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Last modified: Tuesday, 08-Nov-2011 16:28:06 EST

University Counseling Center (UCC)


Title: Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples
Author: Harville Hendrix
Publisher: New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Publication Date: 1988
ISBN: 0-8050-0585-4

In this thoughtful guide for couples, Hendrix explains how many of the frustrations about marriage and one's partner likely originated in unmet childhood needs and how couples unwittingly try to resolve their relationship struggles with childhood tactics. The book also includes how a marriage can fulfill those childhood needs in a productive manner. Hendrix discusses the three stages of most relationships - attraction, romantic love, and the power struggle - and suggests ways to identify and manage the conflicts in each of these stages. Furthermore, the book outlines a 10-week course of structured exercises for you and your partner to follow in order to learn to use your relationship in a more mature fashion. The exercises focus on discovering one's own and one's partner's unmet needs, communicating with greater accuracy and sensitivity, how to decrease self-defeating behaviors, and how to focus on meeting each partner's needs.

Be cautioned by several people who read this book, it is not a "quick fix", rather it is intended for those committed to deep work on oneself and one's relationship.

Title: Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships
Author: David Schnarch
Publisher: NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Publication Date: 1997
ISBN: 0-8050-5826-5
Availability: Not available in U of R library

This book illustrates the ways in which couples can seek and achieve greater intimacy in their relationships. Schnarch's main premise, which is highlighted throughout the text, is that reaffirming and re-igniting a relationship with one's partner is gained through discovering one's own inner strength and resilience. He asserts that every aspect of a relationship, including sexuality, is a reflection of how you feel about yourself, and that only through striving toward inner stability can one achieve true intimacy with another person. It is about how to discover your own personal integrity and how you will subsequently be able to participate in a relationship in an optimally meaningful way. Schnarch provides a blueprint for his philosophy of personal growth, which he calls "differentiation." He also includes several vignettes from his work as a marriage and sex therapist as well as examples from his own life in order to highlight his philosophies.

This is a unique approach to marriage and sexuality - a book for those who are willing to find greater relational intimacy through their own personal growth.

Reviews completed by the University Counseling Center staff.

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