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.
Each of the 12 chapters focuses on a way to create marital zest; the Rogers consider each essential for a successful marriage.
- Do things together — every day.
- Accept one another’s similarities and differences.
- Strive to understand each other.
- Choose to feel each other’s emotions — better termed “listen to your spouse’s feelings,” as it advocates not fusion (an overly close relationship resulting in loss of self) but sensitivity and mutual help through difficult passages.
- Mindfully nurture love — a healthy approach in a chapter that mentions the danger of fusion.
- Make the marriage relationship the first priority for both.
- Delight one another with touch — a positive approach to sexuality.
- Balance togetherness and uniqueness.
- Help one another.
- Resolve conflicts before they get worse.
- Readily forgive and reconcile if possible — although giving up resentment is not easy.
- Share each other’s joys and sorrows.
These 12 techniques for strengthening marriage may seem obvious, but it isn’t enough to know or read about them. A “zesty” marriage requires practice. Fortunately each chapter offers activities such as writing, reflection and discussion that can help people of various personal styles enhance their marriage.