About the Author
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are founders of RealRelationships.com and the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Their bestselling books include Love Talk, Crazy Good Sex, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Their work has been featured in the New York Times and USA Today, and they have appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah. They live with their two young sons in Seattle.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I Love You More Workbook for Men a letter to our readers Itook a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes,' says comedian Woody Allen. 'It involves Russia.' Ever felt like that after reading a book? Sometimes it becomes so easy to focus on finishing a book that we miss its main message. What you hold in your hand is a kind of insurance policy against that happening while you are reading I Love You More. But it's more than that too. Books let us shake hands with new ideas. But these ideas remain as flat as the printed page if we do not apply them to our lives. For this reason, we have designed workbooks---one for husbands and one for wives---that will help you incorporate into your marriage the new lessons you learn while reading. As you read through the main book, you will discover places where it points you to do an exercise in these workbooks. Most of them are designed for you to take about five minutes on your own to complete a few questions or to take a brief self-test and then compare your results with your spouse (that's why it's important for each spouse to have a workbook). Or, it may give you an exercise to do together so that you can put into practice a new principle. This is where real learning occurs. This is where new ideas become more than acquaintances; they begin to make a positive difference in your marriage. We have used these exercises with countless couples, both in our counseling practice as well as in our seminar settings. They are proven. They work. And that's why we are passionate about you doing them as you read through our book. While there is no one right way to use these workbooks, we suggest that you complete the exercises as you encounter them in the book, or soon after you have finished reading the chapter that covers the exercise. In other words, try to complete the exercises for that chapter before moving on to the next one. The point is to integrate the exercises into the process of reading the book. Some of the exercises are designed to be used again and again ('The Big Question,' for example), helping you continue to deepen your level of intimacy. Others are more of a one-shot exercise designed to give you a flash of insight. As you proceed through the pages of this book, make it your own. Don't get too hung up on following the rules. If a particular exercise leads you down a more intriguing path, take it. Some of these exercises may simply serve as springboards to discussions that fit your style more appropriately. However, if an exercise seems a bit challenging, don't give up on it. As the saying goes, anything worth having is worth working for---especially when it comes to marriage. So, whether you are a speed reader or not, we hope you don't approach I Love You More just to check it off your 'to-do' list. We hope and pray that you will, instead, use these exercises, selftests, and discussion questions to internalize the book's message and fortify your marriage with every possible good thing. Exercise 1 taking inventory of your marriage Every couple bumps into bad things---circumstances that make marriage more difficult. In this first exercise, we urge you to take an inventory of everything threatening your love. Every couple has their own unique list. What follows are some of the most common. Take a moment, without input from your spouse, to check those that currently top your list. _ Frequent conflict _ Financial pressures _ Power struggles _ Busy schedules _ Work pressures _ Career crisis _ Infertility _ Tumultuous relations with extended family _ A rebellious child _ Sexual unfulfillment _ Lack of spiritual intimacy _ Frequent communication breakdowns _ Major illness _ Addictions _ Infidelities and lack of trust _ Grief or loss _ Other: __________________________________________________ Before discussing the list you just made with your partner, take a few more minutes to note the things in your life right now that are good for your marriage. What half-dozen good things are augmenting the love you share? Your list could consist of anything from 'having a date night each week' to 'being honest with each other' to 'sharing the housework.' Note what is currently going on that buoys your marriage in spite of everything else. _ Being honest with each other _ Sharing housework _ Sharing humor or laughter _ Having strong social support _ Sharing a vision for our future _ Enjoying a committed church life together _ Enjoying a fulfilling sex life _ Having a date night _ Enjoying good children _ Feeling in good physical health _ Having a secure financial future _ Sharing interests and hobbies _ Enjoying strong extended family relationships _ Supporting each other in prayer _ Feeling secure in our marriage commitment _ Feeling strong emotional health _ Other: __________________________________________________ Once you've made your two lists, set aside some time to share this information with each other. Don't turn this into a gripe session. The point of sharing your first list is to simply identify what difficult things you are both contending with that impact your marriage. The goal in sharing your second list is to remember the positive, not just the negative.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.