Forgive for Love: The Missing Ingredient for a Loving and Lasting Relationship

Forgive for Love: The Missing Ingredient for a Loving and Lasting Relationship

by Frederic Luskin, Fred Luskin, Caroline Greeven, Caroline Greeven

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Finding the love of your life and holding onto that relationship is more difficult than ever. The problem hasn't gone unnoticed. From relationship therapists to speed-dating, self-help books to online matchmaking, an entire industry has developed to help us navigate the bumpy road of relationships. Yet in spite of the availability of all these resources, many of us

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Finding the love of your life and holding onto that relationship is more difficult than ever. The problem hasn't gone unnoticed. From relationship therapists to speed-dating, self-help books to online matchmaking, an entire industry has developed to help us navigate the bumpy road of relationships. Yet in spite of the availability of all these resources, many of us still struggle to discover and keep the love of our lives. That is, until now.

This groundbreaking book from the frontiers of psychology offers startling new research about the one missing factor that is vital to relationships—forgiveness. A national bestselling author and leading expert on forgiveness, Dr. Fred Luskin shows that no matter how much two people may love each other, their relationship will not succeed unless they practice forgiveness—an approach that most relationship experts continue to ignore.

Why is forgiveness an essential tool for relationships? Studies reveal that 70 percent for what we argue about at the beginning of our relationships will never be fully resolved. In other words, our basic needs and behaviors don't change over time. The issues are endless: the socks that always end up on the floor, how often to have sex, the ESPN obsession, working hours, and, of course, friends and family. Without forgiveness, these issues, however big or small, too easily turn into relationship-eroding grudges.

Forgive for Love is the solution for your relationship woes, providing the tools you need to find and hold onto the love of your life. Dr. Luskin delivers a proven seven-step program for creating and maintaining loving and lasting relationships, teaching easy-to-learn forgiveness skills that will not only resolve immediate conflicts but improve the overall happiness and longevity of your relationships. Simply put: people in healthy relationships figure out how to forgive their partners for being themselves. They do so because it is nearly impossible to change other people and because none of us are perfect. Forgiveness is the key, and Forgive for Love has the answers.

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Editorial Reviews

John Gray
“Dr. Luskin provides the necessary insight to not only forgive your partner but motivate you as well.”
Rhonda Britten
“Luskin has brilliantly combined science, psychology and plain ol’ common sense to show us how again.”
“…The secret to lifelong love. Learning how to forgive may be the most important skill for a loving and lasting relationship.”
Library Journal

Luskin, the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects (a series of research projects that investigate forgiveness methods), reworks his 2002 Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, now focusing on marriage. Citing numerous studies (mostly his own), Luskin explores forgiveness as a means to a successful relationship, explains its multiple benefits, reviews its four stages, presents a seven-step plan toward achieving it, and emphasizes the difference between forgiving in a specific situation and actually becoming a more forgiving person. No-nonsense writing and numerous lists provide accessibility and achievability. Luskin has an unfortunate tendency to tell the reader how the book will help instead of letting the many anecdotes he's gleaned from his research and private practice speak for themselves; also, an index would have been useful. That said, only a handful of older, specifically religious titles exclusively address this subject, among them Paul W. Coleman's The Forgiving Marriage: Resolving Anger and Resentment and Rediscovering Each Otherand Lewis B. Smede's The Art of Forgiving: When You Need To Forgive and Don't Know How. An innovative, research-based approach recommended for public libraries.
—Shawna Thorup

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)

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Forgive for Love
The Missing Ingredient for a Healthy and Lasting Relationship

Chapter One

The Missing Factor

Dana and Greg came to see me soon after they ran into serious relationship problems. Their love for and commitment to each other was apparent, but it was also clear that the past was eating away at the present. When Dana and Greg first met, he was still dealing with the emotional turmoil of his recent divorce. Greg clung to Dana like a drowning person clings to a life preserver. Dana's previous relationship and subsequent divorce had occurred a few years earlier, and she, though needy, was no longer in crisis. During our time together, I helped Greg forgive his first wife, Gloria, so that he was better able to see Dana as a new and distinct person. And I helped Dana to understand Greg's neediness and also to forgive herself for choosing a partner who was in the middle of a difficult time in his life.

Dana also realized that she had work to do to forgive Greg for his insecurity and the difficulties that caused. Learning how to forgive helped to prevent Greg's and Dana's pasts from damaging their present. Forgiveness saved their relationship and gave them skills to understand that letting go of grudges and resentment would be a critical part of maintaining a loving and lasting relationship.

Greg and Dana are just one example of a couple for whom forgiveness has been essential for navigating the challenges that all relationships face. Relationship issues may emerge when partners are at different developmental stages, or when they have different needs and expectations—for example, when one partner wants children andthe other does not, or when one partner wants to move for a job and the other does not. Many couples struggle with caretaking for aged parents or with being overwhelmed by work. In our busy and hectic lives, it is difficult for many of us to find the energy and time to deal successfully even with life's normal struggles.

Luke was in his forties when he met thirtysomething Diane. He already had two kids from a first marriage, and she wanted two of their own. Luke loved and wanted Diane, but did not want more children. Diane wanted more children, and she also wanted Luke. They were both convinced that the other was insensitive because both heard only the other's rejection of their own needs. It took a lot of work, but eventually forgiveness allowed Luke and Diane to talk to each other and lovingly accept the limitations of entering a relationship with a person with different life desires and goals.

From relative interest in sex to dedication to work to relationships with parents and children, there are simply too many ways in which a relationship can become unbalanced. Considering how complex life can be, it is inevitable that we will disagree with our partners on things both important and not so important. The key is to understand the inevitability of disagreement and the need to forgive the inevitable and to move on with love. In this book, you will learn how to do this, and you will also see for yourself the immediate value of forgiveness in your relationship when you discover that it is an essential balm for hurt feelings.

Committed relationships are hard work, and they ask a lot of us. According to the triangle theory of romance, it takes passion, friendship, and commitment to sustain a relationship. Relationships falter when they have two of these elements but lack the third. If you both love and like your partner but aren't committed, your relationship will end eventually. If you feel friendship with and commitment to your partner, you'll end up with a good friend, not a lover. If you have commitment and passion without friendship, you will end up with a stormy but passionate mess. In order for your relationship to work, you need to love your partner, like your partner, and be willing to stick it out through thick and thin.

As director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, I have probably taught more people to forgive in the United States than anyone else during the past decade. I have conducted the largest successful forgiveness research study to date, and my research has proven that forgiveness heals a wide range of emotional and psychological issues—from severe trauma such as the murder of a child to dealing with the loss of money in the stock market. I have taught forgiveness in corporate settings, in medical and law schools, at numerous churches and synagogues, and in a host of other religious and secular settings. Also, I have trained numerous therapists in my forgiveness methods and helped them learn to use my work in their practices.

In addition, I have worked with thousands of disappointed and angry couples and individuals who have been hurt in their relationships. Listening to countless stories of infidelity, alcohol abuse, mistreatment of children, disregard for feelings, and other causes of divorce and disagreement, I have seen firsthand how difficult it is to make relationships work. In fact, my dozen years of teaching and research on forgiveness have convinced me of just how hard it is to have a loving and lasting union. But more than that, this work has shown me how essential forgiveness is and why it needs to be at the center of our relationships.

Forgive for Love shows how to forgive the things people do to the ones they love. The skills taught in this book not only will help you come to terms with a grievance or disagreement in the past, but will also enable you to prevent problems from developing in your current relationship, no matter how good it is.

The tools discussed in this book are for people in a committed relationship. I often use the word "marriage," but you do not need to be married to find these tools beneficial. They will also work in your relationship with a significant other, a life partner, or a lover. . . .

Forgive for Love
The Missing Ingredient for a Healthy and Lasting Relationship
. Copyright � by Frederic Luskin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. <%END%>

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