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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Looking Around For Great Marriage Counseling Books

Posted by patrick

By Sabrina Summerfield

Most likely you own a car. If you do, no doubt you change the oil every three to four months or so. Of course, your car needs maintenance. It should be just as obvious that marriages need maintenance. However, in view of the epidemic of divorce in our society, it's pretty clear that maintenance of marriages is often neglected. This is a shame, because there are a lot of marriage counseling books on the shelf to help you improve your marriage. For a little time and not much money, you can make an investment that will pay huge dividends in your relationship. This is an easy, practical step you can take to prevent your marriage from ending up on the rocks.

There must be hundreds of marriage counseling books out there, and new ones are coming out all the time. But you don't always have to go with the latest fad. In fact, it may be better to use a book that's been around a while. It's not as if the problems that couples face are new. In fact, we face the same issues our great-grandparents face: affection, control, money, kids, and so on.

One classic book that I like is "His Needs, Her Needs". It was written by Willard F. Harley, Jr, a practicing psychologist. He focuses on the fact that husband and wife have differing needs. These needs are so different that it's often the case that the husband doesn't even realize that he is not meeting his wife's needs, and vice versa. According to Dr. Harley, men's greatest need is usually sex, which should come as no surprise. For women he ranks affection first, which is something many men find it hard to deliver. In summary, Dr. Harley's encourages the husband and wife to make loving accommodations for each other's differing needs, even if it requires some self-sacrifice.

An alternative that takes a very different approach is "Getting the Love You Want". The author is Dr. Harville Hendrix, a practicing therapist, who himself went through a painful divorce. As a result of his experience, Dr. Hendrix writes with sensitivity and sincere empathy. According to Dr. Hendrix, we usually don't understand the real (unconscious) reasons that we are attracted to our mates. According to him, these reasons can be summarized as follows. First of all, we are drawn to partners whose personalities have both the pluses and minuses of those who raised us. Second, we are drawn to partners who make up for things we missed out on during our childhood. The upshot is that we often expecting our mate to be a kind of 'surrogate parent" who will do things right the second time around.

Although I don't agree totally with Dr. Hendrix, I did enjoy reading the many case histories he cites to support his arguments. One of these involves John, a dull businessman (in his own words), who fell head-over-heels for Cheryl because she was emotionally expressive. However, although this attracted John to Cheryl at first, very soon he became overwhelmed by her outbursts.

In short, there are a lot of options out there, as far as marriage counseling books is concerned. But it's worth the time to look around at the different options. Marriage counseling books aren't that expensive. And don't put it off, sometimes a big problems in a marriage can be avoided if little problems are nipped in the bud - and marriage counseling books can help with this. Your marriage is worth the investment!

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