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Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage (Chapman Guides)

af Gary Chapman

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541373,204 (4)Ingen
"My husband and I can't seem to agree on anything!""You spent how much!?!""My wife's parents are driving me crazy!""You never listen to me!"Let's face it-even the best of marriages hit an occasional bump in the road now and then. The secret to marital bliss lies in how you and your spouse handle those bumps. In Happily Ever After, Gary Chapman, the man "who wrote the book" on how to communicate with your spouse, shows couples how to successfully navigate the six most common problems that couples face: fighting fair, negotiating change, managing money, getting along with your in-laws, raising kids, and maintaining a healthy sex life. Drawing on more than 30 years of counseling experience, Dr. Chapman provides real-world examples and practical, battle-tested advice that will help you and your spouse better understand and communicate with each other as well as grow as a couple for many years to come.… (mere)
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The book is divided into six broad sections, with the first one being the most useful in general terms. It talks about the unpleasant inevitability of most marital arguments, how nobody ever ‘wins’ even if one partner emerges as the apparent victor. When someone beats down a loved one with words, there’s a nasty taste left in both mouths, and a new scar in the relationship.

Chapman acknowledges that we all have negative traits, and that probably every married person in the world wishes at least one thing was different with his or her spouse… and, unusually, rather than talking about love being beyond such things, he suggests that in a good relationship it should be possible to address potential changes over time.

The other sections cover various topics on which couples typically have big disagreements: finances, in-laws, raising children, and so on. I felt that there was some good advice in this, mixed with some rather obvious statements, and some which I disagreed with. This isn’t necessarily a problem, and for a newly married idealistic couple this could be a good book to work through together. But most of it didn’t feel particularly relevant to me.

I particularly felt that the section about finances seemed unrealistic, assuming that people wanted to acquire ‘things’ beyond their means, and helping them figure out how to avoid them. For those of us who live (and prefer) a somewhat minimalistic lifestyle, it was a section to skim.

I like Gary Chapman’s clear writing style, which has sufficient anecdotes to be interesting, and is well organised content-wise. But given the number of marriage books already available, I didn’t think that this said anything new or different - so would not particularly recommend it above any of the others. In particular, I didn’t feel that it was as inspiring or constructive as the author’s ‘Four Seasons of Marriage’, which I would recommend very highly.

Three and a half stars would probably be fairer. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
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"My husband and I can't seem to agree on anything!""You spent how much!?!""My wife's parents are driving me crazy!""You never listen to me!"Let's face it-even the best of marriages hit an occasional bump in the road now and then. The secret to marital bliss lies in how you and your spouse handle those bumps. In Happily Ever After, Gary Chapman, the man "who wrote the book" on how to communicate with your spouse, shows couples how to successfully navigate the six most common problems that couples face: fighting fair, negotiating change, managing money, getting along with your in-laws, raising kids, and maintaining a healthy sex life. Drawing on more than 30 years of counseling experience, Dr. Chapman provides real-world examples and practical, battle-tested advice that will help you and your spouse better understand and communicate with each other as well as grow as a couple for many years to come.

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