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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Would you describe your relationship as fun, loving, and fulfilling? If that question alone makes you smirk or go hysterical with laughter (or tears), then it may be time to break some new ground. Shelve those books on psychotherapy, communication, and negotiation for the time being and get ready to settle in. In If We're So in Love, Why Aren't We Happy?, Protestant minister Susan Page offers a new paradigm on the essence of a true relationship and how you can get there. Instead of focusing on problems and continuously "hashing it out," you are called upon to view your relationship as a spiritual practice.
"Spiritual Partnership is a radically different approach to relationships. It is based on the simple idea that if you focus on behaving in a spiritual way yourself, rather than on fixing your relationship or your partner, then you, your partner, and your relationship will be happier and stronger." The goal here is not to be perfect or even a "better person," but rather to learn how to love more deeply and, therefore, have more fun and joy in your relationship.
Each chapter in the book is followed by several experiments that are based on what Page calls the Five Sacred Acts of Love. Over the course of eight weeks, you are invited to try one or two a week and to record your results. Here are a few examples:
- Memorize the phrase, "Our relationship is more important than ________." When you are about to say something negative, say this to yourself instead.
- Set a specific time, from five minutes to an evening, to act like a loving, adoring partner.
- Initiate affection with your partner.
- Make a wish list for yourself of your desires and goals.
- Is your partner doing something you can no longer tolerate? Follow the steps for taking a stand.