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I highly recommend this book to anyone in relationship crisis, as well as anyone attemping to avoid relationship issues in the future.
The Prathers contend that none of us "deserves" an "ideal primary relationship and the fulfillment of all our dreams. What we deserve is love, and we have it only when we give it." For more than 20 years, Hugh and Gayle Prather have counseled couples and encouraged them to give to one another, thus building permanent, satisfying, and spiritually based relationships - the kind that can "go through fire."
The Prathers found that couples who divorces in spite of counseling are rarely happier after separation, and the betrayal of abandonment is damaging to their children and the community, as well as to the soul of the betrayer. The Prathers see the rash of divorces in today's society as one of the symptoms of an epidemic of fear and hatred. Their hope is that I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU will serve as an emergency manual to deal with tis ongoing disaster.
Filled with wit and wisdom, this manual takes us through all the stages a couple typically experiences in a long-term relationship. It clearly outlines the exercises and sensitizing techniques that the Prathers and their clients have used to successfully heal the breaches in their faltering unions.
The Prathers hold up the real relationship as the ideal for all couples to strive toward. Their definition of a "real" relationship is "one in which two people love each other to fulfill themselves rather than withdraw from each other to fulfill themselves." It is "unquestionably a haven from fear... Once it becomes the goal of any two people, it not only lasts but grows stronger and lovelier with every effort." Any couple who sets this kind of relationship as a goal will find that the Prathers' book will serve as a guide through the storms of life until the two can say to each other: "I love you; I bless you; I want to walk home to God with you."
Emily VanLaeys, author of DREAM WEAVING: USING DREAM GUIDANCE TO CREATE LIFE'S TAPESTRY
The authors take us through the different stages of a marriage and map out what to expect and how to deal with these changes. They present an excellent strategy for having arguments, and discuss how much people lose out on by choosing divorce. There is a good chapter on dealing with an affair. They end with the six promises of a real relationship
I felt that almost everything they have to say here rings true. This is a great roadmap for staying married forever and reaping the rewards of lifelong love and friendship. They inspire me to have a successful and "real" marriage.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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Hugh and Gayle Prather don't waste 90% of the book telling us what is WRONG with our relationship (like so many self-help books I've read). They give practical, concrete suggestions of how to be in a relationship so it will work. It's like an owner's manual for relationships.
I'm disappointed that the Book For Couples is out of print now. I was looking for it here to give to a friend as a wedding gift. It's much more useful than another toaster. It is worth searching for. I hope I can find a copy somewhere (you too).
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Both books are written as snippets collected from bedtime journals written by either of the two authors. They strike true far more than seems possible. Insightful. Witty. Touching.
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