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Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love [Paperback]

Howard J. Markman , Scott M. Stanley , Susan L. Blumberg
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Fighting for Your Marriage: A Deluxe Revised Edition of the Classic Best-Seller for Enhancing Marriage and Preventing Divorce Fighting for Your Marriage: A Deluxe Revised Edition of the Classic Best-Seller for Enhancing Marriage and Preventing Divorce
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Book Description

3 Sept. 2001
This new and revised edition of Fighting for Your Marriage is based on the widely acclaimed PREP(r) (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) approach. Groundbreaking studies have found that couples can use the strategies of this approach to handle conflict more constructively, protect their happiness, and reduce the odds of breaking up.
Based on twenty years of university research, this popular book will show you how to:
∗ Talk more and fight less
∗ Deepen and protect your friendship
∗ Have a more intimate, sensual relationship
∗ Keep the fun alive
∗ Clarify and act on your priorities
∗ Develop a vision for your future together


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass; New and Revised edition (3 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787957445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787957445
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

To this new edition (the original came out in 1994), the authors have added current research on marriage and societal changes. At its core, however, remains the program that Markman and Scott Stanley, codirectors of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, created to help couples overcome nuptial difficulties: the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP). Based on empirical research, PREP emphasizes teaching couples to handle conflict better by using the speaker–listener technique, which involves having one person speak at a time while the other actively listens. Because of the authors′ unfortunate attempts at humor and some rather unncessary and slapdash–looking cartoon, this is perhaps not to most appealing manual on the subject. Nonetheless, it′s still recommended for public and social work libraries owing to the tried–and–true methodology it explains. (Library Journal, November 15, 2001)

"Just about everyone can improve their marriage.... They can learn skills to help them handle negative emotions in marriage. It′s the discord that hurts kids," (USA Today, December 13, 2001)

"...recommended for public and social work libraries owing to the tried–and–true methodology it explains." (Library Journal, November 15, 2001)

"Just about everyone can improve their marriage.... They can learn skills to help them handle negative emotions in marriage. It′s the discord that hurts kids," (USA Today, December 13, 2001)

Review

"A divorce prevention society should be formed to place a copy of this book in every hotel room in Niagara Falls–scratch that, every hotel room in this country. Every wife or husband struggling to say married, especially happily married, should read this book." Maggie Gallagher, coauthor, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, & Better Off Financially

"I love this book! If you want to be happily, successfully married, buy it, master it, and it′s all you′ll every need. While you′re at it, buy a copy for every couple you love. You won′t need one for your kids, they′ll learn by watching you." Diane Sollee, founder and director, Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a great book and has helped my wife and I come back from the brink. It is old (originlly 1990s I think but this version is 2001) and American but this does not detract from the book at all; the points it raises are timeless and not specific to any national trait! Its main point is that most issues in a marriage can be traced back to bad communication. Although you talk together, you might not be able to hear or understand or even talk effectively or, as with us, all three! This sounds odd because I can talk perfectly well with my friends, but the book explains why this can all go wrong with the most valuable, important and loved person in your life - your partner. Chapter titles like "When what you heard isn't what I said", "Talking Safely without Fighting" and "Playing together: How to succeed in fun" all help explain. The book then presents ways to work round them; simple techniques to help break the vicious circles that can occur. Using these techniques you can start to recover some trust, respect, love, support and all those things you need to then be able to sort things out long term. For Jackie and I this was exactly what we needed. We found the book very readable, not condescending at all, and although it is a tad sugary in places these were very easy to over look. For us, it's been a marriage saver and far better than any counselling services that we have used in the past, I wish we had heard about it years ago. So, if you both are committed to fighting to save the marriage rather than fighting each other to get out of the marriage, then spend the money on the book and not solicitors.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The authors' presentation of the PREP approach is concise and meaningful for clinicians, therapists, and individuals alike who are seeking a model for conflict resolution and enrichment of ANY intimate relationship. Although written in the context of heterosexual marriage, the same principles obviously apply to homosexual and non-traditional unions. Highly recommended from a doctoral level clinician who has found this model to work in both straight and gay/lesbian relationships.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most practical marriage books ever! 8 Oct. 2009
Format:Paperback
I have been reading loads of books in connection with a relationship course I am leading, and this book is among the very best. It is clear, honest, realistic, and practical in its recommendations. If you are a person, and you know some other people, this book will help you have better relationships, period.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have been trained by Markman, Stanley and Blumberg in the PREP program. Since the training, my spouse and I have worked with couples using their techniques and I have delivered numerous short presentations on the PREP program. The book is an excellent introduction to the process and if followed carefully, it can enrich the relationship of engaged couples and improve any marriage. I highly recommend it. Dr. M. Jean Turner, Associate Professor Family Studies Dr. William C. Bailey, Associate Professor Family Studies--both of the U. of Arkansas
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
226 of 231 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved our marriage! 23 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My husband and I married in our mid thirties thinking we had a lock on good communication skills and knowing we were mature enough to really make this marriage work. Nonetheless, it wasn't long before we were "mired in muck". When a small conflict arose, we found ourselves so caught up in being right and fighting our point to the death that small events escalated into huge issues. We could feel the good things in our relationship slipping away and felt helpless to fix the problem. (This was AFTER reading probably 20 different books on marriage, doing the Barbara D'Angelis program, the Gary Smally Program, attending several couples workshops, etc.). Contemplating calling it quits on our marriage, I happened accross this book, loved it, then went to a PREP workshop. Our marriage is AWESOME. We actually know how to hear and be heard and have the skills to RESOLVE the conflicts. (By the way, note the "I". My spouse hasn't read the book and refused to go to the workshop.) I learned the skills and used them in our marriage and our relationship changed. It even works with kids, in-laws, co-workers.... Yippee!
57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most helpful book for our marriage ever 14 Dec. 2005
By Georgia Peach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is wonderful! My husband and I have read many marriage books throughout our 19 year marriage, and this one (read when we had been married for 13 years) made the biggest difference in our marriage. Though we thought we had become good at communicating, this book brought us to a whole new level. With the speaker-listener technique, the "speaker" feels such comfort in knowing that the other person has truly heard what he or she is trying to communicate. This is achieved by having the "listener" repeat back what the "speaker" has said without any judgement or defensiveness (this is key). The listener can find comfort in knowing that THEIR turn will come next, when they can then express their thoughts and feelings and even respond to the other person's original comments. There are certain "below the belt" comments that are prohibited, which lend a feeling of safety, so that one is not afraid to bring up volatile subjects. Often, before we read this book, I felt I had three choices if I was unhappy with something in our marriage. I could say nothing and put up with up it (bad choice #1.) I could talk to him about it as nicely as I could think of, but he was often defensive and would become angry and not open up and truly listen to what I was saying (bad choice #2.) Or, I could talk to him about it as nicely as I could think of, and he would see how his actions were hurtful and cry but not truly have understood enough to make much of a change in the future (bad choice #3.) This just made me sad and feel guilty and didn't change much about the situation. So, by implementing the ideas in this book, and adding a "Please do not get sad and cry" rule, it was as if a barrier on certain issues was FINALLY passed. If I could, I would buy this book for every married couple I know, those having trouble AND those who just want to enhance their already stable marriage.
99 of 107 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Material, Presentation Lacking 15 Feb. 2005
By By Neil Gibson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I give this book a "5" on content, and a "2" in presentation. It is just too dense - - too hard to read. Couples in crisis don't need to know how to build the watch - they need to know the time.

So, in the interest of time, get a book by the same author, "12 Hours to a Great Marriage." It takes all this hard to digest theory and makes it workable. THEN, you can go back and read this theory after you've applied the good concepts.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Required Reading 8 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book should be required reading for all couples getting married. If only I had read this book first, I could have avoided a lot of the bumps along the marital journey and saved myself and my spouse a lot of grief. Based on sound research and full of excerpts from real couples' lives, this book is now my favorite gift to newlyweds. It gives you great comfort to know that the arguments you and your spouse have occur in all marriages at different times. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking at making their marriage last for the long haul!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for married/committed couples 2 Jan. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read the original version of this book at the library and bought my own copy because it was so helpful. The book explains specific negative patterns that develop in marriages, and gives specific, workable techniques to really resolve conflict and strenthen the relationship. Issues such as validation, rebuilding trust, building effective communication patterns, and enhancing the fun in the relationship are covered. I highly recommend this book for anyone in a serious relationship and I wish I had found it long ago. It is easy to read with many specific examples and humorous touches.
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