Thursday, March 29, 2007

Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

eSuitor and I took an eight week preparation-for-marriage course at his church called Love for a Lifetime. One of the recommended reading books that came with our tuition was one called Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. I just finished reading it, and despite the slightly depressing title and one paragraph that rubbed me the wrong way, I would have to give the book two big thumbs up.
This book is written by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, a husband-wife team with a background in marriage and family therapy. For the most part, it is helpful information for improving relationships and making your marriage great. It is hard to give a synopsis of a book like this, so I thought I'd leave you with my favorite concept shared in the book along with some quotes.

The concept: think of love as a triangle.

"The biological side of the triangle is passion, the spine-tingling sensation that moves us toward romance.... The emotional side of love's triangle is intimacy. Love without
intimacy is only a hormonal illusion. One cannot desire another person over the long haul without really knowing that person.... The cognitive and willful side of the love triangle is commitment. Commitment looks toward a future that cannot be seen and promises to be there--until death."

"Passion, intimacy and commitment are the hot, warm, and cold ingredients in love's recipe. And these ingredients vary, because the levels of intimacy, passion, and commitment change from time to time and from person to person. You can visualize the fluidity of love by considering how the love triangle changes in size and shape as the three components of love increase and decrease. The triangle's area represents the amount of love. Large amounts of intimacy, passion, and commitment yield a large triangle. The larger the triangle, the more love."

The book goes on to explain what emerges in a relationship when the triangle becomes disporportionate in the length of its sides. The overall idea, though, is that to keep love balanced, all three sides of the triangle deserve equal attention.I hope I can show eSuitor a balanced and generous kind of love during our lifetime together. He sure deserves lots of it!


ML said...

I think you're on the right track to having a really great marriage. Keep that triangle balanced.

Thanks for posting that paragraph. It's so true!

Ally Bean said...

Interesting. Now I'm sitting here wondering what our triangle looks like. Hmmm?

wordnerd said...

I think it's great that you are doing something like this together. Marriage is wonderful and exhilarating, it is, by far, the best thing I have committed to, in my life.

However, it is not always easy (sometimes it is downright hard) and it requires patience, work and alot of honesty. A good marriage will mean that for you, it is always worth it. One thing we've done (which sounds cliche, but I swear to you that I'm so grateful we see eye to eye on this one) that we NEVER go to bed angry...and I mean NEVER....we've stayed up all night....we've screamed at the top of our lungs...but we won't go to bed angry....we talk it out....each and EVERY time. It's all about having an iron will to make it work....because we're worth it.

Courses like this get you thinking (together) of how you are going to handle the highs and the lows and give you a toolbox with which to start the journey. Good for you!

Again, I'm so excited for you and the eSuitor. Marriage can be such a wonderful thing for those who enter in love and commitment.

Beenzzz said...

There is a lot of truth to what you posted. Just remember that the spine tingling, butterflies in your stomach, attraction dies off within a year or two. What comes next is the sweetest bond of all. It is true love after that and it should be nurtured. You and e-Suitor seem to have that bond already.:)

Love Bears All Things said...

I know that you two are off to a great start. J & I went to a marriage conference once. We must be doing something right after 40 years. We've both changed thru the years but have grown together. Having the same values and beliefs is a big plus at the beginning.

Adventures in Aberdeen said...

We read the book...and filled out the little work book that goes along with it. I know we've only been married for a year and a half or so, but reading that book was quite helpful!