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12 Hours to a Great Marriage


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Introduction: Stepping Up to the Plate 1 PART I Getting to First Hour 1: Taking a Positive Attitude 19 Hour 2: Simple Techniques for Talking Safely and Clearly 43 Hour 3: HandlingYour Issues 63 Hour 4: SolvingYour Problems 83 Hour 5: Great Ground Rules for a Great Relationship 107 PART II Reaching Second Hour 6: Having Fun 125 Hour 7: EnhancingYour Love Life 143 Hour 8: Sharing Values and Core Beliefs 163 PART III Rounding Third Hour 9: Meeting Expectations 185 Hour 10: Forgiving 205 PART IV Safe at Home Hour 11: Being Friends 227 Hour 12: Making the Commitment 243 Epilogue: Keeping the Program in Play 263 Getting More Help When There Are Serious Problems 265 Resources and Training 269 Selected Research and References 271 About the Authors 277

About the Author

Howard J. Markman, PhD, is the lead author on our best-selling Fighting For Your Marriage. Dr. Markman is professor of Psychology and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, co-author for many of our other PREP books and one of the best known, most respected experts in the world on marriage enhancement and divorce prevention. Scott M. Stanley is lead author of our best-selling Christian marriage book A Lasting Promise, co-author of Fighting For Your Marriage, and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. Susan L. Blumberg is a co-author of Fighting For Your Marriage and director of Interpersonal Communications Options. Natalie H. Jenkins is the lead author of You Paid How Much For That and vice-president/marketing director of PREP; All four authors live in Denver, Colorado. Carol Whitley is the author of The Everything Creative Writing Book and lives in Los Altos, California.


Twelve hours to a better marriage, questionable; 12 hours to read the book, feasible. Three of the team of authors who wrote Fighting for Your Marriage expand on that title's speaker-listener techniques with advice on commitment, forgiveness, and expectations. The program represents a no-fuss beginning point for couples starting to realize that marriage is hard work. The writing is direct and effective, and the entire exercise is palatably presented like a baseball game (first base is talking, second is having fun, and so on). The usual, undocumented "reference shows" vagaries abound, unfortunately, and advice, though sound, can be both unoriginal ("how you and your partner treat each other is key") and generic ("work to identify and decrease negative behaviors and increase positive ones"). Still, the techniques are workable and deceptively simple (e.g., "soften your tone"), even if they depend heavily on reader determination. Less a rescue manual for troubled marriages than a Cliff's Notes for a successful one, this is an optional purchase for public libraries, which might also consider Laurel Mellin's The Pathway: Follow the Road to Health and Happiness. (Library Journal, November 15, 2003)

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