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The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to the Perfect Marriage, Second Edition is an excellent resource for married couples, whether newlyweds or celebrating their bronze anniversary and beyond, on how to keep a marriage working, repair any damages, enhance the strength of their relationship, and more, brought up-to-date for the 21st century. The new edition contains additional chapters on spirituality and partnership, how being a more giving person in other areas — volunteering, helping others, and joining in community ...
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The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to the Perfect Marriage, Second Edition is an excellent resource for married couples, whether newlyweds or celebrating their bronze anniversary and beyond, on how to keep a marriage working, repair any damages, enhance the strength of their relationship, and more, brought up-to-date for the 21st century. The new edition contains additional chapters on spirituality and partnership, how being a more giving person in other areas — volunteering, helping others, and joining in community activities — can strengthen a marriage, planning ahead, learning how to handle potential difficulties before they happen, and schedule secret getaways and "dates" that keep a marriage exciting.
I. YOU CAN HAVE THE MARRIAGE YOU WANT.
1. Profile of the Perfect Marriage.
What's So Great About Marriage Anyway? The Best Investment You'll Ever Make. Which Marriage Would You Rather Be In? Qualities in a Great Marriage. Does GREAT Equal Perfect?
2. Obstacles to a Perfect Marriage.
Throw Away Your Fantasies. Unrealistic Expectations. The Blame Game. Getting Over Grudges. Overcoming Your Obstacles. Don't Give Up Easily. Go for It!
3. Making the Ordinary Extraordinary.
Don't Take Your Spouse for Granted. Small Things Do Count. Do One Nice Thing Each Day. Make the End of Each Day Special.
4. Keeping the Passion Alive.
Reigniting Passion. Good Fun Takes Good Planning. Let's Do Lunch. Rate Your Date with Your Mate. Put Aside Differences. Be Spontaneous, Too. Hot Date Ideas. Romantic Getaways.
II. TOOLS FOR SUCCESS.
5. Two-Way Communication.
What Exactly Is Communication? Ten Steps to Clear Communication. The Art of Listening. What's Wrong with This Picture? Knowing What You Need. Sending Your Message. Make Sure You Were Heard.
6. It's Just a Matter of Time.
Rush, Rush, Rush. Where Does the Time Go? Time Is Like Money. A Question of Balance. Make the Most of Your Time Together. Time Is Precious.
7. What's Bugging You?
Who Am I and Who Are You? Why Do We Annoy Each Other? Gripes and Grievances. The Bother Barometer. The Virtue of Tolerance. The Grass Is Not Always Greener.
8. We Can Work It Out.
Set Aside Time. Turning Conflict into Resolution. Say “I,” Not “You”. Reality Check. Be a Good Echo. Stay on Target. One-Liners to Avoid. Be Honest with Your Limits. Don't Forget You Are Both on the Same Side.
9. I'm Sorry… That's All I Can Say.
We All Make Mistakes. Don't Turn the Table Around. Apologizing to Clear the Air. The “I'm Sorry” Quiz. Don't Hold a Grudge. Anger and Forgiveness.
III. DAILY HURDLES.
10. …For Richer, For Poorer.
Money Can Be an Emotional Issue. Realistic Expectations. Are You a Saver or a Spender? Saver and Spender Combinations. Making Financial Decisions Together.
11. Money Management. Budget Basics. The Household Budget. Three Ways to Organize Your Money.
12. My Pillow Is Your Pillow.
Marriage and Sex. Communication and Sex. Obstacles to a Great Sex Life. Plan to Have Good Sex. Men and Women Are Different. Birth Control and Married Sex.
13. Domestic Drudgery.
Housework Hurdles. Getting Beyond Stereotypes. Chores Are a Bore. Hiring a Housecleaner.
14. I Married You, Not Your Whole Family.
Your Mother Is Driving Me Crazy! Loving Hearts. Common Conflicts. Out-of-Town Visits. Keep Your Problems to Yourselves. Accentuate the Positive.
IV. WE'RE A FAMILY NOW.
15. Planning the Unplannable.
Decisions, Decisions. Common Concerns About Having a Child. Timing Is Everything. Now or Later? Don't Put It Off Too Long.
16. And Baby Makes Three.
Bringing the Baby Home. Caring For Each Other. It's Not Just the Two of You. Outside Relationships. Making Special Time for Yourselves Without the Kids.
17. Parenting as Partners.
Building Blocks. The Great Imitators. Disciplining Your Kids. Merging Different Parenting Styles. Family Routines. Family Vacations. Creating a Happy Family.
18. Employed, Unemployed, Reemployed.
Love and Work. All I've Got Is Time. Money Isn't Everything. Traveling with Work. Supercommuting.
19. Home Away from Home.
The Big Decision. We're Moving! Making Your House into a Home. Exploring Your New Neighborhood. Settling In.
20. When Those You Looked Up to Look Up to You.
Emotions You May Be Feeling. Some Things Never Change. Taking Care of Each Other. Outside Support.
21. Second Chances.
Learning from Your Mistakes. Don't Fall into the Same Trap. Healing Old Wounds. Building New Memories Together. It's Just a Check. Yours, Mine, and Ours. Older and Wiser.
VI. Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
22. …In Sickness and in Health.
Accepting Limitations. Long-Term Limitations. Making a Financial Plan. Caring for Each Other. Understanding Depression. Gathering Support.
23. Just One More.
Understanding Addiction. Alcoholism. Getting Help. Drug Abuse. Other Addictions. Work. Keep Your Marriage Addiction-Free.
Infidelity as a Symptom. Is It Over? Starting Over. Moving On. Warning Signs. Keeping Infidelity Out of Your Marriage.
25. Help! We Need Somebody.
When Is Therapy Useful? Ten Common Myths People Have About Therapy. Is Therapy for Me? Finding a Therapist. Be Goal-Directed. Other Resources. Taking Control of Your Life.
VII. PLANNING YOUR FUTURE TOGETHER.
26. We Have a Dream.
Creating a Vision Together. Family Goals. Contributing to Your Community. Personal Goals. Goal Planner. Prioritizing What You Want.
27. Got to Take You Higher: Spirituality and Marriage.
One Soul. Authentic Happiness. The Deed Shapes the Heart. The Meaning of Life.
28. Soul Mates.
Having a GREAT Marriage. Treasuring Your Past. Cherishing Every Moment. Looking Forward to Tomorrow. Counting Your Blessings.
Appendix A. Case Studies.
Appendix B. Quizzes.