the Library

February's Theme: Marriage & Relationships

The season of love is upon us and the store shelves are filled with chocolates, teddy bears and flowers.  Did you know that Americans will spend $1.6 billion on candy and $1.9 billion on flowers this Valentine’s season?  In fact, 224 million roses are grown for Valentine’s Day and 151 million cards will be exchanged on the day that celebrates love.  Relationships are so important that the average person will spend $130.97 to make sure their loved one feels special on February 14th (source: cnn.com).  

I recently read the book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman.  This book focuses on couple therapy.  The author has worked extensively with couples throughout his career as a therapist, educator, and researcher.  From years of studying couples, Mr. Gottman can predict divorce with 91 percent accuracy.  He says that the key to making a marriage work is surprisingly simple.  It isn’t about being smarter, richer or better looking.  Rather, it has a lot to do with emotional intelligence.  Happy couples are able to keep their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones.  

After tracking the lives of happily married couples for about 20 years, Mr. Gottman acknowledges that the key to reviving or divorce-proofing a relationship is not simply how couples handle their disagreements, but how they engage with each other when they’re not fighting (Gottman, p. 51).  The book discusses seven principles that help to guide couples through conflict and strengthen friendship and trust in a marriage.  Included in every chapter are quizzes that couples can take to see if they are falling into some of the traps that plague marriages and exercises that couples can do to practice the principles taught. 
It has been said that knowledge is power and there is great power to be found in the pages of a book.  So while chocolate and flowers may be the traditional method for impressing your Valentine, don’t forget the power of the book and the resource of the library this season.
If you are hoping to strike up a new relationship or fan the flames of your current one, you can do more than send a card or flowers.  You might not think the library is the place to go for help with your love life, but the library is here for you!  

At the Library this month

The library will be holding a 4-part series Couple Links class starting Wednesday, February 1st at 6:30 p.m. and running weekly through the end of February. Sponsored by USU Extension. More info and registration at HealthyRelationshipsUtah.org

Library Resources

Article by Library Board Member Stephanie Nixon

Stephanie Nixon has been a Library Board member from 2011-2017. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Family Studies from Utah Valley University. She has lived in American Fork for six years, and before that she lived in Florida and Arizona. She has been married for 25 years to Brady Nixon and has five children and one son-in-law. Stephanie loves to hike, kayak, read and sew, and looks forward to Friday night dates with her husband.