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Marriage counseling or divorce? That is the question being asked thousands of times every day across America. With so many marriages ending in divorce, the question can be asked: How many of those marriages might have been saved? Now a new book, combining the insights of five experts in a single volume, offers a multifaceted resource for helping avert the emotional trauma of breaking up a once happy marriage.
Entitled The Marriage Medics, the manual, published online at www.marriagemedics.com and co-authored by clinical psychotherapist Cynthia Cooper, Ph.D., spells out key reasons why so many marriages crumble, and cites ways in which couples might save their marriage.
The quintet of experts are: Dr. Cooper, who counsels couples and families; Dan Smith, a financial executive who helps couples resolve money problems; Dr. Patti Britton, a nationally recognized clinical sexologist; John Hunt, a noted attorney specializing in family law; and Cmdr. Bobbitti May, a U.S. Navy chaplain who advises military personnel on marital issues.
The book pinpoints several root causes of trouble in a marriage, and lists approaches for healing them. The reasons include:
Unrealistic Expectations & Festering Resentments
The former, according to Dr. Cooper, can involve differences over gender roles, i.e., who does what regarding tasking activities and decision-making. “Couples may reduce conflicts,” she writes, “by taking an equal-opportunity approach, by determining who is most qualified to do each task. ” Unspoken resentments can grow out of, among other things, what Cooper terms “The Three A’s”–addiction (be it to drugs, alcohol, or TV), affairs, and abuse. Cooper points out that such dysfunctions can be alleviated by various means including: identifying the problem, learning how to handle emotions, and clinical therapy.
The book cites data that 43 percent of all married couples argue over money, making it the No. 1 reason husbands and wives fight. The alternative, says veteran banker Daniel Smith, is for couples to realize that managing finances in a household is like running a business. Spouses should stop living beyond their means, forget about “keeping up with the Joneses,” agree on a financial plan, go on a credit-card “diet”–and celebrate when they pay off a debt.
This sensitive subject, Dr. Patti Britton notes, often involves difficulties concerning frequency and quality of intimacy. She enumerates “five basic areas that need to be addressed, unblocked, and then aligned for a couple to enjoy a healthy, passionate sex life. ” They are: 1) Mind, 2) Emotions, 3) Body (including body image issues), 4) Energy and 5) Spirit.
Two other topics addressed in the book are: the legal web of divorce, and the importance of spiritual healing. Attorney Hunt points out that many couples do not anticipate the legal maze the parting process can represent, plus the potentially devastating financial costs. Navy Chaplain Bobbitti May, taking an ecumenical approach, suggests that, “Spirituality takes us beyond . . . fixed views of how we relate to God [and] others. . . . it is the practice of how we do relationships–both horizontally with another human being and vertically with our Higher Power. “
The Marriage Medics comes highly recommended by reviewer Jennie S. Bev, managing editor of BookReviewClub.com who says the book “teaches couples what to expect realistically from their partners –and themselves– and how to act, also realistically when it comes to sustaining their marriages. It’s like having a knowledgeable friend who knows the ins and outs of the married life.”
Tami Brady of the Blether Book Review says “Though The Marriage Medic is meant mainly for those couples with marital difficulties, much of the information included in this book will be helpful to any couple. This is particularly true of the sections on communications, vision of the relationship, underlying resentments, and gender roles. These issues and hints relate directly to nearly any relationship and therefore will be of value to almost any reader. “ The Marriage Medics can be purchased online at: www.themarriagemedics.com