Cover image for 101 things I wish I knew when I got married : simple lessons to make love last
101 things I wish I knew when I got married : simple lessons to make love last
Bloom, Linda, 1946-
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Publication Information:
Novato, Calif. : New World Library, [2004]

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xxvii, 259 pages ; 22 cm
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HQ734 .B6573 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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With the current divorce rate spiking at a dizzying sixty percent, it is clear that young couples are not being taught the skills needed to navigate through the conflicts and difficulties of being in a committed relationship. Charlie and Linda Bloom, psychotherapists with fifty-five years of combined experience in relationship counseling, are acutely aware of this. For the last fifteen years the Blooms have been leading seminars on improving life relationships through their organization, The Empowerment Network. They've helped thousands of couples improve their most cherished relationships.

Each lesson is presented as a simple, one-line thought followed by an explanation using real life examples, from Charlie and Linda's personal experiences and the experiences of other couples. The Blooms share a wealth of experience with their readers. They demonstrate the universality of relationship issues and how anyone can find ways out of the pain that can engulf a relationship. By working through these ordeals, couples will enrich their relationships. The book makes it clear that,regardless of past experience, anyone can develop the basic strengths, skills and capacities needed for a great relationship.

Author Notes

Linda and Charlie Bloom are both psychotherapists with over fifty-five years of combined experience in relationship counseling. In 1987 they founded Bloomwork

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Library Journal Review

Marriage counselors and first-time authors, the Blooms nearly called their union quits in 1987; their anecdotes reflect the "acceptance, gratitude, and appreciation" that they employed to save it. Some of these honest, candid stories (many from the authors) are more illustrative than others, but most vividly demonstrate that successful relationships require effort. One such story, "Commitment Isn't a Prison," ponders the blessings of loving, supportive spouses. Another, "It's Not What You've Got; It's What You Do with It," describes how Bubba, despite being "short, homely, chubby, and bald," receives his heart's deepest desire in a sweet marriage. Other stories address friends, ultimatums, and irreconcilable viewpoints, all with the intent of heading off problems rather than fixing them. For libraries needing to replace worn-out warm-fuzzies like Cheryl Richardson's Life Makeovers. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Kathlyn Hendricks and Gay Hendricks
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Forewordp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
1. Great relationships don't just happen; they are createdp. 3
2. Vulnerability is disarmingp. 5
3. If your job gets your best energy, your marriage will witherp. 7
4. One of the greatest gifts you can give your partner is your own happinessp. 9
5. There's a difference between judging and being judgmentalp. 12
6. It's possible to hate and love someone at the same timep. 15
7. When you complain about your partner to your friends, remember that their feedback is based upon distorted informationp. 17
8. The only rules in a marriage are those to which you both choose to agreep. 19
9. Commitment isn't a prison; it's a means to greater freedomp. 21
10. It isn't conflict that destroys marriages; it's the cold, smoldering resentment that is bred by withholdingp. 23
11. If you choose monogamy, keep your agreementp. 25
12. It's not what you've got; it's what you do with itp. 28
13. Even good marriages have recurring seasons, and there can be some hard wintersp. 30
14. Your primary relationship is with your partner, not your childrenp. 33
15. If you think you're too good for your partner, think againp. 36
16. Growing up in a happy family doesn't ensure a good marriage, and growing up in an unhappy family doesn't preclude having onep. 38
17. It's never too late to repair damaged trustp. 40
18. Secrets are liesp. 43
19. Sex can improve with agep. 45
20. If you're keeping pace with the people around you, you're probably moving too fastp. 47
21. If you can't be happy without your partner, you won't be happy togetherp. 50
22. Marriage is like yogap. 53
23. The prince isn't going to comep. 56
24. Getting help when you are unable to work things out isn't a sign of weakness; it's a sign of intelligencep. 58
25. One person, no matter how much they love you, cannot meet all of your emotional needsp. 60
26. Love isn't always enough to sustain a marriagep. 63
27. True intimacy can exist only between equalsp. 66
28. The real issue is usually not the one you're arguing aboutp. 70
29. Love isn't just a feeling; it's an action that shows our caringp. 72
30. Expectations set us up for resentmentp. 74
31. Arguments can't be avoided, but destructive ones canp. 76
32. One of the greatest gifts we can give our partner is our focused attentionp. 78
33. Even people with great marriages sometimes wonder whether they might have married the wrong personp. 81
34. Your partner cannot rescue you from unhappiness, but they can help you to rescue yourselfp. 84
35. The cost of a lie is far greater than any advantage you gain from speaking itp. 87
36. Even the best marriages have irreconcilable differencesp. 90
37. Your opinion is not the truthp. 93
38. Vacations are necessities, not luxuriesp. 96
39. Trust takes years to establish and moments to destroyp. 99
40. Ultimatums and threats do more harm than goodp. 102
41. Guilt-tripping won't get you what you really wantp. 105
42. Give what you want to receivep. 107
43. Don't neglect your friends just because you've acquired a spousep. 110
44. If you think, "You're not the person I married," you're probably rightp. 113
45. Resisting the temptation to prove your point will win you a lot of pointsp. 116
46. What you judge in your partner is a reflection of what you judge in yourselfp. 118
47. Your partner is your teacher and your studentp. 120
48. Commitment is not a one-time event; it's an ongoing processp. 124
49. Generosity of spirit is the foundation of great relationshipsp. 127
50. If your partner is being defensive, you may be giving them reason to bep. 129
51. Marriage isn't 50/50; it's 100/100p. 131
52. Trust can be rebuilt, even after a painful betrayal, but it may require hard workp. 134
53. You can pay now or you can pay later, but the later you pay, the more penalties and interest you accruep. 136
54. The cheap thrill you get from putting down your partner isn't so cheapp. 139
55. Marriage does require sacrifice, but what you stand to gain is infinitely greater than what you give upp. 142
56. Good sex doesn't necessarily make a marriage great, but it sure helpsp. 144
57. Forgiveness isn't a one-time event; it's a processp. 146
58. Even the tiniest spark can reignite the fire of lovep. 149
59. If you find out what your partner wants and help them get it, you'll both be happierp. 153
60. Marriage alone does not make you a better person, but accepting its challenges doesp. 156
61. Creating a great marriage generally takes more time and effort than it seems it shouldp. 159
62. Creating a marriage is like launching a rocket: once it clears the pull of gravity, it takes much less energy to sustain the flightp. 161
63. Being attracted to someone else doesn't diminish the quality of your marriage; acting on that attraction doesp. 163
64. A successful marriage has more to do with how you deal with your current reality than what you experienced in the pastp. 165
65. In order for it to thrive, love requires separateness as well as togethernessp. 167
66. We all have a terminal diagnosisp. 169
67. Don't keep feelings of gratitude to yourselfp. 172
68. Knowing where your lines are and being willing to draw them serves your partner as well as yourselfp. 174
69. You don't have to be able to love well to get married; the training occurs on the jobp. 176
70. Privacy won't hurt your marriage, but secrecy willp. 179
71. Possessiveness and jealousy are born out of fear, not lovep. 182
72. Facing your fears builds strength; avoiding them diminishes itp. 184
73. Authenticity is contagious and habit-formingp. 187
74. Don't say anything about your partner that you're not willing to say to themp. 189
75. Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strengthp. 193
76. Of all of the benefits of marriage, the greatest is the possibility of using this relationship to become a more loving personp. 195
77. If your partner thinks something is important, it is!p. 197
78. Marriages never outgrow the need for romancep. 199
79. The sparkle of a new relationship is always temporaryp. 203
80. There is violence in silence when it's used as a weaponp. 206
81. There's a difference between sex and intimacyp. 209
82. It's better to focus on what you can do to make things right than on what your partner did to make things wrongp. 212
83. The fire of infatuation has to cool before mature love can developp. 215
84. Nothing deadens sexual desire faster than unresolved differencesp. 217
85. The biggest risk is in not riskingp. 219
86. If you think marriage counseling is too expensive, try divorcep. 221
87. Forgiveness is its own rewardp. 223
88. Revenge is its own punishmentp. 225
89. When two hearts are connected, the biggest problems become workable; when they are not, the smallest difficulties seem insurmountablep. 227
90. Constructive criticism generally isn'tp. 230
91. The capacity to feel joy grows in proportion to the capacity to experience painp. 232
92. There is no greater eloquence than the silence of real listeningp. 234
93. External conflicts are often outer expressions of internal onesp. 238
94. One of the greatest questions you can ask your partner is, "How may I best love you?"p. 240
95. There's more to be gained by understanding your partner's world than trying to get them to understand yoursp. 242
96. A loving marriage can heal old emotional wounds more effectively than the best therapyp. 244
97. Just keep talkin'p. 246
98. Assumptions are fine, as long as you check them out before acting on themp. 248
99. Marriages can stay fresh over timep. 250
100. Intention may not be the only thing, but it's the most important thingp. 252
101. The amount of joy and fulfillment available in a loving partnership is considerably more than you can imaginep. 254
About the Authorsp. 257
Contact Usp. 259