Monday, February 8, 2010

Creating an Intimate Marriage

Book Review: Creating an Intimate Marriage, Jim Burns

Subtitled: Rekindle Romance Through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement, Jim Burns has provided a helpful book for couples which is honest, open and full of examples. He deals with the ways to have a marriage of affection, warmth and encouragement, by looking at intimacy, communication, fun & friendship, forgiveness & our attitude.

Each chapter finishes with some questions to ask yourself and some to look at together. This is a helpful book to help look at the whole marriage and how it’s going, which may also help to address some intimacy issues.

Here are a selection of things that I liked or that got me thinking:

1. Marriage takes work. "We must suffer one of two pains in our marriage: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The pain of discipline takes you on the road to a healthy marriage, while the pain of regret takes you to a dead end." (p52)

2. As I mentioned in last week's post on intimacy in marriage, we have been thinking about this aspect of marriage a little recently. I liked this comment "Sex is not about an event; it is about creating a positive, romantic, healthy, sexually intimate environment" (p55) ... "My experience tells me that if a couple is not growing together physically and emotionally, then they are probably growing apart. (p56)

3. Four indicators of when a marriage is starting to die: a) you see your marital problems as severe, b) talking things over seems useless so you try to solve problems on your own, c) you start leading parallel lives and d) loneliness sets in. (quoted from Gottman, p85)

4. He had good advice for better communication - empathy, listening, expressing expectations, etc

5. The chapter of being friends and having fun have us some good ideas.

6. How our attitude is everything - we need to stop complaining (we often speak more rudely and complain more to our spouses than complete strangers), show gratitude, choose fun and optimism, etc

7. Suggestions for growing together spiritually

Another one to add to the recommended reading list for marrieds!

If you would like to read some of the beginning to the book, go here.

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