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The Marriage Garden: Cultivating Your Relationship so it Grows and Flourishes

ISBN: 978-0-470-54761-8
224 pages
April 2010, Jossey-Bass
The Marriage Garden: Cultivating Your Relationship so it Grows and Flourishes  (0470547618) cover image
Practical steps for making marriage last a lifetime
  • Two noted relationship experts Wally Goddard and James Marshall offer down-to-earth advice for any couple who wants to strengthen their marriage and make it last a lifetime. In this important book the authors outline their six-step program-commit, grow, nurture, understand, solve, and serve-that has proven to be effective. Using a bountiful garden as a metaphor for a healthy marriage, the book encourages couples to invest time in growing their relationship, shine the light of encouragement on each other, deal with "bugs" and "thorns," and share time and resources to make the whole world blossom.
  • Shows how to turn differences into blessings and transform difficult times into rewarding experiences
  • Authors are part of the National Extension Marriage and Education Network

An honest and accurate look at relationships that offers couples a solid foundation for nurturing and growing their love.

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Acknowledgments.

A Note from the Authors.

Introduction: Welcome to the Marriage Garden!

1 Commitment: The Choice to Pledge Your Best Efforts.

2 Grow: It Takes Vibrant People to Create Vibrant Relationships.

3 Nurture: Do the Work of Loving.

4 Understand: Cultivate Compassion for Your Partner.

5 Solve: Turn Differences into Blessings.

6 Serve: Give Back to Your Community.

7 Gardening, Harvesting, and Planning for the Future.

References.

Recommended Resources.

About the Authors.

Index.

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H. Wallace (Wally) Goddard, PhD, is professor of family life with the University of Arkansas. Dr. Goddard is an award-winning teacher, speaker, and author.

James P. Marshall, PhD, is assistant professor of family life with the University of Arkansas. Dr. Marshall is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Both Goddard and Marshall are part of the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network.

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April 15, 2010
THE MARRIAGE GARDEN: Cultivating Your Relationship so It Grows and Flourishes

Many enter marriage hoping it will always be as passionate and exciting as a great date – not unlike the relationships modeled on reality shows like “The Bachelor”. But both research and experience suggest that marriage is more like a fruitful garden that requires the right tools, patient care, and sensible effort in order to achieve enduring success.

“A good marriage is as lush, rich, and satisfying as a great garden. But neither the good marriage nor the great garden happens without wise and consistent effort,” write authors Wally Goddard and James Marshall. “That is why it has required decades of intensive research on marriage to provide the key to building strong relationships.”

Using the metaphor of relationships as gardens meant for cultivation, nourishment,  and dedication, their book, THE MARRIAGE GARDEN: Cultivating Your Relationship so It Grows and Flourishes focuses on six, proven processes shown to make marriage blossom into a loving, long term source of sweet companionship. In a culture where individualism has run amuck, it takes great discipline to institute sensible principles in relationships.

Each chapter considers one process – Commit, Grow, Nurture, Understand, Solve, and Serve -and how it can be applied by those with a willing spirit. For instance, the chapter on understanding admits that gardening, like marriage, entails thorny times when couples get burned out in the sun and annoyed with the incessant bugs. But it’s during these difficult times that gardening partners learn to respond to each other’s pains rather than scold for not using the proper sunscreen or insect repellent. With this warm and upbeat approach, THE MARRIAGE GARDEN provides couples with tools to achieve a full and satisfying harvest.

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The Marriage Garden: Cultivating Your Relationship so it Grows and Flourishes (US $17.95)

-and- How to be a Good Divorced Dad: Being the Best Parent You Can Be Before, During and After the Break-Up (US $16.95)

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