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Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way

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Loving in flow means having a partner you can count on through good times and bad, no matter what quirks and flaws each of you bring to the relationship. Despite everyday chaotic life, couples who are loving in flow dwell in their own zone of timeless joy. Loving in Flow is grounded in positive psychology. Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., a social psychologist, writes with uncommon candor from original research with diverse and exceptionally happy couples in long-term relationships as well as her own experiences. It offers...
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Overview

Loving in flow means having a partner you can count on through good times and bad, no matter what quirks and flaws each of you bring to the relationship. Despite everyday chaotic life, couples who are loving in flow dwell in their own zone of timeless joy. Loving in Flow is grounded in positive psychology. Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., a social psychologist, writes with uncommon candor from original research with diverse and exceptionally happy couples in long-term relationships as well as her own experiences. It offers fresh insight and guidance for navigating the changes in constantly evolving relationships
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Perry, a social psychologist and the author of Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity, draws on the ups and downs in her own marriage as well as interviews with other couples, both straight and gay, to glean many of her insights in this detailed exploration of the complexity inherent in coupledom. In the "Coping With Conflict" chapter, for example, she advises readers to "Be a Weatherperson" ("Assess what else is going on in your lives that might be contributing to this particular clash"), and in the "Sex (More or Less)" chapter, she acknowledges that "it can be quite erotic to...share full-bodied laughter to the point of near-exhaustion." No doubt anyone who's ever been in a relationship will see themselves reflected in at least some of this book-after all, who hasn't argued over the housework? To demonstrate that everyone gets on his or her partner's nerves at times, Perry makes an inadvertently funny list of her husband's annoying habits, like "Jiggles his glass of ice cubes repeatedly" and "Mixes big and little spoons in the drawer when he puts silverware away." Perry admits the trivial nature of her gripes, but reminds readers that integrating "the positive and the negative is necessary to maintain an overall positive view of your partner." From that obvious assessment, Perry writes more specifically, providing engaging case studies and the lessons that can be learned from them. Perry handles more serious relationship challenges such as adultery, illness, and dealing with a partner's interest in pornography in a straightforward manner. Maintaining a healthy, happy relationship isn't easy, but Perry's methods, based on Michaly Csikszentmihalyi's concept of Flow, show that "a superior relationship...is achievable if you both want it enough." (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402200656
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Garden of Dorian Gray xiii
What is "Loving in Flow"? xiv
The Puzzle of Happy Relationships xvi
About This Book xvii
1 In the Beginning Are the Words 1
Sending Signals 2
A Life in Lists 4
First Meetings 6
Riding the Emotional See-Saw 8
Clue-Collecting and Projecting 10
Qualities for Keeps 13
2 Intimations of Reality 15
The First Fight 16
Putting Your Best Knee Forward 21
What Have You Done for Me Lately? 23
Slipping Back to Normal 25
Some Illusions are Good 28
Expect Less to Get More 31
3 Coping with Conflict 33
Why We Clash 34
How to Stop 37
4 The No-Fault Approach 53
Better Off Blameless 54
Welcome to My World 55
Everyone Makes This Error (But You?) 57
What Really Changes 60
The Hose of Death 64
5 Talking About Talking 67
Lance the Talking Boil 68
I Like I-Messages 69
Four Horsemen, Pass On By 73
6 Cracking the Code 77
No, I'm Not Negative 78
Subtle Abuse 80
My Style or Yours? 84
Listen Carefully 90
What Words Mean 93
7 How Do You Drive Me Crazy? Let Me Count the Ways 99
An Easy List 100
Somewhere Under the Rainbow 102
I Am a Culture 104
The Only Thing You Have to Fear 105
Whose Life Is it Anyway? 106
My Way and the Wrong Way 108
8 Beyond the Chore Wars 113
Who Does More Housework and Who Cares? 114
Other Couples' Little Dirty Secrets 116
The Clutter Factor 121
History of a Battle 125
How We Solved the Chore Wars 127
Today: The Reality 129
9 The Couple's Manifesto of Love 133
What's Fair in Love and War? 134
My Money, Our Money 137
But You Owe Me 139
Me, Myself, and I...Oh, and You 141
10 Sex (More or Less) 145
Five (Other) Reasons to Do It 146
Happy Couples, Imperfect Sex 150
What a Difference a Decade Makes 155
Sex on the To-Do List 158
11 Sex Redux (Keeping It Fresh) 165
Flow-Enhancing Ideas 166
The Porno Perplex 174
Communicating About Sex 181
12 Hitting Bottom 187
How Much Love is Enough? 187
The Long Slide Down 190
From Bad to Worse 191
Greener Pastures? 195
Revelation and Raw Emotion 197
13 The Cliche Crisis 201
How We Rebounded 201
Making Sense of the Unthinkable 204
The Math and Chemistry of Cheating 207
The Serial Betrayer 208
Only an Accident? 209
Starry-Eyed Lust 214
Midlife Exam 217
Soul Mate (?) Times Two 220
Forgiveness: All in Good Time 222
Can You Affair-Proof? 225
14 Children: Flow Interrupted? 231
Adjusting to the Strain of Parenthood 231
Getting Back on Track 233
Parenting with Extra Problems 238
Families in Flux 243
Miscarriage and Infertility 246
15 Money, Illness, and Other Potential Crises 251
For Richer or Poorer 252
In Sickness and in Health 254
Overcoming Assorted Crises 257
Recap: From Low Point to Flow 264
16 Holding on, Letting Go 267
Intimacy: Risks and Rewards 268
How Honest? 274
Love Me, Love My Creature Release Mechanisms 277
Hey Mom, His Boundary Is Touching Mine 279
What's Respect Got to Do With It? 284
17 You Love What You Pay Attention to 287
Watching Me Watching You 288
Thanks for Being You 291
Ten Ways to Increase Mindfulness 294
18 The Power of Play 297
Schrodinger's Bunny: Laughing at Ourselves 298
Relish Your Rituals 302
The Flow of Novelty 307
Roles and the Postmodern Couple 311
19 The Imperfect Rock Tumbler of Time 317
Made for Each Other 317
The Narrative of Us 321
The End Is Near 324
Epilogue: Eight Insights About Loving in Flow 329
Notes 331
Index 341
About the Author 345
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2003

    Read this before you see a therapist

    Perry weaves the words of relationship experts with real-life couples to offer us a book that is highly readable, enjoyable, and well worth the money it can save you in therapy fees. Perry speaks candidly about her own relationship path and addresses universal relationship concerns like conflict, communication, and infidelity. Reading Loving in Flow is like sitting down with a friend and talking about relationships - it is honest, validating, and good for your soul.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    This Book Is The Real Deal

    If there's anything worse than the constant, grinding pain of an intractable marital problem, it's the glib pseudo-analysis of bestselling advice experts -- usually more annoying, less qualified, and stupider than any offending spouse, they seem to wind up divorced, discredit and publicly humiliated with even greater frequency. But LOVING IN FLOW is surprisingly, even powerfully, convincing on a wide variety of painful and frightening (and sometimes insoluble) relationship issues. And author Susan Perry isn't just a qualified psych PhD with (thank God) many years' experience researching and writing about long-term couples. She also has a literary gift (her well-scrutinized husband is a poet) and a meticulous, almost Proustian frankness about relationships she's actually observed, advised, and been in herself. You might not want to know just how much conscious work a successful long-term relationship actually needs, or how much pain and suffering a loser behavior it frequently has to accommodate ... but this book is uniquely credible on the subject, and one of the few I'd recommend to casual readers just for the information.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    Love well!

    Real marriages are never as simple as many people think or hope they will be, and Loving in Flow faces the contradictions and conflicts head-on, with refreshing honesty. Perry supplies fascinating anecdotes from the lives of many couples who have reached a place of happiness and satisfaction with one another. Her tips are clear and helpful, and she even covers issues often neglected by popular books, such as pornography, infidelity, and keeping married sex pleasurable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2003

    Learning About Love

    In Loving in Flow, Susan Perry's interviews with happily married couples reveals how their relationships flourished despite disillusionment and unmet expectations. She explores the problems married couples face and the different ways they handled them. I would like my 16 year-old granddaughter to read this book. Too much of what we read is 'after' the fact. Loving in Flow deserves a wider audience. One that could benefit by learning about love at an earlier age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2009

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