What’s holding you back from a great marriage?
“I don’t believe in ‘okay,’ ‘decent,’ or ‘solid’ marriages. I’m against them,” says M. Gary Neuman. “I believe only in great marriages, and that you should expect and reach for no less.” In the last fifteen years, M. Gary Neuman, marital therapist and architect of the Sandcastles Divorce Therapy Program, has helped thousands of couples in crisis. Couples who fight. Who’ve grown apart. Who are stuck in relationships that run more on routine and rancor than love and understanding. What he’s found is that, contrary to popular belief, the problem is usually not poor communication. It’s the failure to put most of your focus into your marriage. You’ve only got so much energy. Are you spending it by being emotionally unfaithful?
Take a quick check: Do you send that funny e-mail to your friends at work—but not to your spouse? Do you chew over all the problems on the job so thoroughly with your colleagues that by the time you get home, you just don’t feel like going into it all over again? Do you get a secret thrill out of flirting with coworkers—thinking it’s safe because you know it’s not going any further? If so, you’re committing emotional infidelity—and you’re draining your marriage of the energy it needs to be great. Learning how to break this cycle is one of eleven secrets M. Gary Neuman shares in his provocative new book.
Based on the ten-week program he’s developed in his successful couples counseling practice, the book offers guidelines that are often counterintuitive, even outrageous or shocking. But they work. Dare to limit contact with members of the opposite sex. Dare to need each other. Dare to put in writing the nitty-gritty realities of a marriage plan. Dare to put your marriage before your kids or job. Dare to make love in a whole new way. Dare to change your focus: make the commitment to focus on each of the eleven secrets (ten plus one bonus secret) for one week apiece and you’ll reap the rewards of a transformed marriage and a reconfirmed relationship.
M. Gary Neuman’s program is guaranteed to challenge you and make you reexamine the myths holding you back from true happiness and satisfaction. It will change your marriage forever.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press (September 24, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0609810006
- ISBN-13: 978-0609810002
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
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from a professional point of view
I’ve found the book great for my patients also because of the stories which really bring the ideas to life and make it a quick read. There are so many books that seem to preach but this one seems to offer a conversation with you. The author seems to have purposely created a book that helps a couple think together and create something unique for themselves.
Most of all, the book is not afraid to tell it like it is. Neuman makes us think about the energy we have to give to our spouse and how much of it goes quickly to the wrong places. He has an especially great piece on accepting our spouse’s flaws called “the Mona Lisa was no size two,” where he really makes you think about how society has brainwashed us into certain beliefs about our spouses.
I don’t usually take the time to write reviews but this is something exceptional that can really help a lot of people. I’ll keep buying it for my patients.
Insight to workplace extramarital affairs
This book has been mistitled
The rest of the book is a marriage manual for how to create a great marriage. And Neuman is honest: it takes a lot of work. You have to put a lot of energy into creating the marriage that you want. And both of you have to participate. Neuman includes good exercises that helps people who may not know exactly what to give their spouses or who do not know exactly what their spouse wants from them. He also writes about dealing with children in a marriage and how the marriage must come first.
This book is for good marriages and for any marriage that is in trouble. If you grew up in the US, you have emotional baggage that you need to recognize and deal with, so you can use the information in this book to make your marriage better no matter how good it is right now.
One thing I did appreciate was that Neuman took the cheating partner to task and remonstrated him or her for their bad behavior and told them that it was their responsiblity for what they had done. He should have done that in The Truth About Cheating. I enjoyed this book much better than his new one. I felt that he expected the guilty spouse to take more responsibility in this volume.
When Marriage Counseling Hasn’t Helped…
Post Script, 2011: Four years ago, I read this remarkable book and asked my husband to also consider Mr. Neuman’s thesis, a very pertinent point for our struggling marriage. He agreed, read the first chapter, but somehow, in all the hustle and labor of his corporate travels, conventions and business-meetings-over-three-meals-a-day, “lost” the book in the bottom of a piece of luggage or moving box. After one particularly extended business excursion, he returned with a third wedding ring, which I found “hidden” in the box which originally held our wedding rings from 26 years ago. Starting at least 10 years earlier, he had become innured to social networking, corporate entertainment budgets which encouraged surreptitious double dating, and enless “get togethers/tweet-ups” with female business acquaintances who were “passing through town” and (when I finally gained access to some of their emails) frankly admitted that they had no actual business to discuss. After our youngest graduated from high school, I filed for divorce. He appears to be unaffected and continues to flirt with an endless parade of “professional” women.
Our 26 year marriage has ended in indescribable pain for me, depression, discouragement, financial ruin for everyone and a miserable model of dysfunctional marriage for our children. Dear reader, the fact that those who rejected Mr. Neuman’s advice have seen their marriage dissolve and those who (you’ll see among the reviews posted here) paid attention and employed Mr. Newman’s wise suggestions have enjoyed a renewed love and thriving marriage tells you what you need to know. This book is well worth the investment of a few dollars for Mr. Neuman’s wisdom, but the real value of this volume is in its application!
This book requires an open mind
Overall I think the book is great. It stesses that marriage takes a lot of work (work that can be very enjoyable however). And I do feel that the most important person in your life (your spouse) does deserve you putting in the work. Read the book and apply what may help your marriage. No need to get defensive if you don’t agree, like some of the few readers that did not like the book.
The deeper issue
Each couple should have all their priorities straight and expend their primary energy on creating a fulfilling, loving relationship with each other,which definitely includes having a banquet feast at home. Then enjoying and cultivating loving, caring, pure friendships with members of the opposite sex, either singly or as a couple, need never be a threat, but rather an enhancement. If the couple relationship is solid and healthy, there is no need to live in dread and fear of opposite gender friendships! A friend is more like a sister or brother, definitely not a lover in my books!
Sometimes people come against things so strongly in order to cover up their own temptations in that area. If you are too strongly tempted, don’t project that onto everyone else and steer clear of temptations.
changed my life
Emotional Infidelity taught me the deeper value of marriage. I’m proud to say I now realize that I NEED my wife. I have a more meaningful understanding of what we can offer each other.
I’ve finally found a way to love my wife AND my kids and not feel so constantly pulled in every direction. I’ve learned to look into my past and work with my wife on helping both of us recognize some of our personal intimate weaknesses. We’re changing and it’s work but I have a differnet marriage and love that I never had because of it.
Don’t pass this book up. these people who feel it’s too restrictive are either literally jusdgeing a book by it’s cover or too scared to face the truth. I didn’t have to agree with every work to find a book that changed me and my marriage. Thanks to the author for wise and warm techniques for showing me love I only dreamed of.
The Most Helpful Book I Have Ever Read
Excellent; must read for all couples
The ideas after chapter one are less controversial, but equally valuable. Read the whole book.