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January 22, 2013

Book Two of My 2013 Goal

Building Long Term RelationshipsBuilding Long Term Relationships by John Loeff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Building Long-Term Relationships by John W Loeff is written for those who tend to fall through the cracks. Counseling is expensive and time is an issue since most people work all day. Family and other support systems are not always available so instead of making the same mistakes in your relationship over and over as it all falls apart before your eyes, reading the book with honest self-awareness may be able to help you help yourself and save your relationship. Not only is it for those who find themselves in a relationship that is not ideal, he recommends it for people who are thinking of getting married. I suggest everyone read this book. Not only will it help your relationship, it may open your eyes to what and why in every relationship from your friendships to interaction with co-workers.

The author has education in human relations, human development, and psycho dynamic counseling combined with private practice, teaching, and more than 44 years of experience with his original spouse which is a rarity these days. So in other words, he is 'qualified' to write the book and he did it in easy to understand terms. He uses examples of people we all know about such as Tiger Woods, David Lettermen, Prince William and Catherine Middleton. When he does use some technical words, he defines them for you so there is no need to sit there with your dictionary in hand. There are also suggested readings if you want to get more into a particular subject and there are also questions at the end of each chapter for you to think about and/or discuss with your partner. The key is to have realistic expectations and what I mean by this is if you are with the most difficult person in the world that you found you don't even like anymore then all the books in the world will most likely do you no good. This is a self help type book for you to understand what relationships are and how they grow. You just need to be committed to read the book, honestly examine your own actions/reactions, and take the information that is provided to build your relationship and take it to new heights.

I know there are more ways to communicate (some covered in the book) but I was glad to see that verbal communication was covered near the beginning of the book. I know you must think why anyone would write about that, everyone knows how to talk except tiny babies. There is a difference of talking and communicating. I know a lot of people who 'talk' and don't communicate at all. In order to communicate you need someone to listen (listening is the next chapter covered) and I mean an active listener, not someone who sits there nodding their head every once a while as they are busy texting their friend and hearing about every tenth word your saying. To communicate you need to talk so the other person understands what you are saying and you need to listen to what the other person is saying too, don't just talk at the other person. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines communication as an exchange of information and with the Mr. Loeff's book we can improve our communication skills which in turn will help in any relationship. I know for a fact that a relationship without communication is a doomed relationship.

This was rather a long book but a lot of information is covered. As I already pointed out communication and listening was covered as well as: what is expected, family dynamics, personalities, development stages of a marriage, problem solving, negotiating, managing change, ethics and the future of marriage.The author makes his point and asks some really good questions at the end of each of these chapters. The use of common items so we understand the importance of it also helps with the visualization of the problems. For example the marriage maintenance program identifies ten underlying issues-the building blocks-and by working on each one of these "blocks" and using the right amount of "mortar," couples can create a long-lasting, stable partnership. This automatically has me thinking of some sort of block wall and what happens when the blocks are placed with no mortar or too little mortar, the wall comes tumbling down.

I know this book is geared for couples in relationships but I would recommend this book to everyone whether you're in a relationship or not because it will help you see your own self. There are things that you may see that you may want to change regardless of your marital status.

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