The 7 Stages of Marriage: Laughter, Intimacy and Passion Today, Tomorrow, Forever

Sari Harrar, Author, Rita DeMaria, Author
Sari Harrar, Author, Rita DeMaria, Author Reader's Digest Association $25.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-7621-0725-4
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Marriage therapist DeMaria and co-writer Harrar present a short guide to the seven stages of marriage-Passion, Realization, Rebellion, Cooperation, Reunion, Explosion and Completion-along with techniques for ""feeling happy, secure and satisfied"" in any of them. Told in an upbeat, family-friendly style, most information and advice are specific, practical and reinforced with simple exercises and humanizing anecdotes from Readers' Digest surveys. In the Realization chapter, Harrar and DeMaria urge readers to ""understand your expectations"" and those of their partner, a tricky proposition for which the authors provide a quick exercise and solid tips: ""Be realistic about what you do ask for,"" ""Use disappointment as a signal for unconscious expectations"" and ""Don't compare your spouse to other people's spouses."" Unfortunately, some chapters devolve into vague suggestions that smack of filler: ""Pull out the music you enjoyed together and dance in the dining room. Go canoeing. Play Scrabble. Wear your sexiest lingerie under a dress when you go out to dinner."" This guide will make a helpful addition to a married couple's library, but it lacks the depth to help anyone more than moderately troubled.
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