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Comment: First printing hardcover with clean pages, tight binding, and excellent covers. DJ is glossy.
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A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage: The Essentials for Long-Lasting Togetherness Hardcover – October 6, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, Ed. S, is a marriage and family therapist who has always been obsessed with how and why relationships last.  She has been in practice for over 25 years.  Her website is www.shelteringthoughts.comShe lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and son.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Cider Mill Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604330910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604330915
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christina L. Johns on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The idiom "you can't judge a book by its cover," applies here. When readers look at this book it appears to be a gift book that a parent would give to a daughter for a wedding or anniversary gift. This book is much more than that. The message of the book is one that should be read by all married couples. Though the message can be relayed to them, readers will have to read this book to understand the importance of the message within.
This short guide is the culmination of years of study and research by Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, a family therapist with more than 25 years experience. O'Neill tells that she has used hundreds of self-help books poured over by couples in search of answers. This missive presents twenty insightful and, in some ways, surprising suggestions to help couples recapture and maintain the romance and closeness that she says needs to be an integral part of marriage.
Not Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill's first book, A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage is the author's third work. Lurning: 147 Inspiring Thoughts for Learning on the Job, published in 1993 and 98 pages, is exactly what the title reads: inspiring thoughts for learning on the job. Sheltering Thoughts, publication in June 2005 and 148 pages, on the other hand, offers words of understanding for the family who has lost a family member. At 64 pages, her latest book is the shortest of her publications.
Believing that marriage can only work as a team effort, O'Neill gives the following insight.

"Here's a little philosophy to set the stage. Many have conceptualized marriage as tedious, lifelong work, day in and day out. That's enough to make anyone ponder jumping ship. Marriage, to me, is better thought of as a creative work in progress.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 3:08 Mins
I found this book to be so important that I called the author, Sharon O'Neill. In her interview with me, Sharon explained some of the issues that make a marriage exciting and meaningful:

BK: In your book, A Short Guide To A Happy Marriage, you said a couple has to have a sense of a team spirit to have a great marriage. How can a couple discover that? Or is team spirit something that comes instinctively?

SO: Team spirit is something that develops as a couple comes together--though talking, dating, or living together. Without it, couples shouldn't get married. There are, of course, different levels of a team spirit, and it can be crushed or shut down. When couples come to me, we have to get it up and going. It's behind the reason they got married.

BK: You talk about how important it is for a couple to find an activity that both partners enjoy doing together. I mentioned this to Bruce Cadle, the Date Night Chef, and he said that a weekly shared meal, which becomes a ritual, adds meaning to a marriage.

SO: Right. But it's not about trying to capture what you did before marriage. Rather, it's something you share together. It doesn't have to be a meal. It could be bowling. Because if you know that even during the busiest week you are going to come together and do whatever it is that you do--that's what adds meaning to a marriage.

BK: What about you and your husband?

SO: One of the most important things in our lives is cooking our Thursday night meal together. Nothing on earth, except the gravest emergencies, interferes with us having that meal together! We've been doing it for fifteen years.

BK: You also mentioned that touching is an aphrodisiac. I'm curious how you figured that out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This concise guide offers practical behaviors for a strong marriage. A great gift for an anniversary.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommend for all couples including those planning to tie-the-knot, feel their marriage could be better, and even those with happy marriages. It is a quick easy read so ideal for both partners to read and use as a starting point for meaningful dialogue. The concepts presented are basic and straight forward but often overlooked in busy stress-filled lives. Thoughtful gift.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a gem of a book. It's inspiring and I carry it on my Kindle for easy reference wherever I am, especially when traveling on business.
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Format: Hardcover
When the title says a "short guide", it means it. The actual book is small in size and only 61 pages long. Lines are double-spaced and text is only on every other page (with the other page showing a full-size photo of couples, and some photos taking up both pages). With so little material in this book, it should've been a magazine article instead.

The advice given is good, but doesn't address underlying problems. For instance, one advice given is to share your day with your spouse, but doesn't ask why you're not doing that already. What if your spouse has nothing in common with you? Then sharing your day will bore them, which you'll notice, and will lose your motivation to do again.

Another advice given is not to have separate bank accounts, but again, doesn't ask why you don't already. What if your spouse is too irresponsible with money and you don't feel safe sharing? Another advice given is to always act like a team, but what if the reason you don't already is because you two are so wide apart in values that you can't relate to each other?

Simply following Do This/Don't Do That advice won't give you a happy marriage. You'll have a better shot at that by marrying someone you're compatible with in the first place. When you're compatible with someone, you needn't make a mental note to ask about their day, or share your money with them, or act like a team. You'll be doing that anyway.
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