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on July 9, 2015
Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up is not so much a typical self-help book as it is a set of helpful suggestions, for maintaining a healthy relationship or mending a broken one pieced together, by a seasoned expert in the fields of psychology and family relationships. Harriet Lerner doesn’t waste time with wordy prose, instead she effectively provides a list of 106 rules, divided into ten chapters, which suggest concrete examples of common issues and ways to alter perspectives and behaviors to improve relationships. Despite the sound information she gives, it is difficult as a reader to learn about all the possible missteps he or she is making without feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Still, if the reader wants to learn and change, Lerner imparts something to take away from each example.

Lerner’s rules are diverse, concrete and are sure to contain advice which applies to every reader looking to improve his or her relationship. The author gives the reader ideas about how to change his or her own behaviors in ways that will positively impact both partners. She gives specific examples of how to create a more loving and positive atmosphere by pointing out things many people do in relationships that cause tension and suggests alternatives, such as only criticizing once per day or telling your partner things you admire about him or her. She points out important aspects to maintaining successful relationships over time, which most people are not aware of, such as: marriage expert Goldman says a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions are necessary for a lasting marriage. The reader may feel like he or she is doing many things wrong, or that this might lead to a break up, but Lerner has suggestions for every situation.

The author gives advice for happy couples, those who don’t get along, or those on the verge of splitting up, which is a bit unsettling, but also means any reader can take ideas from a variety of examples and apply them for his or her own purposes. By showing couples at different stages,
Lerner, gives the reader a chance to reflect on his or her own relationship, roles within the relationship, and how it might change in the future. The reader wonders, for example, if he or she exhibits the problem behaviors that lead to divorce. In allowing the reader to consider different options, for failure and improvement, Lerner literally helps the reader make better choices for his or her relationship. Her rules support and empower decisions for the reader.

No one ever says marriage is easy. We know all relationships take work. Most partnerships don’t have a guidebook like this one, with straight-forward advice. If you’re ready, use it and welcome it. No matter what the circumstance of the reader, Marriage Rules is a start to making changes from within you’ll need to improve your life with another person.
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on August 12, 2013
This book was very helpful for me to see alot of areas that my husband and I need help in our marriage.. He DID NOT read the book, however when I really thought a rule was one that concerned us, I would read the the chapter to him and he WOULD listen and take it to heart as well... This book has helped me change some amazing areas in marriage that I didnt even realize we needed help in....
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on July 7, 2013
I felt like I was getting advice from my favorite therapist. I read this book in one day, and highlighted passages in almost every chapter. I am looking forward to reviewing this book and re-reading it as well. I also read quite a few passages aloud to my husband. Obviously this book resonated for me. I highly recommend it if you are looking for some practical and easy to understand relationship advice.
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on June 25, 2017
This is one of the best books I have read on marriage. It is full of common sense approaches to many of the problems married couples face. I strongly recommend it. I first checked it out of the library and liked it so much I wanted my own copy. Now that copy is highlighted through and through
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on February 9, 2012
I received this book yesterday and was so looking forward to it I opened it to a random page and immediately started reading. At once I identified with what I was reading on the very first page I found. Lerner breaks down problem areas in relationships by chapters, then again in to shorter topics and then again in to very short summaries/bullet points. It's easy to pick up anywhere. I bought this book to help work out some deeper issues with my relationship (I am not married but find this is just as relevant in committed relationships) that we've identified but have not yet been able to completely manage. This book has already been helpful (yes! even after one day!) in identifying ways to manage such issues. The format makes it easy to have a conversation about the book with your spouse/significant other since it's broken down so easily. My only gripe with the book is that Lerner makes presumptions about gender roles when discussing relationship issues - for example, she discusses the Pursuer/Distancer roles that many relationships take on when a relationship is under high stress. When discussing this, she writes as though all Pursuers are women and all Distancers are men, which is, of course, not accurate. I would hope that there wouldn't be this much stereotyping when roles can just as easily be reversed. This aside, the book is excellent and a very highly recommended read for anyone considering.
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on May 23, 2017
Good book. Good reasonable advise. Easy reading. Author writes with humor
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on August 14, 2015
This is a fantastic book. It helps the reader see his or her own behaviour from a new perspective. Half the battle is recognizing the problem. Then, it gives practical and applicable replacement for old behavior. I love that it keeps it real and recognizes a more human relationship outside of textbook psychology. Great read for married couples, those considering it and anyone involved in any relationship whatsoever. In short, it is a good read for everyone.
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on June 13, 2017
Great book!!!
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on January 4, 2013
this book is great even for improving an already great marriage. was really pleased with the simple breakdown, no non-sense approach, not overwhelming, pretty straightforward advice. very happy with this purchase, have recommended this to countless friends!
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on November 26, 2013
This book is amazing. I read it after during a divorce and it really helped me move past a lot of issues I was dealing with. It showed me how to better communicate with my partner. I've tired hard to apply the principles in this the book in my new relationship and it has made it so much better. Our communication is so much more open because of it. I'd recommend anyone married or single to read this. It will only help your relationships grow.
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