Please Visit Our Website!

Family 1st Books invites you to visit our upgraded website at! Check out our parenting blog titled, "Parenting, the Ultimate Relationship Challenge."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Six Stages of Relationship

In her book, "Building a Reality-Based Relationship", Dr. Kovacs has done a good job classifying the six stages of marriage. Her list:
1. Honeymoon
2. Expectation
3. Power struggle
4. Seven-year itch
5. Reconciliation
6. Acceptance

Dr. Kovacs points out that these stages can be applied to any relationship. In my last blog I talked about the importance of accepting yourself as worthwhile, a unique individual with purpose, strengths, and weaknesses that make you who you are. To the degree each person in the relationship can come to terms with this individuation and accept and nurture it in the other the relationship becomes powerful and satisfying.

The question,"How can I be who I am and still be loved by you?" is basic to every stage of relationship. It is also what makes relationship the therapeutic process for us all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Relationship Skills Do You Have?

No one in today's world functions without relationship. Buying, selling, renting, learning, all require relationship skills. To make friends, maintain closeness, achieve intimacy, to be liked, to be sought after, require special relationship skills. How skilled are you at relationship?

We learn how to relate from the day we are born. If we are lucky enough to be born to a loving family, our chances of success increase. The basic step to learning means coming to terms with yourself. If you feel valued just because you exist and if you believe you are capable and worthwhile, it is easier to learn the self-discipline you need to stay open to learning.

If you grew up feeling less than others, you must be willing to trace that perception to its source. Did you lack nurture and respect? Understand that you are unique and special, a once in history event. There has never been anyone like you before and will never be again. When you can begin to feel the importance of who you are, relationship skills can be quickly learned. Build those skills on respect for yourself and others.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dating Is Important to Relationship

Young lovers spend hours talking to each other about anything and everything. Affairs begin when two people begin to talk to each other freely. They talk about what they like to eat, funny things they have experienced, their dreams, things they care about, what they dislike. They tell each other their stories. When this kind of sharing stops, the relationship begins to die.

That is what dates are all about. My book, "Becoming Soul Mates" is written in a way that a couple can open it almost any place, read those two pages and have something to talk about. Setting aside a 20 minute talking time each day and going on a short get-away every six to eight weeks would do wonders to rediscover your partner's individuality. The next challenge is to accept and encourage the differences.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Writing Christmas Cards by the Sea

For almost ten years we have turned Christmas card writing into one of the highlights of celebrating the holidays. We rent a special condo called Sea Walk at Sea Ranch. Winter on the California north coast offers special discount prices and often wonderfully mild weather--first two nights regular rate, third night free.

We spend the first day writing cards at the dining room table in front of a large window with a spectacular ocean view. We take breaks to walk an ocean trail to a favorite log where we sit talking about life, death, the sea, politics, religion, and how out of shape we may feel. This time of year a few tiny flowers gallantly push their colorful petals into view,but they must compete with bright red, yellow, and tan toadstools more at home in the damp cold ground.

This year we drove on a rainy Sunday and took the Sebastopol route so we could eat brunch at The French Restaurant again. The food was as memorable as it had been the last time we ate there. These "get-aways" nourish the sweetness of our relationship.
I recommend them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Building a Reality-Based Relationship"

"Building a Reality-Based Relationship" is the title of a book by long time marriage family therapist, Liberty Kovacs,PHD. Dr. Kovacs realized people must want to understand each other if they hope to have a successful marriage.

I highly recommend Dr. Kovacs' book which is crammed with short exercises to help you get to know each other. By the time you become adults you have formed perceptions about money, affection, sexuality, power, household chores, and much more. Where and how did you get those perceptions? What values do you have?

Relationship provides an opportunity to understand the journey to individuation and knowing ourselves and others. That makes the effort more appealing and worth hanging in there. You cannot become soul mates without it.