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New technology in the last decade has made GPS or Global Positioning Systems accessible to nearly everyone around the world. A businessperson traveling in an unfamiliar city can use a GPS device in her rental car to find her destination. Explorers can use GPS guidance to determine where they are on the earth's surface and where they must go to find their hidden treasure.
What if you had a CPS-a Couple Positioning System-that helped you determine the strengths of your relationship (i.e., your "current location") and helped you know where to look for hidden treasures? Congratulations, you've just picked it up.
This book provides a map for couples on the unique journey of remarriage. It reveals findings from the National Survey of Couples Creating Stepfamilies, the largest study of remarrying couples with children from previous relationships ever conducted. We examined the profiles of over 50,000 couples (over 100,000 people) to discover the qualities that best predict highly satisfying relationships and the roadblocks couples must overcome in order to beat the odds of divorce. Some of our findingswill validate what you already know about successful relationships; others will surprise you. Reading this book will guide you into a more intimate remarriage relationship.
Even though our study was of premarital couples about to form stepfamilies, the results have broad application to all remarried and stepfamily couples. Even before marriage the difference between high-quality relationships and low-quality ones is evident and predicts later marital success. Our national survey of couples was based on their responses to PREPARE-MC (Marriage with Children), a premarital relationship strengths inventory. Previous studies (with a related assessment called PREPARE) have found that the strengths and issues couples have before marriage are highly predictive of their relationship after the wedding. In fact, in three longitudinal studies where we followed couples for an extended period of time we found that their PREPARE scores before marriage predicted with 80 to 85 percent accuracy which couples would be happily married and which couples would be separated/divorced after three years. These studies demonstrate that what happens before marriage is highly predictive of success after becoming married. This research also validates our clinical experience, which tells us that many of the dynamics that eventually divide remarried couples-even after many years of marriage-began early in their relationship. Therefore, whether you are currently dating or looking to improve your marriage, the findings in this book are for you.
Further, when combined with a personalized assessment of the condition of your relationship (received after taking the online Couple Checkup), the secrets revealed in this book become even more illuminating. You will know when to feel confident in your relationship and what must improve to avoid disaster.
What exactly is a Couple Checkup?
The Couple Checkup is an online assessment of twenty relationship areas that have been found to be significant for dating, engaged, and married couples. Based on the popular and highly successful PREPARE/ENRICH Program, the Couple Checkup is being used throughout the world. The Couple Checkup is founded on over twenty-five years of research on couples using the PREPARE/ENRICH Program (used by over 2.5 million couples). Numerous studies have demonstrated the scientific rigor of the program for premarital and married couples and for couples from various ethnic backgrounds.
Benefits of the Online Couple Checkup:
The seven letters in the word checkup can help you remember the advantages of taking the Checkup with your partner.
C - Create positive change: You can create positive changes in your relationship by establishing new habits that promote a more satisfying relationship. The Couple Checkup will help bring new ideas to your relationship.
H - Healthy for your relationship: Checkups promote and maintain health. Just like a physical or dental checkup provides information that can motivate behavior change, the Couple Checkup promotes healthier decisions and behavior in your relationship.
E - Evaluate where you are now: Identify your current relationship strengths and problems, and then make a plan for growing your relationship.
C - Communicate more effectively: The Checkup gives you the opportunity and structure for having productive discussions.
K - Kick-start your relationship: Completing the Checkup primes you to think and talk with your partner in helpful ways.
U - Understand each other: You will better know and understand your partner after taking the online Couple Checkup. You may be surprised to learn how your partner feels about many aspects of your relationship.
P - Proactive versus reactive: Too often couples wait for a crisis before they deal with a problematic situation. By being proactive, you will be better able to take control of your relationship and make it more satisfying for both of you.
Is the Couple Checkup Relevant to Us?
The Couple Checkup is designed to be relevant for couples who are dating, engaged, and married. As you take the online Couple Checkup, it tailors itself specifically to your couple stage, your age, and the parenting circumstances of your relationship (biological children and/or stepchildren). Based on your answers, the computer system will select relevant questions and scales for your relationship. Whether dating, engaged, or already married, your inventory is tailor-made to your specific type of relationship.
You do not have to take the online Couple Checkup to read and apply this book. But to discover the hidden treasures in your relationship, we highly recommend that you do. Look inside the dust cover of this book for your online voucher code and get one free personal profile. This code also provides significant savings off the retail price when your dating or married partner takes the Checkup as well. Both of you must take the profile to receive the comprehensive Couple Report identifying your strengths and growth areas.
Excerpted from The Remarriage Checkup by Ron L. Deal David H. Olson Copyright © 2009 by Ron L. Deal and David H. Olson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Preface Discover Your Couple Positioning System(CPS) 13
Chapter 1 Checkup and Check-in 17
Chapter 2 Building on Your Strengths 25
Chapter 3 Beating the Odds of Divorce: The Stepfamily Connection 39
Chapter 4 Positioning Yourself for Change 47
Chapter 5 Mapping Closeness and Flexibility 63
Chapter 6 Eyes Wide Open: Finding Realistic Expectations 87
Chapter 7 Children and Parenting: When Kids Are Part of the Package 101
Chapter 8 SCOPE Out Your Personalities Peter J. Larson, PhD 119
Chapter 9 The Vital Importance of Healthy Communication 139
Chapter 10 Managing the Fires of Conflict 157
Chapter 11 Extinguishing the Fires of Conflict 169
Chapter 12 Leisure: Maximize Your Fun Factor 185
Chapter 13 Remarriage Finances: Yours, Mine, and Ours? 191
Chapter 14 The Sex Connection 207
Chapter 15 Finding Your Spiritual Core 223
Chapter 16 Can We Get There From Here? 233
Appendix A National Sample of Couples and Remarriage 239
Appendix B If You Have Ongoing Relationship Problems: Finding Help When You Need It 243