Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: “The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” by Shaunti Feldhahn

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It’s another marriage book, but it’s not just another marriage book. It’s The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference, and in it, researcher Shaunti Feldhahn throws all the researcher at us, giving us the closest thing we have to a scientific formula for a happy partnership.

Read this book to find out what happy couples do and don’t do and to begin to incorporate the helpful habits into your current life (married or not).

Key Takeaways

  • Highly happy couples feel deeply cared about. When asked whether they care deeply about their spouse in a survey, eight of ten said “yes, absolutely.” In fact, out of the 1,261 people officially surveyed, only nine people said, “not really.” However, more than four out of every ten coupled people said they believed their spouses didn’t care about them deeply. This might explain some of the problems between unhappy couples: they care about their partner, but don’t feel cared about in return. 
  • “Once you believe your spouse absolutely cares about you, those distancing feelings of hurt, anger and resentment arise a lot less often,” writes Feldhahn.
  • Highly happy couples always assume good intentions. “By expecting the best, you bring out the best.” 
  • Highly happy couples do go to bed mad. They take time to cool off before continuing difficult conversations.
  • Highly happy couples are not brutally honest. They know how to calm their partner and sometimes, tell white lies.
  • Highly happy couples hang out with each other. In doing so, their ratio of positive-to-negative interactions is tipped to the positive side.

About the Author

Shaunti Feldhahn is an American author and social researcher. She is best known for her books on relationships, personal finance, and work-life balance, including For Women Only and For Men Only. She has also written several fiction and non-fiction books on other topics such as leadership and success. Feldhahn holds a degree in public policy from Harvard University and has worked as an investment banker and a public policy analyst.


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