Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness: How Embracing the Virtues of Loyalty, Generosity, Justice, and Courage Can Strengthen Your Relationship / Edition 1

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Overview

It's time to question the widespread consensus that good communication, emotional gratification, and intimacy are the essential elements of good marriages. In this controversial and yet inspirational book, psychologist Blaine Fowers challenges this powerful myth, offering couples a new vision of marital partnership that is grounded in a richer understanding of vibrant lifelong marriages.Dr. Fowers, a noted relationship expert, reveals that the best marriages are partnerships in which the spouses are devoted to creating a shared life. Using real-life examples from thriving relationships, he shows how spouses can create deeply meaningful partnerships devoted to mutual goals such as raising children, contributing to the life of their community, and maintaining family or religious traditions. Couples not only flourish as they engage in worthwhile activities together, but as they extend themselves beyond their own gratification they also gain strength from their extended families and their communities. Beyond the Myth is filled with suggestions spouses can use to develop the traits or virtues-including friendship, loyalty, self-restraint, courage, generosity, and justice-that can bring this vision to life. Dr. Fowers' original ideas and practical, uplifting advice shows how couples can more fully capture the beauty and goodness that are available in almost all marriages.Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness is written for people who want to participate in the wonder and depth of a long-term partnership, improve their own character, and develop the richness and vitality that may be dormant in their relationships for creating a loving and lasting marriage.

Discover the Deeper Meaning of Marriage in the Virtues and Joysof Long-Term Partnership. According to psychologist Blaine Fowers, the myth of marital happiness-that good communication, emotional gratification, and intimacy result in a healthy relationship-has made marriages more fragile than ever before.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fowers's inspiring new approach to marriage may well provide themissing link in our struggle to rebuild and fortify the flagginginstitution of marriage. All couples—from starry-eyed newlyweds tothose about to throw in the towel—should take turns reading thisbook aloud to each other." —Diane Sollee, founder and director,Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education

"At last we have a book that sets forth the true basis for Anduringmarriages. It moves beyond the psychobabble about emotional payoffand beyond even today's panacea of 'communication' to describe realmarriage as a partnership directed toward ends good in themselves."—Robert N. Bellah, professor of sociology, emeritus, University ofCalifornia Berkeley, coauthor, The Good Society

"I've read a lot of books, for a lot of years, about a lot oftheories pertaining to marriage. But none of them have come closeto capturing the beauty, lyrical quality, and profound truth ofthis book. This book is different from all the rest. The truthshines out from it." —Philip Cushman, author, Constructing theSelf, Constructing America

Library Journal
Both of these books are trumpeting the same messages: Marriage is imperiled! We cannot let marriage die! Marriage is an unmitigated good! Both also agree that unreasonable expectations are a major cause of divorce. People believe that if they're in love, they will be happy. And if they're not happy, there must be something wrong with their marriages. Therefore, they will quickly jettison the relationship to gain self-fulfillment--the concept that has all three authors in an uproar. Marriage, they say, is not about individuals; it's about a partnership. Americans must change their value systems so that they can work for the good of the marriage--and therefore society--instead of for the good of an individual. Fowers (psychology, Univ. of Miami) mainly focuses on the idea that people leave marriages because they aren't "emotionally fulfilled." In order for marriages to succeed, he claims, couples must look beyond emotions and focus instead on marriage as a shared ride to a common goal. He lambastes the marriage-counseling community for stressing communication as a panacea and insists that without common goals and Aristotelian virtues, communication will not save a marriage. He gives concrete examples from couples with whom he's worked in his counseling and research career as well as from his own life. Waite (sociology, Univ. of Chicago) and Gallagher (analyst, Inst. for American Values) probably wouldn't argue with any of Fowers's points. Instead of focusing on specific marriages, however, they have done number-crunching and an extensive search of the literature to prove that lasting marriages benefit the participants in myriad ways: married partners have better health, financial resources, sex, and careers. They attempt to combat longstanding opinions that marriage is good for him and bad for her, that cohabitation is an acceptable lifestyle, and that divorce is better than a bad marriage. They suggest several ways of getting people to opt for lasting marriages. Either of these works would be acceptable for public libraries, although some people may be put off by the moralizing tones of both and by Waite and Gallagher's almost complete dismissal of homosexuals. The Waite and Gallagher book could be useful in academic sociology collections because of its wealth of statistics.--Pam Matthews, Gettysburg Coll., PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787945671
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/18/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.65 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

BLAINE J. FOWERS, Ph.D., is a psychologist who specializes in marital and family therapy research and training. He is associate professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Miami. Fowers has been married to Susan his wife for 15 years. They are the proud parents of Jeremy, age 12, and Alyssa, age 9.

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Table of Contents

THE MYTH.

The Guidance of Myth.

The Magic Union.

How Did We Get Here? A Brief History of a Myth.

Marital Therapy, the Science of Marriage, and the Myth.

A NEW VISION OF MARRIAGE.

Creating the Good Marriage: From Technique to Character.

The Virtue of Friendship: Building a Partnership Marriage.

The Virtue of Loyalty: Creating a Lasting Marriage.

The Virtue of Generosity: Fashioning a Giving Marriage.

The Virtue of Justice: Fostering a Fair Marriage.

How Can All of Us Work Together to Cultivate StrongMarriages?

Notes.

About the Author.

Index.

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