When people respond too quickly, they often respond to the wrong issue. Listening helps us focus on the heart of the conflict. When we listen, understand, and respect each other’s ideas, we can then find a solution in which both of us are winners.
Togetherness has to do with focused attention. It is giving someone your undivided attention. As humans, we have a fundamental desire to connect with others. We may be in the presence of people all day long, but we do not always feel connected.
Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments.
Another reality about relationships is that they are never static. All of us experience changes in relationships but a few stop to analyse why a relationship gets better or worse.
People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.
Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving.
Don’t be a victim of the urgent. In the long run, much of what seems so pressing right now won’t even matter. What you do with your children will matter forever.
Love doesn’t erase the past, but it makes the future different.
..there is hope. That’s the marvelous thing about being human. We can change our future. We need not be enslaved by the experiences of the past. We can learn to love even when we have not received love.
Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself.
I think one of the other myths is that your environment determines your happiness. That if you are living with an alcoholic or living with a depressed spouse for a long time, you are just going to be unhappy.
This book [Desperate Marriages ] is really a book on how to be a positive change agent in a very, very difficult marriage. I am not promising that all individuals will be responsive to the approach I take, but I do believe that many marriages could be saved… could be healed. That is my hope.