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Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships [Paperback]

David Schnarch
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
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Book Description

15 May 2009
"Passionate Marriage" is recognized as the pioneering book on intimate human relationships. With a new preface by the author, this updated edition explores the ways in which passion can be kept alive and how the height of sexual and emotional fulfillment can be reached in later life. David Schnarch accompanies his inspirational message of attaining long-term happiness with proven techniques developed in worldwide workshops to help couples develop greater intimacy. Chapters provide the scaffolding for overcoming sexual and emotional roadblocks - from evaluating personal expectations to laying the groundwork for keeping the sparks alive years down the road and everything in between. This book is sure to help couples overcome hurdles in their relationships and reach the fullest potential in their love lives.

Frequently Bought Together

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships + Resurrecting Sex: Solving Sexual Problems and Revolutionizing Your Relationship + The Sex-starved Marriage: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido
Price For All Three: 27.49

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (15 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393334279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393334272
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

People joke that the start of a couple's marriage means the end of their sex life. David Schnarch, a sex therapist praised by Pepper Schwartz, uses epiphany-laden conversations taken directly from his own marriage and the married couples he sees in practice to help readers defy the myth that marriages are necessarily passionless and instead prove that the longer a couple has been together, the higher the fireworks can fly. It's especially aimed at older couples who, Schnarch says, are self-actualised and therefore better able to handle intimacy than younger partners. "People have difficulty with intimacy because they're supposed to," he says, and goes on in this inspiring book to combine elements of marriage therapy and sex therapy to bring plenty of practical, fresh ideas to the crowd of mostly vapid relationship books. (Note that despite its title, it's for any emotionally committed couple, not just married folks.)

Schnarch says that a man is more likely to let a relationship suffer in order to hold on to his sense of self, while a woman is more apt to let her identity suffer to help strengthen it. Schnarch gives explicit tips on how to alter this pattern, an essential step he calls "differentiation." He also explains why compromise isn't always the best route to take when conflicts arise. The couples profiled here deal with the usual suspects: uneven sexual desire and initiation, battles about oral sex, self-image problems, the problem of trust (both of one's self and one's partner) and the spectre of divorce. Instead of focusing on each client's weaknesses, Schnarch teaches how to find inner strength and resilience that can be used to reaffirm a relationship and reignite sex. William H. Masters of Masters and Johnson fame calls this book "a classic" and no wonder. --Erica Jorgensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Schnarch takes the reader behind the scenes as couples describe similar feelings as well as their explicit sexual encounters during dramatic therapy sessions.... [A] useful guide. --Marty Dean Evenswold"

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"We came here because we had a sexual problem, but you've helped us recognize it's something much larger." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My lover's eyes are nothing like the sun.. 11 April 1998
By A Customer
Well, nothing but 10s so far from this book's reviewers, leaving it to me to give Dr. Schnarch's PASSIONATE MARRIAGE a 9, (reserving the "perfect 10" for his next book).
Away from work recently with a wicked case of pharyngitis, I stopped by the local bookshop on the homeward-bound trip to recuperate. Decided to look in the Romance & Matrimony section. Pulling up and collapsing in a chair, and then spending an hour perusing all the various manuals and how-to's within arm's reach, I decided on this book as the hands down favorite and superior read and investment of my hard-earned dollars..
Dr. Schnarch has several techniques which, (as pointed out by the previous reviewers), are designed to cure the disease and not the symptoms of marital unhappiness. Very exciting to read, and very human in the best meaning of that term. The key element appears to be his synthesis of sex and marriage therapies.
I'm not sure if it has helped my marriage; however it has helped me to function better within my marriage, with more realistic expectations.
Perhaps my favorite passage is where the author points out to a couple that their having marital problems is not a failure, but in fact an inevitability of being married. Clearly, modern mass society - many radio & TV "personalities" (?), the breakdown of morality (from whatever cause), political correctness, etc. have ignorantly and unintentionally furthered a pepsi generation/drive-through-window culture which is long on desires but a little bit wanting in the character and resilience department.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I cannot add more insights to the previous reviews of this book, but I can say it should be required reading before one is married, then re-read every 6 years for the rest of your married life. Brilliant! Cynthia
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common Sense in a Book 20 Nov 2009
By Mr. A. C. Gilbert VINE VOICE
I don't think I've ever read a book which is so down to earth honest and so revealing of the rubbish we ourselves and society in general crams into our heads about relationships. I had eureka moments page after page, for once taking a pencil out to mark passages, writing my own summary of the book (and its follow-up Resurrecting Sex), and writing a 4-page open letter to my spouse which is going to be read tonight. Cross your fingers for me! In the meanwhile I feel much better about myself, the lumps & bumps in our relationship, and much more optimistic of finding a way to solve them. Wonderful stuff; if I lived in the US I'd be in treatment with this wonderful man like a shot!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening 22 Feb 2011
This is a fantastic book and I think everyone should read it. It was recommended to me by my therapist when I was not in a sexual relationship. Although it is mostly about 'sexual' relationship, the differentiation which is talked about can be applied to any relationship. I have always been an 'emotionally fused' person and am trying very hard not to continue to be. I am re-reading this book as it has already been such a huge gift to my life and I have told all my friends about 'hugging till relaxed' and 'eyes open orgasm' ! The author writes in a very understandable way and is very honest and open. I love the way it is written and may well read it round and round forever ! as a lot of what is written here takes attention. If you want to and are willing to make the effort to change the way you relate to anyone (especially a partner), to stop projecting and stay in your own stuff, this is a very brilliant and enlightening book.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Schnarch, David. Passionate Marriage. New York: Norton, 1997, 432p.

Passionate Marriage David Schnarch introduces us to a form of sex therapy that goes beyond the sensate focus approach on which modern sexual therapy has been based in order to get to the heart of how couples become present with each other. Some couples have the tendency to focus on the mechanics of sex: achieving an erection in males and lubrication in females, and the follow through to orgasm. Schnarch says this misses the entire point of sex which is the emotional and intimate connection that provides contact and facilitates growth in relationship.

Through the establishment of self validation and personal integrity through differentiation* Schnarch encourages individuals in committed relationships to maintain a sense of self that sets the boundaries, desires, and goals for their interaction. This done he encourages them to bring their sperate selves together in a way that enables them to maintain their individual integrity while giving and accepting attention and affection and making contact with each other that allows them to use their sexual togetherness to relate to each other.

Specific tools recommended by Schnarch to promote intimacy include: hugging till relaxed, eyes open foreplay; mental dimensions of sexual experience, eyes open orgasm, making contact during sex, as well as "doing and being done."

Of hugging till relaxed he says a great deal can be learned about how two people hug each other. He notes that some of his clients absolutely could not stand to continue a hug for more than a few seconds before coming to therapy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Relationship Enhancing
It enhanced my relationship by illuminating hmy own misconceptions about relationships and sex. The topic of differentiation and being oneself in relationship were especially... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. A. C. Fagan
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
David Snarch's book has an important theme of what makes for a good relationship. The book really has one big idea which is discussed and illustrated at great length.
Published 3 months ago by J. Hodgson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I found this a very interesting book with I think many good pointers about relationships. There are some very erudite reviews on this book which I can't compete with but OI... Read more
Published 3 months ago by KNUT
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and interesting
Definitely a great read and helpful highlighting relationship distress and what to consider. All chapters have related case examples and is supported with ways to do things... Read more
Published 4 months ago by AnnieC55
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!
I'm sorry, I'm obviously in the minority here. I married three years ago after knowing my partner for 14 months, we had never lived together as we lived in different cities, but a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by SurreySarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful book that is NOT full of psychobabble
I'm half way through this book and it has a lot of very sensible suggestions for making your relationship better. Read more
Published 12 months ago by T. R. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Saviour
Cannot praise this book enough! It was recommended to us at a critical time after being married a lot of years and everything became crystal clear. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any bookshelf
Whether you are a professional - counsellor, psychotherapist etc, or anyone engaging in any kind of a relationship with another human being, it is a must. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lesley
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book.
David Schnarch talks good sense which genuinely connects with experience. The two - related - central ideas are differentiation and self-validation. Read more
Published 17 months ago by owder and liser
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge book
It sometimes is hard to understand some of bits Dr. Schnarch is telling you. But this book helps to understand how to became more of a human being and to understand how much work... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
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