I read the above titled book by Rob Parsons yesterday morning. From start to finish. The whole book. Its one of the best books I've read on relationships, marriage and parenting that I've read in a long time. He wrote it so that it could be read in an hour. It took me a bit longer because I was furiously making notes like there was an exam after that hour! My notes were my gift to SO yesterday and he really loved it. In his words, 'this is to be studied and not merely read!' I would like to share that email with you but as I lifted every single word directly from the book I think there will be copyright issues with that!
How to transform your marriage in an hour! Definitely worth the read. What I will share are the main points of the book, he describes them as the goals partners should aim for in marriage. To get more, read the book!
Learning to talk again and to give each other the dignity of knowing that they matter. Try to have an evening once a week for just the two of you. Defend it with your life
Don't confuse your partners need for space with rejection
In the 21st century, time pressure is killing relationships. We can live in the same house and still be strangers if we don't make time to really spend time with each other. I am really guilty of this one but hopefully my 30 Day challenge is helping me look for ways to actually bridge gaps and spend quality if not always quantity time.
To Survive Conflict
There will be conflict but it doesn't have to be a horrible thing. We must learn to deal with it. Attack issues and not people. Stick to those issues and remember the magic word FORGIVENESS. Learn to be the first to apologise.
To Accept what I can't change
While life is about change, people find change difficult. Don't be so focused on who you want your partner to be that you miss out on who they really are. We must love the whole package both the bits we like and those we don't. I would rather that SO loved long phone conversations but he doesn't and he makes it up to me in other ways so I have learnt to live with it. The refusal to accept what I couldn't change destroyed my last relationship. I am learning my lessons.
To be a Ghostbuster
We come into marriage with ourselves. That sounds funny but its true. We bring our hopes, dreams, fears, most importantly we bring our past. I spent a long time on this one because I know that my reaction to certain things are based mainly on what I saw in my parents marriage and in my previous relationship. I need to be more self-aware and ask myself why I react to certain things in a certain way. My inability to share my problems, my perfectionism, my sometimes critical response to certain situations. Hmm.. He recommends sharing with our partners our past hurts, heartbreaks and disappointments. Our partners deserve this, it provides context and promotes understanding.
To Believe in Lovemaking
Rob says that we should forget the Hollywood myths. Every couple will at some point experience a 'dry spell.' He/she may not be that interested. Men want women to initiate and be more available for sex. Women want men to be more affectionate, for her lovemaking starts long before the bedroom. There must be a way we can meet somewhere and be in a win/win situation. Read a book, get counselling whatever it takes for you to get your groove back.
To Dispel the Illusions
Marriage is more than romance. Sometimes its a dance and sometimes you're fighting to keep it alive. Forget thinking that you will be happier with someone else. The grass may be greener on the other side but it still needs mowing. I want to have a wonderful marriage. I want SO to be the happiest man alive because he's married to me. Its my goal and that's what I will keep working towards.