Thursday, January 14

10 Lessons to transform your marriage

Marriage is a lot of hard work. In all the fairy tales, the ending is always so sweet and happy. One can't help but wish that her own marriage is like a fairy tale too. Alas that is not the case for many. Thankfully there are plenty of books written for this important topic. Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a conference where John and Julie Gottman from the Gottman Institute were speaking. Impressed with their workshops, I decided to get the book.

The book was well-written and easy to read. The 10 lessons come in 10 case studies where details of the couples and their communication patterns were documented and subsequently corrected by the expert. Hence, for every couple 2 dialogues are presented; one that took place before they were counseled and one that happened after they have heard the advice. Plenty of suggestions and explanations were given as to why certain behaviours and/or communication pattern could be harmful to the relationship.

A host of problems common to marriage were addressed. These are:
1. the stress of caring for a new baby
2. exhaustion from working too hard
3. loss of interest in sex and romance
4. health problems
5. recovering from extramarital affair
6. struggles with depression
7. arguments over housework and finances
8. changes that come with retirement
9. the loss of a job, identity, or a lifelong dream.

What I like about the book is that it is pragmatic and at the end of each chapter there are exercises that one can do to enhance the learning experience. These exercises provide the starting point for couples to dialogue and discover more about each other.

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