Archive for February, 2010
There are many marriage enrichment programs for couples who want to strengthen and deepen their marriages. So many, in fact, that it may be hard to know what will fit you best.
There are thousands of books and resources designed to support your marriage. Following is a sample of current and classic ones to get you started.
Your marriage and family relationships are your deepest and most profound treasures. Yet, like a precious metal that becomes tarnished, your cherished relationships can sometimes become lackluster and dull.
If this book does not contain everything you want to know about sex, it tries to come close. Underlying all the information and advice is the principle that proper use of sexuality is holy and makes a person holy.
The dream of couples who marry is to live “happily ever after.” With the passage of a little time, however, each spouse notices changes in the other; a variety of conflicts arise. Then, say the authors of “After the Glass Slipper,” the spouses may ask where the person they married went and if it is going to be possible for them to achieve their dream.
A few months after her husband’s death, Dolores Leckey went to dinner with a small group of women, all of whom, except one, were single. “I noticed how I still feel very married,” she wrote afterward in her journal. She added, “At some point in a long marriage we become aware of something like fusion.”
Nine is the key number in this book, and the starting point is everyday experience rather than William Rabior’s observations as a psychotherapist. By talking with many people whose marriages appear to be solid and happy, the Rabiors distilled nine factors they believe are essential for a successful marriage.
With a string of degrees and attributions after their combined names, these authors can be expected to offer solid information and practical advice gleaned from their therapy practice with couples. In God Knows Marriage Isn’t Always Easy they also offer wisdom gained from their own 20-year marriage, captivating stories about other couples and inspiring quotations from a wide variety of sources.
His rules for handling conflict in marriage rank among Tony Garascia’s most valuable “lessons” in “The Honeymoon Habit.” One rule states, “Treat the other with respect by the use of eye contact, calm voice tone, nonthreatening body posture and by respectful speech.”
In “The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse,” Art and Laraine Bennett provide a guide for husbands and wives who recognize how different their temperaments are, but wonder what to do about it.
Amy Viets and Bernadette Stankard write from their personal experience of living with husbands who suffer from depression. They share other husbands’ and wives’ experiences of living with a depressed spouse.
“Respect is the number one ingredient in a healthy relationship. If you respect your partner, you will set a positive foundation for all of your communication,” Mary Carty writes in PMAT: The Perfect Marriage Aptitude Test.
The Love Dare is a 40-day plan of action for improving marriage, whether the marriage is healthy and strong or hanging by a thread. On each of 40 days, this best-selling book dares a husband or wife to foster unconditional love in their marriage in a specific way.
Do you and your spouse relate to God differently? Are you avoiding spiritual growth out of fear that it might damage your marriage? Has a potent religious experience driven a wedge between you and your spouse? Does God call a husband or wife to move forward while leaving his or her partner behind?
“The key to developing a successful marriage” is found in “personal change and growth,” John Farrelly says in “The Good Marriage Guide.” The author is director of counseling for ACCORD, the nationwide marriage care service of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
“Think and talk about commitment in positive terms,” Mark O’Connell advises couples in The Marriage Benefit. Nowadays, he says, “commitment can legitimately be considered a radical, even ‘cool’ choice, not a conventional one.”
Carol Leubering had been married more than 50 years when she wrote this little book. Her own marital journey with Jack informs its pages, as do the journeys of other couples whose stories she shares.
Don’t let “Newly Married” in its title prevent you from giving this attractive book to a couple on their first or fifth anniversary. Not only does the book’s square, hardcover format and reasonable price make it an ideal gift, but it also has prayers to last for a lifetime of marriage.
What would the world’s comedians do without jokes about in-laws? Cultural images of meddling mothers-in-law, good-for-nothing sons-in-law and intrusive siblings-in-law are so pervasive that they may cloud awareness that our in-laws are important to us–and we to them.
This is a book for and about husbands, though I’m certain many wives would enjoy it too. The authors of The Husband Handbook are determined to speak about marriage and its challenges in a manner designed to appeal to many men.
In the past century, life expectancy has increased by 30 years. Richard Johnson believes God has given human beings an additional three decades so that they can draw upon the wisdom of the mature years, an age when spiritual growth can flourish.
Robert and Rita Boeke, who have been married more than 40 years, take turns telling the story of their marriage in Forever and a Day. Chapter by chapter, each tells – from his or her own perspective — how they first met, or how they learned to deal with money, or how they sought a balance between the time invested in their jobs and in their marriage.
“Every marriage is still in process,” says Gary Chapman. In The Four Seasons of Marriage, he describes how marriages commonly move from one season to another – from summer to fall or perhaps from winter to spring. He differs from some writers, however, in holding that each season may repeat itself numerous times over the long course of a marriage.
Opening to the table of contents reveals that Take Back Your Marriage has no chapters on communication skills or conflict resolution and none devoted to finances or sex. Instead William Doherty, a practicing therapist, professor and director of the University of Minnesota’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program, focuses on overarching issues: commitment, building an intentional marriage and community connectivity.
“At its very best marriage affords a man and woman the opportunity to create not only offspring but an entirely unique creature called ‘us,’” David Yount writes in Making a Success of Marriage: Planning for Happily Ever After.