Top critical review
Some practices needed to have a good and lasting marital relationship
on August 31, 2015
The Six Secrets of a Lasting Relationship, by Mark Goulston, who is a psychiatrist and writer Philip Goldberg lays out a six-step process by which couples can improve the quality of their relationship, using the CREATE acronym: Chemistry, Respect, Enjoyment, Acceptance, Trust and Empathy. One chapter of the book is devoted to each of these concepts. Each chapter begins with a quiz and there are some examples from Dr. Goulston’s practice and a variety of other points. There also are some quotes to emphasize each idea. In the chapter on chemistry, for example, he says it exists on a continuum and that in mature love it includes mental and emotional attraction. Mature love also means the accepting the essence of the person without necessarily accepting all their individual traits. An example of how to regain trust is to use the “three R’s,” remorse, restitution and rehabilitation.
Some of the other interesting points made in the book are the so-called “Coolidge Effect” whereby males lose interest in the same female over time, but regain it when a new female is introduced and the “Gender Equivalency Guide” that shows differences between men and women in their likes and values and can be used especially in promoting empathy which Goulston says is the most important of the secrets.
This book is especially designed for couples undergoing difficulties in their relationship, but every couple can benefit from it. I think the CREATE idea is somewhat contrived since there are other items that promote a good relationship, such as communication. Furthermore, these ideas are not “secrets” but rather common sense. I also think that the book must be read by both parties and may be difficult to implement without the benefit of a professional therapist if the couple have really difficult problems in their relationship. I rate it at three stars because much of the information is common sense and I do not think the book alone will help couples without professional guidance as well.