Happy Together: Creating a Lifetime of Connection, Commitment, and Intimacy

Happy Together: Creating a Lifetime of Connection, Commitment, and Intimacy

by Bill Cloke, PhD
Happy Together: Creating a Lifetime of Connection, Commitment, and Intimacy

Happy Together: Creating a Lifetime of Connection, Commitment, and Intimacy

by Bill Cloke, PhD


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No matter how much passion there is at the beginning of a relationship, for love to last it must be actively created. Dr. Bill Cloke, an innovative and successful couples' therapist, has been helping couples create lasting connection, commitment, and intimacy by learning the essential relationship skills he now reveals in Happy Together.

With sensitivity and practicality, Happy Together pinpoints the issues and actions that can make or break our relationships. Step by step, it will show you

- How to identify and overcome personal barriers to meaningful and satisfying connections
- The defensive ways we unknowingly kill love and how to learn from conflict to create deeper intimacy
- The role of passion and sexuality in our relationships
- How to understand and deal with issues of shame and rage that can impact our ability to love
- Why deeply held myths about family, marriage, and idealized romance can create expectations that damage our connection with each other
- How to become partners in problem-solving
- How to effectively use the tools of compassionate communication and "constructive complaining"

Rich with practical tips and techniques, including sample dialogues to help you make meaningful changes, Happy Together will guide you in perfecting the skills you need to create a positive vision for your relationship and a roadmap for happiness.

"A good book needs to have at least five great ideas about its subject. Dr. Bill Cloke's Happy Together has at least a hundred."
–Raphael Cushnir, author of The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection

"Dr. Bill Cloke provides an accurate portrait of how love is created and nourished. This is a must-have book for a lasting relationship."
–Dr. Carol Bruess and Anna Kudak, authors of What Happy Couples Do

"Bill Cloke's Happy Together is full of wisdom, and a compelling read. He stresses that love must be created, every day; the store of love between people must be built up, nourished, and protected. This is how we stay happy together: not just as couples, but as friends and families. This book is a treasure trove of the building blocks of love."
–Allegra Huston (daughter of director John Huston), author of Love Child

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780982932414
Publisher: Pacific Highlands Press
Publication date: 01/15/2011
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dr. Bill Cloke has been a couples' therapist for 30 years. His passion is to help both individuals and couples lead more fulfilling lives and relationships by learning essential relationship skills. He holds a PhD in psychology from California Graduate Institute. A frequent talk radio psychologist, he is also a contributor to PsychologyToday.com and other popular websites and has lectured at UCLA. Bill Cloke lives in Los Angeles, where he works with couples, families, and children from a cross-section of cultures.

Read an Excerpt

Watching the unveiling of the intricate workings of intimacy–of the process by which lasting love is created and sustained–has convinced me that love works on a far grander scale than eyes meeting across a crowded room. Happiness is not something that just happens to us, and love is not something that we just fall into, even though it may seem that way when a relationship begins. No matter how much passion there is at the start, for love and happiness to last a lifetime, they must be actively made. ...
Creating a happy and enduring relationship requires that we understand how our underlying and often baffling personal issues impact our ability to connect with others–and, crucially, with ourselves. It calls on us to make conflict and personal pain into resources for ever deeper intimacy.
Love is an unparalleled life experience. When we accept that it will include times of great difficulty, we can approach them with gentleness and care, and we can learn the skills we need to quickly and smoothly solve problems. Love is what life is all about, and it is life's sweetest reward–the cake and the icing on the cake. It's a flame that can indeed burn for a lifetime, if we tend it well.
Our journey toward enduring love and lasting happiness begins by developing a solid base of safety and security. We set out equipped with honesty, tolerance, and a willingness to reach out to each other when we need to. The path is paved by our intention to solve problems with reasoning and to listen to different points of view, rather than holding on to being right at the expense of our most valuable loving connection. And, as we learn to accept and support our mutual strivings, we find our way toward an ever more satisfying relationship life–and a rich and meaningful inner life too.
. . . . Some Values That Serve Love:
As we begin the process of creating our own values, there are some truths that support that process.
- Loving and caring trumps everything else.
- Your relationship comes before being right.
- Listening is the highest value.
- Anger is natural yet counterproductive.
- Yelling, hitting below the belt, swearing, or name-calling is not problem solving.
- Blame, shame, and criticism create distance and resentment.
- Taking statements personally disconnects us from our partner and closes us within ourselves.
- Never assume. Always check out what you think before you assume it's true.
- Be willing to look at yourself from the perspective of the other person.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xiii

1 The Happiness C.U.R.E. 1

2 How Love Is Made 11

3 Myth, Fantasy, and Reality 39

4 Shame, Rage, and Myths of the Self 65

5 Intimacy and the Art of Love 85

6 How Conflict Can Create Love 111

7 Cultivating Connection 145

8 The Dynamics of Desire 179

9 And They Lived … 201

Conclusion 215

References 219

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