Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards


The secret of a good marriage, for the most part, is that there are no secrets, only commonsense, time-tested ideas practiced by countless others who have done it well.—from the Introduction

Marriage expert Dr. Ray Guarendi has counseled enough couples to know that building a better relationship with your spouse doesn't mean learning exotic...

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Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards

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The secret of a good marriage, for the most part, is that there are no secrets, only commonsense, time-tested ideas practiced by countless others who have done it well.—from the Introduction

Marriage expert Dr. Ray Guarendi has counseled enough couples to know that building a better relationship with your spouse doesn't mean learning exotic new communication techniques or rearranging your lifestyle. In fact, a few of his ten "small steps" are lessons you learned in grade school, such as:

  • Say "I'm Sorry"
  • Listen a Minute
  • Make a List
  • Use Your Manners
Plus, with his "resistance rationales," Dr. Ray helps you overcome any reluctance you might feel to taking these small steps. Filled with straightforward advice, this book reminds you that a happier, more rewarding marriage is just a few small steps away.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867169850
  • Publisher: Franciscan Media
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 147
  • Sales rank: 489,280
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

RAYMOND N. GUARENDI, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and has been a guest on national TV and radio programs such as Oprah, Joan Rivers, The 700 Club and CBS This Morning. He offers parents and spouses practical help through his private practice and his syndicated radio show, "The Doctor Is In," heard on over 145 stations nationwide, as well as on Sirius satellite radio.
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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Acknowledgments vi

Small Step #1 Say, "I'm Sorry" 1

Small Step #2 Don't Say It 14

Small Step #3 Listen a Minute 29

Small Step #4 Ask a Few Questions 39

Small Step #5 Accept It 51

Small Step #6 Dump the D Word 67

Small Step #7 Use Your Manners 83

Small Step #8 Protect 95

Small Step #9 Make a List 108

Small Step #10 Add a Touch 125

The Final Resistance: "I Don't Want To" 138

The Ladder 141

Notes 147

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Time-tested ideas

    Raymond N. Guarendi, Ph.D., ("Dr. Ray") is a clinical psychologist and father of 10, who is a nationally known speaker and syndicated radio show host. His seven previous books deal with parenting and family life. In his new book, Dr. Ray explains that in marriage, just as in parenting, small steps can lead to improvements not only in the primary relationship but also in overall family life. The book is presented in ten chapters, representing what the author calls "commonsense, time-tested ideas" such as saying I'm sorry and practicing good manners. Chapters consist of a brief introduction, common rationales spouses use to avoid taking the advice in question, and an example of the ineffective way followed by an improved version with comments from the therapist. The "Protect" chapter stems from Guarendi's observation that the mom in counseling is often the lead authority in the home; the dad lets her deal with the kids' resistance and sometimes even undercuts her. This pattern, Guarendi writes, can widen a parental rift and with it, a marital one. He tells fathers, firmly, "Get up. Get in there. Get involved. In a word, protect." The goal is to stop the child from harassing your wife. A man who protects his wife in this way teaches their children respect and "strengthens the family's image of (him) as the man of the house," writes Guarendi. He then presents and counters four common resistance rationales: (1) I have never done anything like this before, (2) I don't know how she'll react, (3) she doesn't like the way I discipline, (4) she needs to establish her own authority. In the scenario for the protect chapter, a 15-year-old girl is arguing with her mother about going to the mall. The father participates in a half-hearted way, which the therapist notes is ineffective. After another round of family dialogue, the therapist contributes a half-page script. Using this, he writes, the dad would rate about 7 (of 10) on the protection scale, which he could raise to 7.9 "if he follows through tomorrow."

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