Linda H. Dykstra Marriage Owner's Manual

ISBN 13: 9780966550306

Marriage Owner's Manual

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9780966550306: Marriage Owner's Manual
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Just as an automobile owner's manual is a resource for a car owner, Marriage: Owner's Manual is a guidebook for a marriage. The book covers all phases of a relationship and is divided into five major sections: Design, Operation, Repair, Breakdown, and Rebuilding. DESIGN: If the relationship is just beginning, the book can be used to teach the reader the criteria and skills necessary to select a mate and make a marriage work. OPERATION: If the relationship is well-established and vigorous the manual can be used to clarify why it is strong. REPAIR: If the relationship is struggling, Marriage: Owner's Manual can be used to diagnose where the relationship falls short and what needs to be done to improve the situation. BREAKDOWN: If the relationship is beyond repair, the book can be used to help the reader choose between the traditional divorce process and the creative option of divorce mediation. REBUILDING: If divorce had already occurred, the manual can help the reader understand why the marriage ended and how to design a new and successful relationship in the future. This book has something to offer anyone involved in a relationship.

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About the Author:

Linda Hertel Dykstra is a psychologist who received her B.A. from Calvin College, M.A. from The University of Michigan, and Ph.D. from Wayne State University. From the inception of her private practice in the 1970's, she has specialized in marital therapy. Over the years, she has clarified five critical components necessary for a successful, vibrant relationship. She has dedicated her two-decade professional practice to teaching these skills.

Since not all couples who enter marriage counseling decide to stay together, Dr. Dykstra determined to find a constructive alternative to the traditional adversarial process of divorce. She studied divorce mediation. She did graduate work at Western Michigan University, trained with the Academy of Family Mediators, and in 1987 founded the Mediation Center of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which offers divorce mediation to those who wish to end their marriage in a non-litigious manner. This book consolidates her expertise in both marriage counseling and divorce mediation.

Review:

"I go to work and see miracles happen," said Linda Hertel Dykstra author of Marriage Owner's Manual and a marriage counselor for the last 25 years. "I know this works; I see it happen every day. How can I not share that with other people?" Such was the impetus for Dykstra's first book based on the success she has seen assessing and applying her five components of marriage to the many couples she has counseled over the years.

"I would like to get this book into the hands of couples who are dating and considering marriage," said Dykstra. "Marriage isn't just a matter of 'falling in love.' We teach people to be engineers, but we don't teach people how to pick a spouse or how to be a spouse."

The book teaches you how to evaluate where you and your partner fall on an assessment scale in each of the categories. "This shows you where the trouble spots are and which skills you are the least competent and how to work at upgrading these skills," said Dykstra.

Although Dykstra is deeply committed to marriage, she also understands that there are times when divorce may be the only option. "As a Christian I feel that it is my responsibility to try and keep a marriage together, but we live in a broken world," she said. "Some times that is not possible." For this reason, she writes of divorce mediation as an alternative to the traditional divorce process -- The Calvin Spark, Winter, 1997

First-time author and psychologist Linda Hertel Dykstra, Ph.D. has written Marriage Owner's Manual. The book, organized like an owner's manual for a car, is divided into sections titled Design, Operation, Repair, Breakdown, and Rebuilding. Chock-full of charts, evaluation forms, and sample divorce forms, the manual is rooted in the findings of Dykstra's two practices-one a marital therapy practice and the other the Mediation Center of Grand Rapids.

Dykstra, a Calvin College graduate, has been practicing psychology for 25 years, and uses the book's evaluation forms with her own clients. In fact, she said she uses the Relationship Evaluation Form on page 111 when she first meets with a couple, and considers it a fun test. 'It's a nifty way to look at your relationship,'' she said. -- Grand Rapids Magazine, December, 1997

Pastors will welcome this resource, written by a western Michigan psychologist. Special contributions of this book include a careful examination of value differences and their impact on a relationship. In an age when the whole society has experienced the enormous suffering of the children of divorce, it is helpful to have a resource which promotes the promise of negotiation and compromise.

Of particular interest is the value that the author places on the importance of the giving and receiving of personal and interpersonal forgiveness as a rigorous and thorough process. There is also a helpful chapter on options short of divorce such as supplementing a less than ideal marriage with "positive fulfillment in activities outside of the marriage;" a "time-limited" separation while working on a possible reconciliation; and separate maintenance while living apart.

One of the strengths of the book is the thoroughgoing description of the divorce mediation process where a couple finds a humane and cooperative way to reduce conflict and to increase cooperation in all areas, including co-parenting. -- Stanley Rock, Reformed Review, Autumn, 1998

Studies show that getting a divorce is nearly as harmful to one's health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. But Dr. Linda Dykstra, a marital therapist, believes there are concrete answers to stem the tide of the divorce epidemic.

When a marriage is built on shared values, empathy, assertiveness, unconditional love, and compromise, emotional and physical intimacy is the byproduct. Effective communication, Dykstra explains, requires active, responsive listening. As a rule of thumb, spouses want empathy, not advice Of course, other issues in marriage can cause a couple to consider divorce. Oftentimes, spouses may believe that personal fulfillment is more important than the time-consuming work of reconciliation. This book offers specific help for engaged couples and married couples alike in determining compatibility and problem-solving for relationships. -- Donald Otis, Media Connections, Fall, 1998

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9781560723653: Marriage: Owner's Manual

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ISBN 10:  1560723653 ISBN 13:  9781560723653
Publisher: Kroshka Books, 1996
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