The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage, 3rd Edition


Creating a marriage that makes it through the long haul.

Here is an updated and revised edition of the popular guide to marriage in the 21st century. Whether you are newlyweds or have 50 years under your belt, this guide will give you the knowledge you need to make yours a marriage others will envy and want to emulate. In this new edition, there is a male perspective, additional material for newlyweds, an ...

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Creating a marriage that makes it through the long haul.

Here is an updated and revised edition of the popular guide to marriage in the 21st century. Whether you are newlyweds or have 50 years under your belt, this guide will give you the knowledge you need to make yours a marriage others will envy and want to emulate. In this new edition, there is a male perspective, additional material for newlyweds, an expansion on “thinking and feeling for two,” and much more.
—Features a positive approach that focuses on communication
—Authors have added a male perspective to this edition

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592576081
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 766,884
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilary Rich is the author of Get Married Now and How to Be a Great Catch, and co-author of The Words Can Heal Handbook. She's appeared on many national TV and radio shows and has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the country.
Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist with a special interest in family and couples therapy. Currently in clinical practice, Dr. Kravitz served on the faculty at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 You Can Have the Marriage You Want 1
1 Profile of the Perfect Marriage 3
What's So Great About Marriage Anyway? 3
The Best Investment You'll Ever Make 4
Which Marriage Would You Rather Be In? 6
Qualities in a Great Marriage 9
Does GREAT Equal Perfect? 12
2 Obstacles to a Perfect Marriage 13
Throw Away Your Fantasies 13
Unrealistic Expectations 14
The Blame Game 15
Getting Over Grudges 16
Overcoming Your Obstacles 17
Don't Give Up Easily 18
Go for It! 19
3 Making the Ordinary Extraordinary 21
Don't Take Your Spouse for Granted 21
Small Things Do Count 24
Do One Nice Thing Each Day 24
Make the End of Each Day Special 27
4 Keeping the Passion Alive 29
Reigniting Passion 29
Good Fun Takes Good Planning 31
Let's Do Lunch 31
Rate Your Date with Your Mate 33
Put Aside Differences 33
Be Spontaneous, Too 34
Hot Date Ideas 34
Romantic Getaways 36
Part 2 Tools for Success 39
5 Two-Way Communication 41
What Exactly Is Communication? 41
Ten Steps to Clear Communication 42
The Art of Listening 43
What's Wrong with This Picture? 44
Knowing What You Need 45
Sending Your Message 46
Make Sure You Were Heard 47
6 It's Just a Matter of Time 49
Rush, Rush, Rush 49
Where Does the Time Go? 50
Time Is Like Money 51
A Question of Balance 52
Make the Most of Your Time Together 53
Time Is Precious 54
7 What's Bugging You? 57
Who Am I and Who Are You? 57
Why Do We Annoy Each Other? 58
Gripes and Grievances 59
The Bother Barometer 60
The Virtue of Tolerance 63
The Grass Is Not Always Greener 64
8 We Can Work It Out 65
Set Aside Time 65
Turning Conflict into Resolution 66
Say "I," Not "You" 69
Reality Check 70
Be a Good Echo 71
Stay on Target 72
One-Liners to Avoid 73
Be Honest with Your Limits 73
Don't Forget You Are Both on the Same Side 74
9 I'm Sorry ... That's All I Can Say 75
We All Make Mistakes 75
Don't Turn the Table Around 77
Apologizing to Clear the Air 78
The "I'm Sorry" Quiz 80
Don't Hold a Grudge 80
Anger and Forgiveness 81
Part 3 Daily Hurdles 83
10 ... For Richer, For Poorer 85
Money Can Be an Emotional Issue 85
Realistic Expectations 86
Are You a Saver or a Spender? 87
Saver and Spender Combinations 88
Making Financial Decisions Together 91
11 Money Management 93
Budget Basics 93
The Household Budget 96
Three Ways to Organize Your Money 100
12 My Pillow Is Your Pillow 103
Marriage and Sex 103
Communication and Sex 104
Obstacles to a Great Sex Life 105
Plan to Have Good Sex 106
Men and Women Are Different 107
Birth Control and Married Sex 109
13 Domestic Drudgery 111
Housework Hurdles 111
Getting Beyond Stereotypes 114
Chores Are a Bore 115
Hiring a Housecleaner 118
14 I Married You, Not Your Whole Family 121
Your Mother Is Driving Me Crazy! 121
Loving Hearts 124
Common Conflicts 125
Out-of-Town Visits 126
Keep Your Problems to Yourselves 127
Accentuate the Positive 127
Part 4 We're a Family Now 131
15 Planning the Unplannable 133
Decisions, Decisions 133
Common Concerns About Having a Child 134
Timing Is Everything 136
Now or Later? 138
Don't Put It Off Too Long 138
16 And Baby Makes Three 141
Bringing the Baby Home 141
Caring For Each Other 142
It's Not Just the Two of You 143
Outside Relationships 146
Making Special Time for Yourselves Without the Kids 147
17 Parenting as Partners 151
Building Blocks 151
The Great Imitators 152
Disciplining Your Kids 153
Merging Different Parenting Styles 155
Family Routines 156
Family Vacations 158
Creating a Happy Family 159
Part 5 Transitions 161
18 Employed, Unemployed, Reemployed 163
Love and Work 163
Are You Married to Your Work or Your Spouse? 166
All I've Got Is Time 169
Money Isn't Everything 170
Traveling with Work 171
Supercommuting 172
19 Home Away from Home 175
The Big Decision 175
We're Moving! 179
Making Your House into a Home 180
Exploring Your New Neighborhood 182
Settling In 183
20 When Those You Looked Up to Look Up to You 187
Emotions You May Be Feeling 187
Some Things Never Change 190
Taking Care of Each Other 192
Outside Support 193
21 Second Chances 195
Learning from Your Mistakes 195
Don't Fall into the Same Trap 197
Healing Old Wounds 198
Building New Memories Together 199
It's Just a Check 200
Yours, Mine, and Ours 201
Older and Wiser 203
Part 6 Bridge Over Troubled Waters 205
22 ... In Sickness and in Health 207
Accepting Limitations 207
Long-Term Limitations 209
Making a Financial Plan 210
Caring for Each Other 210
Understanding Depression 212
Gathering Support 213
23 Just One More 215
Understanding Addiction 215
Alcoholism 216
Getting Help 219
Drug Abuse 221
Other Addictions 222
Keep Your Marriage Addiction-Free 225
24 Infidelity 227
Infidelity as a Symptom 227
Is It Over? 229
Starting Over 231
Moving On 231
Warning Signs 232
Keeping Infidelity Out of Your Marriage 234
25 Help! We Need Somebody 235
When Is Therapy Useful? 235
Ten Common Myths People Have About Therapy 236
Is Therapy for Me? 238
Finding a Therapist 239
Be Goal-Directed 240
Other Resources 240
Taking Control of Your Life 241
Part 7 Planning Your Future Together 243
26 We Have a Dream 245
Creating a Vision Together 245
Family Goals 246
Contributing to Your Community 247
Personal Goals 247
Goal Planner 249
Prioritizing What You Want 250
27 Got to Take You Higher: Spirituality and Marriage 253
One Soul 253
Authentic Happiness 255
The Deed Shapes the Heart 257
The Meaning of Life 259
28 Soul Mates 263
Having a GREAT Marriage 263
Treasuring Your Past 265
Cherishing Every Moment 266
Looking Forward to Tomorrow 266
Counting Your Blessings 267
A Case Studies 269
B Quizzes 281
Index 297
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