Talking with Respect and Love

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT


Book 5 of “Marriage by the Book
This practical, biblical book is for every kind of marriage—old to young, great to not-so-great. Based on Doug Britton’s experience counseling approximately 1,000 married couples, it will help you:

  • Replace silence with words that matter.
  • Talk about problems without fighting.
  • Have great conversations.
  • Avoid talking too much (or too little).
  • Listen to your spouse’s heart.
  • Avoid misinterpreting your spouse.

Doug Britton, M.Ed., MFT. LifeTree Books. Paperback: 5½ x 8½. Wire “spiral” binding. 176 pages.


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Part of the “Marriage by the Book” Series

Many couples and small groups read all eight books. However, each book also stands complete by itself. Click on the following links to read about each book:

Book 1:
Laying a Solid Foundation

  • Overcome common marriage problems
  • Learn marriage-building exercises
  • Apologize without groveling
  • Forgive without holding a grudge

Book 2:
Making Christ the Cornerstone

  • Find ways to make room for Jesus in your daily lives
  • Pray as a couple
  • Learn how your spiritual gifts can work together
  • Strengthen your personal walk with Christ

Book 3:
Encouraging Your Spouse

  • Figure out what matters to your spouse
  • Serve your mate without being a doormat
  • Show respect even if you don’t feel like it
  • Choose to love your mate

Book 4:
Extending Grace to Your Mate

  • Appreciate your spouse’s weird habits
  • Resolve conflicts as friends
  • Handle disappointments wisely
  • Overcome bitterness and anger

Book 5:
Talking with Respect and Love

  • Talk about problems without fighting
  • Replace silence with words that matter
  • Listen to your spouse’s heart
  • Avoid misinterpreting your spouse

Book 6:
Improving Your Teamwork

  • Understand what “submission” means (and doesn’t mean)
  • Make decisions as a team
  • Practice mutual submission
  • Overcome problems in your teamwork

Book 7:
Putting Money in its Place

  • Make financial decisions as a team
  • Get out of debt (and stay out of debt)
  • Make a budget or spending plan
  • Give generously

Book 8:
Celebrating Intimacy and Romance

  • Learn the difference between “making love” and “having sex”
  • Find freedom from anything that stops you from enjoying sex
  • Overcome your sexual sins (past or present)
  • Find healing from rape and sexual abuse

 Get the Bundle

Save time — Order all eight books in the “Marriage by the Book” series as a bundle!


“Doug Britton’s ‘Marriage by the Book’ series is the most thoroughly biblical, deeply practical, and user-friendly marriage resource I have seen in thirty years of study and use. These books provide clarity, relevance, and biblicity for self-study, mentoring or small group leadership, and are so well written that lay leaders can use them immediately without having to be experts. They will positively impact your marriage and the marriages of those you lead.”

John Morrison
Family Life Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church (Winchester, VA)

“’Marriage by the Book’ has allowed us to empower and impact hundreds of marriages from a biblical perspective. Couples who were on the path to divorce are happily married today because of studying these books.”

Samuel Gordon
Associate Pastor, Capital Christian Center (Sacramento, CA)

“’Talking with Respect and Love’ has been very, very helpful. We like the spiritual aspects of it; the biblical verses in every chapter hit home for our group. Putting it all together at the end of the chapters helped couples make concrete plans. It’s just been great for everyone—newly-married couples, people who have been married before, and couples who have been married many years.”

Vern and Carol Hagedorn
Small Group Members, Bethesda Lutheran Church (Hot Springs, SD)

“We used Talking With Respect and Love from the ‘Marriage by the Book’ series in a small group of mostly young-married couples…. The whole group enjoyed this study.”

Will Holder
Small Group Leader, Asbury Church (Petal, MA)

What is “Marriage by the Book?”

Talking with Respect and Love is book 5 of the eight-book “Marriage by the Book” series.

This eight-book series covers every aspect of marriage. Each book covers a different topic. Although the books are part of a series and build on one another, each book can be studied on its own.

Each book is written by author, speaker, and Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Britton.

This book works as three-in-one:

  • Book — with practical, Bible-based real-life information.
  • Workbook — with quizzes and “Make it personal” questions scattered throughout each chapter.
  • Small group leader’s guide — with guidelines for small group leaders and chapter-by-chapter discussion questions at the back of each book.

How will reading “Talking with Respect and Love” help us change?
This book doesn’t just tell you what to do. It shows you how to do it, with:

  • Self-assessment quizzes to identify reasons for problems
  • “Make it personal” questions throughout the book (with space to write your answers) that help you apply the lessons
  • Exercises you and your spouse can do together
  • Personal plans to help you grow in six key areas of your marriage

Is “Talking with Respect and Love” only for troubled marriages?
Nope. It is for every kind of marriage, great to not-so-great. Whatever your situation, you will find practical insights and tools that will help your marriage flourish and grow.

Is this book for new marriages or long-time marriages?
Its practical, Bible-based advice will strengthen and bless your marriage, whether you are newlyweds or you have been married for decades.

Is this book cross-cultural?
Yes. Since it is based on the Bible, its truths apply to every racial and ethnic group. When you place your order, you can choose a multicultural cover or an African-American cover.

Can we use this marriage book for a small group study?
Yes. Talking with Respect and Love includes a small group leader’s guide with:

  • Tips for leaders
  • Step-by-step meeting plan
  • Discussion questions for each chapter

What are some topics covered in “Talking with Respect and Love”?
In these pages you will discover many Bible-based insights and practical tools. A few examples:

  • How to replace silence with words that matter
  • How to talk about problems without fighting
  • How to get conversations going
  • What to do if you talk too much (or too little)
  • How to go beyond “active listening”
  • How to avoid misinterpreting your spouse
  • Ways to bring up problems without hurting your spouse

What if my spouse won’t read this book with me?
It’s ideal if you both read this book. However, if your spouse doesn’t want to join you, don’t say, “I’ll read it, but only if you will.” Instead, learn how to be the best husband or wife possible. God can perform miracles in your personal life—and in your marriage—even if you study on your own.

Is this a good book for pre-marriage mentoring?
Yes. It covers key communication guidelines couples need to know at the beginning of their journey together.

Why do so many marriages have problems?
That’s a great question. After all, most marriages start out with two people who are certain they can craft a wonderful union. Yet as the years go by, many never experience the passionate, joyful life they expected. After helping approximately 1,000 marriages, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist Doug Britton says a key reason is that most people do not know the Bible’s instructions about how to create a great Christian marriage—or they don’t know how to apply the instructions.

Why do readers say they like “Talking with Respect and Love”?

  • It is practical, cross-cultural, and Bible-based.
  • Text is broken into small, easily-digested portions.
  • Points are clearly identified with headings, bullets, and check boxes.
  • The writing style is direct and straight-forward.
  • Real-life stories and examples illustrate key points.
  • “Make it personal” questions help couples apply the lessons.
  • Each chapter is summarized at the end of the chapter.
  • Wire binding makes it easy to write in the book.

Digging deeper
God’s plan for a marriage is for a husband and wife to unite in the closest of human relationships. That’s why the Bible calls a married man and woman “one flesh.” It’s impossible for a couple to experience the closeness God intends without ongoing, intimate communication.

Many married couples have bad communication patterns. Many couples rarely talk, or they only talk on a superficial level. Sometimes both live private lives, not sharing feelings, dreams, or fears. Problems remain unmentioned and unresolved. Conversations go little beyond “did anyone call?” and “what’s on TV tonight?” The couple slowly grows apart.

In some marriages, couples constantly argue. They haven’t learned how to discuss difficult topics with respect and love. They treat each other as enemies, not intimate friends.

Do any of the following statements sound familiar? (Each of the following comments could refer to either the husband or wife.)

  • My husband doesn’t talk. He just grunts.
  • It turns into an argument every time we talk.
  • My wife never stops talking. I don’t have a chance to say anything.
  • We only talk about superficial things. I yearn for a meaningful conversation.
  • Our house is like a morgue. The silence is awful.
  • My husband says “I don’t care” when I ask his opinion.
  • I never get her full attention. She’s always doing things while we talk.
  • We only talk about problems. Who needs that? Isn’t life supposed to be fun?

If these comments sound familiar, don’t be discouraged. Doug Britton goes directly to the Bible to dig out its wisdom and apply it to the issues couples face today. As you learn and practice what God says about communication, Jesus will make dramatic changes in your marriage.

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