Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships

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9780805058260: Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
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The greatest sexual pleasure in a person's lifetime is possible in one's middle and later years, asserts Dr. David Schnarch, when a mature sense of self has been achieved and genuine intimacy is possible with another person. At his Family Health Center in Colorado Dr. Schnarch works with couples in long-term committed relationships who want to get emotionally and sexually closer. In Passionate Marriage Dr. Schnarch shares what he has learned about how couples can--and must--simultaneously break through the sexual and the emotional blocks that hold them back from total satisfaction. He counsels that every sexual exchange, from kissing to daring erotic behaviors, is a picture of an entire relationship--a reflection of how you and your partner feel about yourselves and each other outside the bedroom. This respectful, erotic, uplifting, and spiritual guide to sexual and emotional fulfillment makes a passionate marriage within the reach of every couple.

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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-actualized 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 "boondoggle" of trust (both of one's self and one's partner), and the specter 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

From the Back Cover:

As renowned sex and marital therapist David Schnarch reveals in this revolutionary book, keeping passion and intimacy alive requires facing the anxiety of defining yourself while getting closer to your partner, a process called differentiation. In his sexual crucible approach, you don't have to compromise or give up your desires; instead, you have to stand on your own, stay close to your partner, and be prepared to soothe yourself when you don't get what you want. Sexual encounters provide perfect opportunities to differentiate and develop the strength of love deeply. Mixing humor and compassion, Schnarch describes couples' explicit sexual encounters and dramatic therapy sessions to demonstrate how they found personal, marital, and sexual fulfillment far greater than they ever dreamed possible. In this respectful, erotic, uplifting, and spiritual guide to sexual and emotional fulfillment, David Schnarch seeks to bring out the best in each of us, to help us love on life's terms, and to revel in invigorating adult sexuality.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780393334272: Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships

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ISBN 10:  0393334279 ISBN 13:  9780393334272
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2009
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9780393040210: Passionate Marriage: Sex, Love, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships

W. W. ..., 1997
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9780908011384: Passionate Marriage : Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships

Scribe..., 1999
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9781615520848: Passionate Marriage

Owl Books, 1997
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