1. Introduction and Theoretical Overview.
Theoretical Framework for the Book.
2. Dating, Courtship, and Marriage Today.
Courtship and Engagement.
Why Get Married?
3. Your Personal Style.
Flexibility: A Crucial Characteristic.
Kindness: Sibling to Flexibility and Key to Relationship Success.
Maturity: Cousin to Flexibility.
Extroversion and Organization.
Desired Characteristics of Mates.
What about Change?
Congruence in Perceptions.
4. Your Emotional Climate.
Emotions, Moods, and Dispositions.
Emotional First Aid.
5. Special Issues and Concerns.
Issues of Timing.
Learning to Love.
Danger Signs and Other Challenges.
Working with Special Issues.
6. Values, Behavior, and the Family.
7. Your Parent Marriage.
What is the Big Deal about My Parents Marriage?
Conflict and Emotions.
Power and Control.
Trust and Commitment.
Discussion with Parents regarding their Marriage.
8. Your Relationship with Each Parent.
Your Biological Self: Who You Are Today.
Attachment and Personal Worth.
9. The Stress and Trauma in Your Family.
Trauma Resulting from Volitional Acts.
Trauma Resulting from Nonvolitional Acts.
Evaluation the Effects of Trauma.
10. Social Context: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Geography.
Social Purpose of Marriage.
Environment and Marriage: Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Strata, and Geography.
Who are you?
10. Spirituality and Religiosity.
Defining Spirituality and Religiosity.
Influence on Dating and Marriage.
Sharing Spirituality as a Couple.
A Dynamic and Confusing Issue.
11. Your preferred and Actual Couple Style.
Preferences Regarding Conflict.
The Actual Styles of Couples.
12. Negative Communication Patterns.
We have found the Enemy and it is not Negative Feelings.
The Cascade to Isolation and Divorce.
Resisting the Pull of Gravity.
13. Positive Communication Patterns.
Positive Thoughts about your Partner.
Attention and Connection.
Positive Reframing of Events to Give Partners the Benefit of the Doubt.
Acceptance of a Wide Range of Partner Thoughts and Behaviors.
Willingness to Let Go of Differences.
Effective Problem Solving.
14. Emotional and Physical Intimacy.
Emotionally Intimate Relationships.
Threats to Intimacy.
15. Problem Areas, Disapproval from Others, and Violence.
Disapproval from Others.
Violence between Partners.
16. Satisfaction, Stability, and Marriage.