If only he could see things from my point of view. Why does she have to act that way? No matter how much two people love each other, their differences will eventually cause conflict. This popular, science-based guide offers powerful solutions for couples frustrated by continual attempts to make each other change. True acceptance of one another may seem difficult to accomplish, but the clear-cut steps in this book can make it a reality. Aided by thought-provoking exercises and vivid stories, readers learn why they keep having the same fights again and again; how to keep small incompatibilities from causing big problems; what communication strategies really work to resolve conflicts; and how to problem-solve and make positive changes--together. Updated throughout with new research, practical tools, and examples, the second edition features a new chapter on mindfulness.
"When partners fight, they often push each other to change. But seeing conflicts from the other's perspective helps move the couple away from anger and blame. This invaluable book provides concrete strategies to do just that. With a deeper understanding of your partner's emotional vulnerabilities, you can build trust and intimacy, and maybe even bring about the changes that matter most to you."--Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD, author of "After the Affair" "This deceptively simple book can change lives. You and your partner will learn numerous ways to accept each other and achieve a new level of happiness and comfort in your relationship. The genius of the book is that these techniques are not difficult, and they can help put an end to perpetual conflict."--Pepper Schwartz, PhD, coauthor of "The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal about Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship" "It is often so difficult for quarreling couples to find a way through the thicket of blame, accusation, and resentment that ensnares them, but this splendid book illuminates some pathways out. The first edition was terrific, but this revision goes beyond it, bringing in new research, fresh ideas, and, as usual, practical solutions. All couples who find themselves enduring repeated conflicts--which is to say, nearly all couples--will benefit from this fine book."--Carol Tavris, PhD, coauthor of "Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me)" "There are lots of books for couples that make interesting reading, and some that provide specific, doable suggestions for improving your relationship, but just a handful--including this one--based on principles that have been scientifically shown to work. Any couple that wants to better understand and overcome problems in their relationship will find this book a great place to start."--W. Kim Halford, PhD, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia "No matter how many books you have read to imp
Andrew Christensen, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Christensen has spent more than 30 years studying intimate relationships and working with couples in therapy. He has conducted extensive research on the impact of couple therapy, including the approach on which this book is based, which he developed with the late Neil S. Jacobson, PhD. Dr. Christensen and his wife, who live in Los Angeles, have two grown children. Brian D. Doss, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami, where he teaches and conducts research on couple therapy and romantic relationships. Dr. Doss lives in Miami with his wife and two children.
I. The Conflicting Sides of Conflict, 1. Three Sides to Every Story; 2. "You're Wrong!": Relationship Problems as Faults; II. A DEEP Understanding of Conflict: The Third Side of the Story; 3. "How Can You Be That Way?": Relationship Problems as Differences; 4. "You Know How to Hurt Me": Relationship Problems as Emotional Sensitivities; 5. "Can't You See I'm Stressed Out?": Relationship Problems as External Circumstance; 6. A Cure Worse Than the Disease: Relationship Problems as Patterns of Communication; III. From Argument to Acceptance; 7. The Delicate Balance: Acceptance and Change; 8. A Story of Our Own: Acceptance through Understanding; 9. Walking in Your Partner's Shoes: Acceptance through Compassion; 10. Getting Some Perspective on the Conflict: Acceptance through Tolerant Distance; IV. Deliberate Change through Acceptance; 11. The Dilemmas of Deliberate Change; 12. Deliberate Change through Mindfulness: Custom-Fitting Change to Suit Your Relationship; 13. Deliberate Change through Communication: Taking Good Advice about Talking and Listening with a Mindful Grain of Salt; 14. The Silver Bullet of Deliberate Change: Taking Charge of Change Even When Things Go Bad; V. When Acceptance Is Not Enough; 15. "Don't Do That to Me!": Violence, Verbal Abuse, and Infidelity; 16. Calling In the Professionals: Couple and Individual Therapy; Resource; Bibliography