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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2009
Do you want to know what principles keep a marriage together? This is a good read by a woman who has done some extensive research covering a wide range of marriages, what has held them together despite some overwhelming odds. These are couples whose option was to stay married under any circumstances. "Divorce" was never discussed nor was it a ever spoken. You get circumspection into lives that you might never have or dare. You won't be bored!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
My parents were married until death. That conscious commitment shapes the effort of creating a working relationship, partnership in parenting and support in aging.

We married age 25. For 8 years we built our education, careers, savings for a down payment on a home and retirement before having children. Age 42 we paid off the student loans. We choose as friends people we admire and can learn from, most were also married 6-8 years before having children. Our children and the children of our friends have grown up from infant play group through graduation from high school, college and beyond as friends. We parents continue our get togethers. Our children still have the same parents they were born with.

The Story of Us Bruce Willis Michelle Pfeiffer comedy about a marriage

The early years of marriage were consumed with working and volunteering, contributing what we felt might help our family, friends, community become strong and healthy: the AAUW Children's Festival Frog O'Faire since 1972 is a free all day celebration of childhood in Riverside Park on the day before Father's Day with healthy snacks, painting, games, wood building, drawing, read aloud, crawling tunnels, origami. When my father died in 1979 I spent the next year helping to create a hospice, for the next 10 years hospice care was free, run entirely by volunteers until 1990 when Lovejoy Hospice incorporated as a Medicare approved agency. As a couple we read applications for local scholarships for children chasing aspirations.

One friend created a common home Coalition for Kids including all the groups interested in helping children thrive (Tinkerbell Preschool a cooperative parent run preschool attended by the children of professionals in our town so no one feels hesitation about walking into the building to receive community services, daycare, Headstart, Literacy Council, Easter Seals Speech and Hearing Clinic, GED program from Rogue community college, Parenting with Love and Logic classes). Math Their Way uses manipulatives to teach arithmetic (5 Cheerios, if I eat one how many are left? 4 blue bread tags plus 6 red wire twists, how many total? if I slice a watermelon and we count the seeds in each slice we can draw a graph of the number of seeds in each slice, we create a normal distribution bell curve. If everyone brings a teddy bear to our PJ in preschool day, we can draw histogram of number of white bears, number of black bears, number of brown bears, number of tan bears). Here's Looking at You 2000 Kindergarten through 12th grade antidrug education program brought to schools, children, teachers, principals, parents ideas for developing social skills resilience (second grade social skill: learn to pat yourself on your back when you do a good job).

Parenting with Love and Logic Helicopters, Drill Sergeants, and Consultants Book & CD Set: Parenting Styles & the Messages They Send Jim Fay school principal, Foster Cline MD psychiatrist 35 years teaching parenting classes to parents, teachers, principals to create a uniform language throughout Josephine County of personal responsibility.

NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness free classes F2F Family to Family 12 week 2.5hrs/week class for family caregivers of the mentally ill, P2P Peer to Peer class led by patients for patients, IOOV In Our Own Voice patient presentations in the community to increase awareness of the contributions possible with appropriate treatment, supportive education and employment for the mentally ill. Book ASIN:0978544803 The Caregiver Helpbook, Powerful Tools for Caregivers manual for 6 week 2.5hr/week classes for caregivers dealing with dementia, chronic asthma diabetes pain, returning Iraq Afghan veterans, mental illness in loved ones.

University of Chicago Great Books Program in Shared Inquiry in the local library, learning critical analytical thinking. Read for understanding by reading a book and writing questions on the page as they occur during reading. Then reread and write new questions, finally meet to pose the questions in group and listen to new ideas. Volunteer abroad, visit medical facilities in remote hilltops and plains and offer help where we can, bringing supplies to village schools to help teachers entice children to attend class instead of working the farm or peddling in the street.

We celebrate our marriage each year with six couples, the men cook and serve a different course each hour during a six hour meal. The moms catch up on children who grew up together from preschool play group, K-12, college and early marriage, and now are beginning to have children of their own in their 30s and 40s. Each couple has been married 40 plus years, one couple celebrates their 50th anniversary next month. My uncle and aunt just celebrated their 65th anniversary.

I read Married People for an opportunity to learn how others choose to honor their commitment to one another. How do they stay aware of damaging BC (before children) single self centered attitudes, grow in their ability to self regulate emotion, honestly self examine, appreciate how much better they become in companionship with spouse, see the best in each other and approach parenthood with the firm foundation of a solid parental marriage before pregnancy.

Like CBT cognitive behavioral therapy, Married People's says that how we think affects how we feel. If we choose to alter how we think, we may feel better. But change takes awareness, conscious effort, hard work to act against pre-marriage tendencies toward vanity self deception, and moving on, separating from family of origin to create a new family with new traditions and rituals Parenthood Steve Martin Jason Robards Keanu Reeves Mary Steenburgen Rick Moranis Tom Hulce.

A friend shares that what guides her is finding older wiser mentors to show the way to grow gracefully.

Passion is easy. Commitment is tough. Celia Barbour

DVD [ASIN:B00005QTAW 'Til There Was You] is fantasy myth dishonesty, loneliness, inertia, prejudice, alcoholism, smoking addiction, serendipity, effort, learning to tolerate discomfort, social cohesion, mutual respect collaboration cooperation, self discovery, finding meaning in life through mutually beneficial human relationship.

We did the 60s thing and wrote our own marriage vows, read by the university chaplain in Appleton Chapel. We put the marriage ahead of either of us individually. That kept the focus on the marriage as number one child, needing feeding and attention every day to survive and prosper. Being born during WWII makes us older than the Boomers, yet younger than the Greatest Generation. Ours is the era of Peace Corps, one of our closest couple friends met in Peace Corps as the 11th group to be trained and sent out to try to improve health and education in the world. We lived through the 1968 Democratic Presidential convention. The March on Washington. We knew somehow it is our duty to grow up and give back where we can just as every generation before us has done.

Tikkun Olam refers to bringing the world in for repair by making sure our own responsibilities to ourselves for honest self examination, effortful change and our duties to others under our care are addressed as best we can with what we know at each point in time. We are doing our best.

True life is lived when tiny changes occur. Leo Tolstoy

In Married People author Francine Klagsbrun interviewed couples nationwide married more than 25 years to glean insight into the why and how of marital commitment.

Each couple is unique, each story idiosyncratic. Their adventures weave a tapestry of electric interactions, helpfulness, soul-searching. These couples' willingness to share their private thoughts and experiences is helpful. No one can know otherwise what goes on in a private relationship.

Finally a portrait emerges of loyalty, heart stabbing adversity, maturity, growth, evolution as a unit. Married People is a collection of Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper, 2nd Edition Barry Baines collaboratively offered by hundreds of anonymous couples of hope and shared vision.

Marriage as the foundation of family informs how we engage in all our relationships. We choose according to our narrow field of experience. We select as friends people we admire and try to learn from as role models. We choose as marital partners those whose character reveals a desire to improve, willingness to give 100% on both sides to make a relationship work. What is true for us now is merely that which is closest to who we are in this moment. Having regret means we are growing beyond who we were as we continue becoming.

Just because a parent is jailed doesn't mean we are destined to be jailed. Just because a parent won the Nobel Prize doesn't obligate us to repeat a parent's life. We are not stuck as the children of our parents or as the products of what we chose before; we may glimpse wisdom by humbly attempting growth beyond laziness ego and self indulgence.

Couples married for more than 25 years draw a road map of admiration, friendship, conscious politeness, gratitude, compromise. A couple's faith in one another's potential for grace humor and courage supports evolution beyond insular achievement, breathing life into a marital whole, synergistically surpassing additive individuality.

Other human interactions for reflection:

DVD The King's Speech a marriage under stress; not attacking one another, facing challenges together (us against the problem) with humility, persistence and restraint. See Special Features of archival audio and video of King George VI public addresses before speech therapy and after.

DVD [ASIN:B004IFYMWK Fair Game] Naomi Watts Sean Penn, commentary in Special Features by the real-life husband and wife who lived pain and overcame the scission in their marriage 2003-2006: self-doubt, confusion, ambivalence about duty, loyalty, honor and parenting their 4 year old twins; support offered by the wife's colonel father and mother while she contemplates duty to family, country and sworn silence.

Departures role model for healing broken trust through parent surrogates, healing of broken relationships with music.

The Caregiver Helpbook, Powerful Tools for Caregivers addresses our final responsibility to one another as friends, life companions, partners How to Die in Oregon

Marital longevity, fidelity, mutual encouragement and respect offer stable role models of probity for children in sorting out their own choices in relationship. We can't make their decisions for children, but we can offer a stable docking place for reflection and consideration consequences of potential choices.

Dhamma Brothers meditation as a self soothing social skill to tame and modulate harm to self and other.

[ASIN:B0031RAOW8 Hachi: A Dog's Tale [Blu-ray] Richard Gere based on true story of Hachiko, an Akita born in Odate 1923, whose devotion and loyalty are celebrated in Japan, now translated into America 2008. Parents' advice to their daughter on marriage, marital communication, acknowledge challenges "I wanted to run into his arms but I think too much" "I heard you" "I missed you" "Do you love my daughter? remember that during the hard times."

[ASIN:B001C4AFOY The Young Victoria] Emily Blunt "do not mistake stubborness for strength."

5 star reflection on long term consequences of marital friendship *Batteries Not Included Frank MacCrae Hume Cronyn Jessica Tandy Elizabeth Pena.

In the long run we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt
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