A very different approach is taken by Weiner-Davis (1992), a social
worker, who persuasively argues against divorce and urges her
readers to take specific, concrete steps to quickly rejuvenate their
affection for each other rather than splitting. Markman, Stanley &
Blumberg (1994), Notarius & Markman (1993), Gottman (1994), and
Kottler (1994) also concentrate on resolving conflicts and preventing a
divorce. Their methods are based on research.
Many other general books focus on understanding and improving
marriage: Barbach and Geisinger (1992), Bradshaw (1993), Broder
(1993), Lauer and Lauer (1986), and Sarnoff and Sarnoff (1989). They
are useful to many people but not as highly rated by professionals as
the books in the last paragraph.
Also, there are books addressing specific problems which I have
not dealt with at length in this chapter, such as obsessive love
(Forward, 1991), love-hate relationships (Arterburn & Stoop, 1988),
foolish relationships (Schlessinger, 1994), codependency (chapter
8; Covington & Beckett,1988), sexual boredom (see end of this
chapter), increasing commitment (Bugen, 1989; Schwartz & Merten,
1980; Smedes, 1988), burnout and painful stalemates ( Pines, 1988;
Driscoll, 1991), an overweight partner (Stuart & Jacobson, 1987),
and other crises (Ruben, 1986; Viscott, 1989).
You must keep in mind that you are an individual as well as part of
a couple. Duncan and Rock (1991) offer advice when your spouse
won't seek counseling. Also use the references mentioned before for
maintaining your own independence while becoming intimate with
another, such as Lerner (1988) and Horner (1990).
Videotapes are becoming available, such as "Getting Back
Together" and "Falling in Love Again" from SyberVision (1-800-678-
0887). Gary Smalley (800-592-3200) is well known for his workshops
and video tapes, "Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships." And, recently
McKay, Fanning, & Paleg (1995) have marketed (1-800-748-6273) a
skills oriented book which is supplemented by a video tape and several
audiotapes illustrating specific marriage communication skills.
As you read about marriage problems and solutions, set aside time
to talk with your spouse (the average couple talk only 4 minutes per
day). If you have trouble starting to talk about a sensitive topic, a
book by Chesanow and Esersky (1988) could help. Keep a problem-
solving attitude; avoid excessive crying (as a form of pressure),
begging, nagging, accusations, demands, personal putdowns, and
endless analysis of what's wrong with your marriage. O'Hanlon and
Hudson (1995) recommend actions in place of psychological
speculation. See chapter 13 for useful communication skills.