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In 2018, Tyler and Amanda Radke will celebrate eight years of marriage. (Wilcoxon Photography)

Two marriage and money books to give newlyweds

Wedding season is quickly approaching, and once again, we have a full schedule of nuptials to attend.

This year, Tyler and I will be celebrating eight years of marriage and 10 years together. As I reflect on the last decade of dating, marriage, buying a farm, growing our cow herd, having children and making small and big decisions on a day-to-day basis (from adding toilet paper to the shopping list to deciding which school our children will attend), I have realized it takes a lot of compromise, communication, sharing similar values and a strong vision for what we want to accomplish together to make our marriage not only work, but to be fulfilling, too.

With bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings filling the calendar, we've budgeted for gifts that the couples will love. While I usually stick to the gift registry when purchasing, I often find myself giving a reading list to young couples as they prepare for their upcoming marriages.

Two books I recommend that engaged or newly married couples read are "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman and "Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want" by Rachel Cruze.

"The 5 Love Languages" was given to me as a gift at one of my bridal showers. At 22 years old, I was young and in love and excited to start my life with Tyler, but we had hardly handled any big challenges or major curveballs that only come with time and age. Fast forward a decade, and we've experienced plenty of hurdles together. From job changes to unexpected losses to the volatility of the cattle business, marriage isn't always easy, and the day-to-day grind of raising kids and cows can leave very little time for romance and dating your spouse.

However, knowing your spouse's love language can help reconnect in little ways every single day. The love languages include: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch. A quiz at the back of the book helps to reveal your own language.

Mine is definitely quality time; I feel loved when Tyler and I spend time together — talking, laughing or doing something we're both passionate in, like attending a cattle sale. Meanwhile, Tyler's love language is acts of service. I used to think I had to do grand gestures to show how much I love him, but turns out, doing the dishes, paying the bills or running errands is what he needs to feel appreciated.

For us, it doesn't take gifts or extravagant date nights to feel loved, and that's probably a good thing, considering my second book recommendation is about money management. Rachel Cruze is the daughter of Dave Ramsey, who is famous for his book, "The Total Money Makeover." While that is a great starting point, I also love Cruze's take on money management. In a world where social media shows everyone's highlight reels, it can be easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses. They have the nice house, nice cars, best clothes, biggest weddings, etc., but are they swimming in debt and fighting about money each day? Without a doubt, being on the same page financially is one of the best things you can do for your marriage.

So as wedding season arrives, consider the gift of a book or two to the engaged couple. It could change the entire course of their marriage — how they communicate, how they love each other and how they manage their income to build a life together.

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