Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships

by W. W. Norton & Company

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Product ID: 373961

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  • People joke that the start of a couple's marriage means the end of their sex life. David Schnarch, a sex therapist
    praised by Pepper Schwartz, uses epiphany-laden conversations taken directly from his own marriage and the married
    couples he sees in practice to help readers defy the myth that marriages are necessarily passionless, and instead prove
    that the longer a couple has been together, the higher the fireworks can fly. It's especially aimed at older couples
    who, Schnarch says, are self-actualized and therefore better able to handle intimacy than younger partners. "People have
    difficulty with intimacy because they're supposed to," he says, and goes on in this inspiring book to combine elements
    of marriage therapy and sex therapy to bring plenty of practical, fresh ideas to the crowd of mostly vapid relationship
    books. (Note that despite its title, it's for any emotionally committed couple, not just married folks.)

    Schnarch says that a man is more likely to let a relationship suffer in order to hold on to his sense of self, while a
    woman is more apt to let her identity suffer to help strengthen it. Schnarch gives explicit tips on how to alter this
    pattern, an essential step he calls "differentiation." He also explains why compromise isn't always the best route to
    take when conflicts arise. The couples profiled here deal with the usual suspects: uneven sexual desire and initiation,
    battles about oral sex, self-image problems, the "boondoggle" of trust (both of one's self and one's partner), and the
    specter of divorce. Instead of focusing on each client's weaknesses, Schnarch teaches how to find inner strength and
    resilience that can be used to reaffirm a relationship and reignite sex. William H. Masters of Masters and Johnson fame
    calls this book "a classic," and no wonder. --Erica Jorgensen


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