In Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage, Dr. Greg Smalley asserts that conflict is frequently driven by fear, not the immediate issues at hand. We all have hot button issues, that when pushed, set off an immediate knee-jerk emotional response. Dr. Smalley has included a chart in his book with common reactions and explain what they mean. He has devised a powerful five-step communication process for healthy conflict call the L.U.V.E. talk method. It stands for Listen, Understand, Validate, Empathize, and Apologize.
In this counterintuitive book, author Dr. Greg Smalley maintains that fighting is actually good for a marriage. When couples fight, they have the opportunity to get to the real issue lurking below the surface about money, sex, in-laws, kids, etc. And that real issue, Dr. Smalley says, is fear—fear of rejection, inadequacy, or powerlessness, to name a few. What assuages these fears are things like intimacy, respect, validation, love, and connection. Learning to take advantage of the opportunity that conflict provides is what this book is all about.
The good news of Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage is that conflict—when handled correctly—is the doorway to intimacy and under-standing. As Dr. Smalley leads readers through the many faces of conflict, he is open and candid about his own marriage and the unproductive fights he and his wife have had. He uses his fears and emotional triggers as examples to help read-ers discover their own. Couples will learn how to fight their way to a better marriage, using the skills, concepts, and exercises shared in this remarkable book.
Typical marriage fights = money, sex, in-laws, and kids. But what if fights could = trust, respect, intimacy, and understanding?
WHAT IF CONFLICT IN MARRIAGE COULD BE A GOOD THING?
The truth is that marriages and spouses can’t grow without conflict. Some of the many values of conflict include:
* An opportunity to break old, ineffective patterns
* A way to guard against being too comfortable or too complacent, which breeds mediocrity and boredom
* Insight into your own personal issues
* A window for viewing each other’s deepest feelings and needs
* Reduction of tension as emotions are vented and stress is released
* Greater trust and intimacy after pushing through difficult and heated conversations
* Higher levels of marital satisfaction every time you manage the conflict well
* The sole reason we have the amazing experience of makeup sex
Dr. Greg Smalley serves as Executive Director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as president of the National Institute of Marriage. He is the author of eleven books, including The DNA of Relationships, The DNA of Parent and Teen Relationships, and The Wholehearted Marriage. Greg lives in Colorado with his wife Erin and their four children.
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