Marriage is hard. Living together in a committed, non-traditional relationship is just as hard, maybe more so. A less than completely satisfying level of happiness and fulfillment within a primary relationship is perhaps the most common human dysfunction in the modern world. So much so that we have come to accept something less than complete bliss in our marriages, partnerships and domestic arrangements as the normal state of things, an expectation born of human imperfection and the pressing need for constant compromise. We have redefined it as something less than the word bliss actually implies. Coming even mildly close to bliss is considered a rousing success, but even then, whatever sliver of unrest, anxiety and inconsistency remain can flare into a torrent of restlessness that could one day again render you single . In CHASING BLISS, Larry Brooks shows us a path toward bucking that trend through the channeling of our imperfection toward a perfectly functional awareness of how we might be contributing to the problem, while becoming coach and therapist when we're not. While repeatedly reminding the reader that some problems remain the province of professional counselors, CHASING BLISS holds up a mirror to the many ways time and apathy become toxic factors in reducing loving relationships to something less than how they began, with kindness, togetherness, sexual satisfaction and hope the price of growing apart while growing weary of each other. The book is divided into three sections: ten reasons why men might cheat... ten reasons why women might leave the nest for a better life... and an exploration of eight primary realms of relationship, the mastery of which becomes a tool chest of strategies and solutions that not only mitigate decline, but serve to refuel the chemistry and hope that once brought you together. This goes beyond the theoretical with specific actionable responses and alternatives to some of the most common challenges couples face, while clarifying tough,indisputable truths about the roles we play in our own domestic tragedies. Even if we feel - all the way to divorce court - that it was the other person's fault. This, promises the author, is the stuff your shrink will goad you into realizing for yourself, but without the weeks and months of therapy it could take to reach that point with clarity and purpose. It's all right here, in your face, unassailable and immediately useful in real life. In her Foreword to the book, Dr. Carrie Rubin says this: the beauty of this book is its power to be a tool for both relationship recovery and healthy relationship maintenance. For those in good shape, its advice will serve as a protective life vest, one that will keep you from sinking into troubled waters." Brooks knows from where he speaks, having been down the road to failure not once, but twice, and is now twenty years happily married to a woman that challenges him to be the best version of himself, with immovable consequences if he is not. "On paper we shouldn't work," he writes, "but we are living in a state I can only describe as bliss, if bliss is defined as inclusive of the trials and challenges that are inevitable and ready to rip you apart. Now we are stronger than the problems life throws our way, not because we are better or smarter than couples who don't make it, but because we are vulnerable to these truths and committed to the principles of interaction and loving partnership that are necessary to make it to the other side." These truths are the heart and soul of CHASING BLISS, a book for people who want to make love work, but fear they aren't up to it. With these principles, you just might become the couple that gets there through an understanding that bliss is not a destination or a finish line, but the road itself. Which, armed with empowered awareness and sensitivity, you can now actually pave with the good intentions that others blame.
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Used availability for Larry Brooks's Chasing Bliss
August 2016 : USA Paperback
July 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition