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Oct 26 2010

Books on Marriage

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Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships

By David Schnarch, 1997 (Amazon price: $12.80)

A “break through” book about the dynamics of intimate relationships. This is Dr. Schnarch’s presentation to the general population of the ideas he first developed in Constructing the Sexual Crucible. He says that “the greatest sexual pleasure and emotional fulfillment in a person’s lifetime is possible in the middle and later years when he or she has developed a mature sense of self and found genuine intimacy with another person.” And, wonder of wonders, he actually explains what growth looks like. Using the concept of “differentiation” he explains how you can have your cake and eat it too – being your own person while maintaining close intimacy. Many of the examples and exercises are focused on sexual issues which is great, because that is so often a cause of tension in our relationships. Highly recommended! – SP
Buy “Passionate Marriage” on Amazon

Private Lies:  Infidelity and Betrayal of Intimacy

by Frank Pittman (Amazon price $11.96)

Pittman’s common sense views on infidelity are absolutely refreshing. A key point that seems unique is Pittman’s emphasis that the betrayed partner did not bring this on themselves. Pittman’s book is a humane, reasonable and a common sense approach which helps alleviate much pain and calls the straying partner to account for his actions. Another insightful observation Pittman reveals is the re-writing of history that often goes on in the rationalization process of the adulterer. The common phrases, “Our marriage was over a long time before, we always had problems, she/he never loved me” may or may not be true. But generally in the presence of an affair, those statements make cheating a whole lot easier to do.
Pittman asks, How trustworthy is the memory of a cheating partner. A sanity saving thought for the faithful partner who begins to suspect he was either living in another house, or lost his mind. For those who have been wounded the book offers great comfort, for those who cheated it offers an opportunity for accountability. Most of all it offers hope for many that marriages can be saved even after adultery. Pittman’s book is a great tool to do precisely that. At this point I have found no better resource for those grappling with the aftermath of adultery. – SP

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail : And How You Can Make Yours Last

by John Gottman (Amazon Price $10.40)
Psychologist John Gottman has spent 20 years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage. Dr. Gottman tells you how to recognize the four major attitudes that doom a marriage — contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling — and provides practical exercises and techniques that will help you understand and make the most of your relationship. A wonderful book! – SP

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