You Can Live Happily Married For a Lifetime, will be invaluable for couples at every stage of their marital journey.
• Discover the reasons why misunderstandings happen.
• Resolve any challenge so that your marriage will be strengthened.
• Find out how to reignite the passion.
“Wendy Fierstein’s book You Can Live Happily Married For a Lifetime, is a down to earth, practical manual to help deal with the vicissitudes of modern marriage. Written with deep compassion, but expressed in plain language easily grasped. Ms. Fierstein gives earnest and pragmatic ways to solve the marital difficulties that plague us all. She also does so with an abiding gentleness and love for those she seeks to help. This is a very useful and valuable contribution to the therapy of marriage literature.” - Harry Cohen M.D.
“You Can Live Happily Married For a Lifetime is beautifully written and will be very instrumental in improving your marriage. Finally ...... a book on marriage that will help couples start it right and keep it right.” - Sandra Riediger R.N., D.C.
“This book, You Can Live Happily Married For a Lifetime, is very informative and will benefit the couples who read it and apply it in their marriage. Couples can see themselves in almost every example even long married couples like my husband and I who have been married for 40 years.” - Eva Kurtz M.A.
The high divorce rate motivated Wendy Fierstein to became a mediator and create the Peace and Harmony Technique ™ that ultimately evolved into this book.
You can revitalize your relationship to last happily for a lifetime.
Marriage really does work!
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
You Can Live Happily Married for a Lifetime
Modern Applications of Proven, Timeless Wisdom to Create a Lasting, Successful Relationship
By Wendy Fierstein
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Wendy Fierstein
All rights reserved.
In the Beginning
There they stand, under a canopy of vibrant flowers — the dashingly handsome groom and his glowing bride with her long, white gown. They gaze into each other's eyes, oblivious to everyone else in the room. Their guests are bathed in the aura of their overflowing love. Then, a beautiful, golden light that seems to descend from the heavens envelops them, surrounding them completely. Suddenly, a booming yet comforting voice emanates from the light, saying, "You are now united as one."
* * *
What if you knew without a doubt, as does our romance-novel couple above, that when you get married, your soul bonds with that of your beloved?
Our ancestors knew it. When they became newlyweds, they learned that marriage was a Sacred Vow, a bonding of the souls. Guided by their wise elders, they built strong family units that were fundamental to their survival and, consequently, a peaceful society.
At some point in history, our ancestors stopped sharing this important knowledge with the generations that followed. Over time, these marital treasures were forgotten, and married couples no longer had the guidance they provided.
Fortunately for us, this timeless wisdom is being revealed once again through esoteric teachings from sources such as kabbalah and Edgar Cayce (known as America's Sleeping Prophet). This knowledge will help you find the obstacles preventing your relationship from reaching its full potential, and understand how to correct them.
We all want to know how to handle our marital challenges efficiently so that our relationship will be strengthened and not damaged. In this chapter, you will learn why misunderstandings happen. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 will prepare you for chapter 5, "The Mighty Challenge," which explains how to resolve and defuse any disagreements or discord that might arise. Chapters 6 and 7 will guide you in reigniting the passion in your relationship to make it last happily for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, many people today are choosing not to get married, proclaiming that marriage doesn't work. But with the guidance that our ancestors once had, marriage definitely works!
Most people get married because they have dreams of sharing their lives with the one they love, of growing old together. After a while, however, some couples feel so frustrated and disappointed that they say, "I just can't do it anymore. My marriage doesn't work." The foundation of their marriage has been damaged, and eventually the couple feels burned out. This is not an uncommon problem, and it doesn't mean their marriage is coming to an end. All it means is that they need to pay attention to their relationship.
The information that follows will help you and your spouse build your dream together. It will help you transform your marriage into one that will make you both feel safe and loved. It will enable you to navigate the ups and downs of life together.
You will also learn how to create a relationship based on a foundation of love, trust, respect, commitment, and harmony, making your marriage a "rock" in your life. This rock will be sustaining, supportive, and vital, and it will continue to get stronger so it lasts for a lifetime.
All relationships go through rough patches. When this happens, successful couples tend not to ignore or exacerbate the problem. Instead they immediately work on resolving it in order to bring their marriage back into alignment as soon as possible.
The Mystical Side of Marriage
A key to successful marriage is realizing that you were given the ability to find your life mate — your amazing spouse.
The person whom you choose, and who chooses you for love, is your life mate. Your partner will help you grow and achieve your full potential to become the person you were meant to be.
We all have unconscious tendencies that must be transformed if we wish to reach our full potential. When you change those personality traits, you will begin to love and respect yourself more than you ever could have imagined. In response to that, your marriage will dramatically improve and your love and respect for your spouse will flourish.
These negative personality patterns do not reflect your true self, but they can inhibit necessary growth. They are so powerful that they can hold you back and sabotage your potential.
In a relationship, these patterns manifest themselves in the form of a challenge — arguments, discord, misunderstandings, miscommunications, frustration, and so on.
Your spouse has the ability to help you connect with the positive attributes of your true nature, such as gentleness, patience, understanding, kindness, acceptance, compassion, empathy, willingness, generosity, tolerance, self-awareness, unselfish love, growth, helpfulness, and peacefulness.
We are all well aware of the harshness that occurs in the world today. Marriage teaches us to value and respect the life of another. All esoteric teachings encourage us to express gentleness in this world.
A key to successful marriage is realizing that your spouse is the one who will help you reveal your true nature.
We need a partner in a committed relationship with a Sacred Vow to help us become more self-aware. When we transform our negative patterns, we grow. The more we grow, the happier and more content with life we become.
United We Stand
A key to successful marriage is realizing that you are more powerful in this world when you are united with your life mate than when you are single.
When you are invested in your marriage, you are mentally and emotionally stronger and healthier. You are also happier, and happiness increases longevity and quality of life.
The truth is, love is a force that is always there between a couple, so no matter how distant partners become, there is always a way for them to reunite.
Relationships need attention and nurturing, just like gardens. Beautiful flowers need water, nourishment, and weeding. If we don't provide these things regularly and consistently, the weeds take over and the garden loses its vitality.
In the same way, we can't get married and let the rest take care of itself. The success or failure of a relationship depends on how much is put into it. We invest so much attention and energy in accumulating material things, creating successful careers, finding good schools for our kids, keeping our environment healthy, and so forth. If we made the same kind of effort in our marriages, they would thrive.
When you find love, it benefits you to consistently nurture and strengthen it, molding it into the "rock" in your life.
Marriage is a work in progress, and it is the most important work you will do in your life.
The amount and quality of effort you put into your marriage represent your investment in a loving and harmonious future. Know with certainty that you can create a relationship that brings you happiness and fulfills your expectations.CHAPTER 2
There she sits in the stillness of the room, her breath quickening as the thought of him enters her mind. Her love for him rises like a rippling wave cresting in a glistening ocean. She quietly wonders what more can she do for him, for them, for their marriage. After some musing, a smile spreads across her soft face. She knows exactly what to do. She hurries from the room to seek him out.
* * *
All teachings inform us that we are on this earth for a purpose: to contribute to society in our own special and unique way so that this world will become more loving and peaceful. We must learn, grow, and help others. Each and every person is important and vital, because no one else can bring light into this world the way that he or she can.
A key to successful marriage is improving yourself. Then your relationship will automatically change for the better.
People react to the energy that you send out. This energy comes from your beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes. You can change the way people respond to you by becoming self-aware.
I've heard so many people say that if their spouse would just change his or her ways, their marriage would be perfect. But trying to control your partner to suit your needs will create discord. The only things you can change are yourself and your reactions. When you use your thoughts, speech, and actions in a more positive and loving manner, your partner will likely respond in kind.
A relationship will not improve if the things causing its decline continue. Hoping that things will change will not work either. Don't expect or wait for your spouse to "wake up" and rectify his or her behavior; you must be the initiator.
These suggestions are not intended to imply that you need to change who you are to suit the needs of your spouse, or vice versa. Instead, what must be transformed are the habits and dispositions that interfere with the peace and harmony of your marriage and cause negative experiences in your own life. These negative tendencies are behind most of the challenges that develop in a marital relationship.
Many people have come to me saying that they are confused and don't know what to do about their marriage. They thought that they had chosen a partner with whom they had so much in common; now things seem to have changed, and they feel they have made a mistake. After I explain the mystical side of marriage, most people have a better understanding of their situation.
Most of us are comfortable remaining as we are. The status quo is familiar. But some of the patterns that we unconsciously follow are misleading. They create negative experiences for our loved ones and for us. It's important not to ignore this fact, because if you do, you can't connect with who you truly are.
To help guide you throughout your day, begin each morning with gratitude for all the good in your life. This opens you up to receive even more things to be grateful for.
In order to transform yourself, you must always be willing to grow — to expand mentally and emotionally. You will be amazed at the joy you will experience by overcoming your negative patterns and living from your true nature! I have experienced it myself, and I can tell you that it is a feeling of immense satisfaction.
As I previously mentioned, we are given the ability to know who will be the most suitable partner to help us overcome these imperfections. Your life mate may knowingly or unknowingly present your hidden patterns to you for reviewing — which may cause you some discomfort and resentfulness, making it easy to blame your partner for the distress that often comes with growth.
Each of us holds misperceptions created from our previous life experiences, and we live our lives by them. This encourages disharmony until we become self-aware. Esoteric teachings state that we must eventually face our negative tendencies. The safest environment in which to do this is a marriage with a Sacred Vow and with the help of our amazing life mate.
People who are not aware of this dynamic might give up on their marriage prematurely, saying that marriage was not what they expected ("It's too hard!"). Unbeknownst to them, what they are actually doing is attempting to disregard those parts of themselves that created the negativity. Even if they were to choose another partner or move to a different country or take a different job, their unconscious patterns would still be there and produce problems in their lives.
As you can now see, it really benefits you to be open and willing to hear "messages" from your spouse, and to continuously strive to become more enlightened.
We know for a fact that no one is created perfect. Gaining self-enlightenment is always an easier path to take than hearing how imperfect you are from someone else.
Besides listening to important messages from your partner, another way to gain self-knowledge is by observing your "self" — trying to see yourself the way others see you. (We naturally perceive ourselves very differently from how others perceive us.) While communicating with others, observe your own body language, attitude, tone, thoughts, and words. At first that might be distracting, but with practice it will become second nature.
A friend of mine moved to a new community, joining its social club so she could get to know her new neighbors. For two months she had trouble integrating, and she told me that her neighbors were not as friendly as she had hoped they would be.
I suggested that she try observing her "self." At the next social event, she observed her own feelings, thoughts, and her actions while interacting with people. She focused internally instead of externally.
To her shock and surprise, she realized that she had been behaving in a way that made her seem unapproachable. She observed that she may have presented herself as being "aloof". As soon as she understood that the problem was within her, she changed her thoughts and actions. At the very next club meeting, she had absolutely no trouble integrating into her new community of friendly neighbors.
Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
We generally express ourselves in four different ways: through speech (words, tones, and sounds); through body language (postures, facial expressions, and head and hand gestures); through actions (which reflect our attitudes); and through writing.
Words are very powerful. They have the power to create an everlasting love or a growing distance between spouses. They can heal, build, or destroy. We must be responsible with our words. Most likely there will be a better outcome if we think before we speak.
When you speak to your spouse, think about how your words will affect him or her and how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of the same words. It helps to monitor your speech and listen to your tone. Do you sound harsh, impatient, or angry, or do you sound kind and loving? Do you filter your speech, or do you just blurt out whatever is on your mind, not realizing that you may feel different tomorrow? Once your words are heard, you can't take them back. You wouldn't want to hurt your loved one's feelings. Discretion with words is imperative.
Nonverbal communication can sometimes be more important than words. After a meltdown with your spouse, you may wonder, What just happened? The real problem could have been the nonverbal communication.
For example, you may unknowingly have a habit of placing your hands on your hips while speaking to your spouse — to some people, this posture is an indication of criticism or confrontation. Your partner could assume that there's an underlying message in your body language, that you are being critical or confrontational, even if you are not. This may cause him or her to react negatively to what you said.
A kind and positive attitude usually attracts people, while a contrary attitude pushes people away. Are you relating to your spouse with a contrary attitude, or are you warm and gentle?
Even if you don't feel loving at any given moment, you can still be kind. Your thoughts and attitudes are not as private as you think. Realize that everyone picks up on the unspoken feelings behind the words.
Our attitudes are initiated by our thoughts. To help you realize how powerful your thoughts are, try this:
Close your eyes and think about all the things that you really love about your spouse. Think about when you first met, when you felt those excited little prickles all over and you couldn't take your eyes off your loved one. You couldn't concentrate on your work because your thoughts constantly returned to this intriguing person.
When you are done, and if you had the right intentions, you will probably feel like giving your spouse a hug filled with love. Go for it — don't hold back! Your life mate will love it, and love you even more.
Communicating successfully all depends on how it is done, from the initial thoughts to the tone of voice, attitude, and body language, as well as the actual words.
Becoming aware of the communication habits you learned very early in your childhood, from your parents and everyone else in your environment, benefits you and your marriage. All of us learn good and bad habits that may have been passed down from generation to generation. We become so practiced in these habits that by the time we are adults, it seems normal to us to communicate that way.
Here are some communication habits that must be transformed:
becoming frustrated instead of using appropriate words
getting upset before understanding the whole situation
criticizing and complaining instead of directly asking for change
being disparaging or rolling your eyes instead of being understanding
being sarcastic and hurtful rather than compassionate and kind
being quick to judge instead of listening first
being stubborn in your position instead of being open-minded
being closed to your spouse's point of view
avoiding problem solving
believing that you are usually right
having a combative tone
thinking about what you are going to say next while your partner is talking
Excerpted from You Can Live Happily Married for a Lifetime by Wendy Fierstein. Copyright © 2016 Wendy Fierstein. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
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.
Table of Contents
ContentsAbout the Author, ix,
Chapter 1 – In the Beginning, 1,
Chapter 2 – Know Yourself, 6,
Chapter 3 – Know Your Partner, 26,
Chapter 4 – The Differences, 35,
Chapter 5 – The Mighty Challenge, 49,
Chapter 6 – Rekindling the Passion, 97,
Chapter 7 – Everlasting, 134,
Chapter 8 – In the End, 150,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Editorial Review: Palisades News - “While there are numerous books on this topic, Fierstein’s book is written in easy to understand language …. The book covers marriages that are fairly new as well as those that have lasted for decades……Everyone can find themselves in these pages”.