The DNA of Relationships: Discover How You Are Designed for Satisfying Relationships [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Gary Smalley & Michael Smalley &
eBook Category: Spiritual/Religion
eBook Description: "Everything in life that truly matters can be boiled down to relationships." That's why Gary Smalley says it's so important to learn safe, healthy relating patterns. The DNA of Relationships will help you to understand how you're designed to be in three exciting and fulfilling types of relationships. It teaches you the main barriers to great relationships and how to construct satisfying relationships with those close to you--your spouse, best friend, your son, even co-workers and neighbors.
eBook Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers/Tyndale House
Fictionwise Release Date: March 2005
Like Smalley's previous books, THE DNA OF RELATIONSHIPS is engaging, largely because he sprinkles his teaching points with anecdotes in which he presents himself as the jerk who has taken years to learn lessons he wants to pass along; the "relationship expert" is just a regular guy. His style is also evident in this book's clear outline; for example, chapter 4, "The Power of One: Take Personal Responsibility" includes "six steps to take control of your emotions and reactions to life." For extra measure, each chapter ends with a one-page "One-Minute Review" of the major points.
-- Evelyn Bence, FaithfulReader.com
A RELATIONSHIP REVOLUTION
LIFE IS RELATIONSHIPS;
THE REST IS JUST DETAILS.
THIS IS THE GREATEST TRUTH.
EVERYTHING IN LIFE THAT TRULY
MATTERS CAN BE BOILED DOWN
Almost everything we do touches a relationship in some way. Just think about your day. Whether you're at home or at work, driving your car, playing, exercising, shopping, vacationing, worshipping at church, or doing any one of the many activities you and I do everyday, we are constantly involved with people. We even interact with people in our sleep. There is no escaping relationships.
That is why for the past thirty-five years, I have felt passionate about helping couples, families, and individuals to strengthen, deepen, and enrich their most important relationships. That is what God has called me to do.
In this quest to improve relationships, I am always searching for what works and identifying what doesn't work. I love to take relationship theories, apply them to my own relationships, and see if they work for me personally. It makes no difference to me if I make the discovery on my own or if the new relationship idea comes from someone else. I'm always hunting.
So for three and a half decades I have traveled all over the world, delivering my message about how to improve relationships. Everywhere I go, I meet people who tell me that one of my conferences or one of my videos or books has helped save their marriage or improve their friendships or reconnect with family members. I feel deeply humbled and grateful for each of these encouraging reports.
Yet I also frequently hear something not quite so thrilling. Many people take me aside to say, "I watched your videos—but I lost my marriage." Or, "I read your book—but my wife still left me." Or, "I tried your material—but things just didn't work out." Whenever I hear stories like these, a deep sadness fills my heart. I know my message has helped a lot of people, but I also know it hasn't helped everyone. That's why I'm constantly on the lookout for anything that really works for the vast majority of people I meet.
A Revolutionary Discovery Two years ago, while searching for information to improve relationships, I made what I now believe is the greatest discovery of my lifetime. Interestingly, it happened right under my nose, in my own backyard. It came from my son Greg's marriage counseling and research center, now called the Smalley Marriage Institute.
Soon after Greg earned his doctorate in psychology, he began assembling a team of professional counselors, including Bob Paul, Dr. Scott Sticksel, Dr. Peter Larson, Dr. Robert Burbee, Dr. Shawn Stoever, and Dr. Brett Sparks. Almost immediately they started hearing reports, both encouraging and challenging, about my ministry. People told them that they loved the books and videos and conferences I had done—but many said they needed more. They needed someone to come alongside them, to get "life-on-life" with them, and to help them put our material into practice.
Greg, Bob, and their highly trained relationship experts began doing what they call "marriage intensives," where couples on the brink of divorce come for two or four days of intensive work on their relationships. While I wholeheartedly endorsed the efforts of Greg, Bob and the team, at that point I didn't get deeply involved. I left them alone to do their good work.
But when their research team recently finished its first five-year study of the couples who came for the intensives, the results were staggering. The team found that 93 percent of the couples are still together—and thriving in solid, healthy relationships! Take a moment to digest that amazing number: That's a success rate of better than nine in ten! When highly distressed couples learned and applied the material you're about to read, 93 percent of them not only managed to keep their marriages intact but also have reported much higher satisfaction with their relationships!
After hearing such glowing accounts, I finally decided that I had to find out for myself what was going on. The team penciled me in to take part in both a four-day intensive and a two-day intensive. What I saw was amazing. I haven't been the same since.
As the intensives began, I observed angry couples who couldn't even stand to look at each other. They refused to hold hands. Many clearly didn't even want to be there. Tears flowed freely from both the men and the women. I heard wrenching details of illicit affairs and habitual cheating, of serious financial problems, of fierce arguments and violent shouting matches.
Let me share the story of one couple to illustrate what I mean. Jim and Mary had already decided to give up on their marriage. After fifteen years together and three children, the couple came to the marriage intensive as a final attempt to salvage their marriage. I heard Jim say that if the marriage intensive didn't change things, he was going to file for divorce the following week. He thought that this week would be a total waste of his time.
To me their situation seemed impossible. I wondered if they had any chance at all. They sat glaring at each other, hostility and tension written all over them.
The first years of their marriage had been reasonably good, but as Jim became increasingly involved in work and Mary became focused on the kids, their relationship began to spiral into worsening emotional distance, combined with periodic angry outbursts toward one another. Mary felt Jim abandoned her, and she did everything she could to get him to talk about their problems and to work with her to make their marriage and family better. In response to Mary's pursuit, Jim grew cold, and at the time they entered the intensive, he admitted that he had lost all feelings of love toward Mary. He talked about being so tired of her trying to control his every movement and to manipulate him to do the marriage her way. Over the years they had sought help from several marriage counselors and a pastor, but nothing seemed to make any lasting difference.
The final straw was when Mary discovered that Jim was having an affair with a coworker. Mary felt completely devastated and deeply betrayed. The pain of losing her husband to another woman felt like the death of a loved one. She felt totally alone. But most of all, she felt helpless to keep Jim from this other woman. Mary had seriously considered ending the marriage, but her faith in God and her concern for her children caused her to look for an alternative. She was unsure if she could ever forgive Jim and wondered if she could ever trust him again.
Jim felt just as confused and distraught. His love for his wife was such a distant memory that he seriously doubted whether he could ever love her again. Worst of all, he questioned whether he even wanted to try. The only reason he came to the intensive was concern for his children and a desire to be able to say that he had tried "everything" to save the marriage. Neither Jim nor Mary was overly motivated to make things work.
Before they left for the intensive, their thirteen-year-old daughter, Sandra, had left a note for them:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I don't know how God will solve this, but I just can't imagine my parents divorcing and our family breaking apart. Thank you for trying. Yet, I feel like a young puppy left outside in the cold with no shelter. It feels like it's getting colder and colder each night, and winter will soon be here. The other dogs tell me that I won't believe how cold it will get. I know the snow is coming, and I feel so helpless to find a way to keep warm. I'm so scared that I'll freeze to death before it's over. It's such a terrible feeling to be alone and to feel like no one understands what I'm going through. My friends have explained the pain I'll feel once you divorce, and it scares me. I feel so helpless, like I'm just sitting in my room waiting for the ice storm to hit. Each day is longer and longer, and it feels darker and darker. I'm sick inside all of the time. Please keep trying!
Copyright © 2004 by Smalley Publishing Group LLC