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The simple phrase "I love you" is terribly important to people–so what keeps so many of us from saying it? In Reclaim Your Relationship, Ron and Pat Potter-Efron, marriage therapists who have been married for 37 years, combine their real-life and clinical experience in this practical and accessible workbook designed to help individuals improve connections in their relationships with those they love. Presenting engaging, hands-on ...
The simple phrase "I love you" is terribly important to people–so what keeps so many of us from saying it? In Reclaim Your Relationship, Ron and Pat Potter-Efron, marriage therapists who have been married for 37 years, combine their real-life and clinical experience in this practical and accessible workbook designed to help individuals improve connections in their relationships with those they love. Presenting engaging, hands-on exercises, the authors help readers learn to say "I love you" to their partners with ease and genuine meaning, show their partner love through consistent acts of caring, and take in their partner’s loving words and deeds without always demanding more.
Ron Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD and Pat Potter-Efron, MS (Eau Claire, WS) are psychotherapists in private practice. They are the authors of Letting Go of Anger (1-572-24001-6) and Letting Go of Shame (0-894-86635-4).
PART ONE: How to Say “I Love You”.
1. Practice, practice, practice: Developing the positive habit of saying “I love you”.
2. Say “I love you” ten times to your partner.
3. Challenge the old, cold thoughts that keep you from saying “I love you”.
4. Say “I love you” with no strings attached: Be careful of your expectations.
5. Learn why you have trouble saying “I love you”.
6. Saying “I love you”: Getting started and keeping going.
7. Explore nonverbal ways to say “I love you”.
8. Say “I love you” with creativity, humor, and imagination.
9. Praise helps your partner feel loved.
10. Write a love letter to your partner.
11. Share your deepest hopes, dreams, and yearnings with your partner.
12. Practice intimacy: Saying “I love you” by opening the gates to your private world.
13. Say “I love you” during really hard times.
14. Don’t keep it a secret: Tell others you love your partner.
15. Choosing not to hurt your partner: What not to say in the name of love.
PART TWO: How to Show Love.
16. Show your love by making time for your partner.
17. The doubly loving relationship: Becoming helpmates and best friends.
18. Listen with love.
19. Show love by understanding your partner.
20. Show love by accepting difference.
21. Love needs trust to form a strong bond.
22. Show your love by respecting your partner.
23. There’s a difference between having sex and making love.
24. One of the best times to show your love is during conflict.
25. Give your partner the gifts he or she really wants.
26. Do something generous for your partner.
27. Unexpected surprises add romance to your relationship.
28. Keep “I love you” special: Don’t misuse or overuse the words.
29. Follow the accordion model of a loving relationship: Recognize the value of both closeness and temporary separation.
30. There must be fifty ways to love a leaver: Helping the partner who runs from closeness.
PART THREE: How to Take In Love.
31. Make a promise to yourself to take in your partner’s love and affection.
32. Put your “no” on the shelf: Choosing to let in your partner’s love.
33. The five steps that let you take in love.
34. Take in love one small bit at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
35. You can’t take in what you don’t see: Notice the times when your partner is caring and considerate.
36. How to avoid the slide into defensiveness (only looking for the bad stuff ).
37. Give your partner opportunities to be loving.
38. Practice taking in love every time you give it out: Breathe in silver and breathe out gold.
39. Take in love at your growing edge.
40. Let love in even though you’ve been hurt before.
41. Take in love and comfort even when you have difficulty loving yourself.
42. Act “as if ” you believe people love you until you actually believe it.
43. The hole in the bucket problem: Recognize and understand why you have trouble taking in love.
44. Don’t be greedy: Nobody owes you constant love or attention.
45. My lover’s love is like . . . Writing analogies and a story about your partner’s love.
46. The spiritual aspects of taking in your partner’s love.