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I understand wanting to be better at something or becoming a better person. Problem is that all these books by self proclaimed experts are generalizing. They don't know you or your spouse. Humanoids are complex creatures. Because it worked for Couple A then it must work for Couple B... A book isn't going to solve your relationship problems, only discussing it with your spouse, each owning your shortcomings and figuring out the best way forward. I think counseling can be valuable but these cookie cutter self help books are a waste except for some entertainment value.


I think it’s whatever works for you is what you should do.
 

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I used to be a Dan Savage fan, but he went off the deep end about 8 or so years ago. That's when I stopped bothering with columnists and relationship guru's, those who were on the book circuit making a buck, and other such claptrap and started leaning toward local real world therapy/counseling.
The sum total of Savage’s contribution:

Try to be be good, giving, and game.

The end.
 

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As long as one remembers that social science is an oxymoron then they're ahead of the game. It isn't called 'soft' science for nothing. If Gottman is so damn smart, then why is he on his 3rd marriage? He doesn't know anymore than any other married person about marriage. He does know how to write books and sell the public. The proof is in the pudding.
 

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I understand wanting to be better at something or becoming a better person. Problem is that all these books by self proclaimed experts are generalizing. They don't know you or your spouse. Humanoids are complex creatures. Because it worked for Couple A then it must work for Couple B... A book isn't going to solve your relationship problems, only discussing it with your spouse, each owning your shortcomings and figuring out the best way forward. I think counseling can be valuable but these cookie cutter self help books are a waste except for some entertainment value.
I agree, it does need wading through a great deal of nonsense to get to anything of value and that **** can be dangerous. It is also wort remembering that books are not sold and marketted because they work, but because they appeal to people who buy books.

Someone who will not take responsibility will not take a book on accepting responsibility but on why they are always the victim. Someone who is the opposite and will not accept that some things are out of their hands will read about how to take on more responsibility. Someone who cannot understand another person's viewpoint will spend to be told that others are just lacking in empathy.
 

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I understand wanting to be better at something or becoming a better person. Problem is that all these books by self proclaimed experts are generalizing. They don't know you or your spouse. Humanoids are complex creatures. Because it worked for Couple A then it must work for Couple B... A book isn't going to solve your relationship problems, only discussing it with your spouse, each owning your shortcomings and figuring out the best way forward. I think counseling can be valuable but these cookie cutter self help books are a waste except for some entertainment value.
Yes. Recipes are useful when the interactions are btw flour and baking powder, when btw humans, not so much.

Claiming that a complex interaction can be mastered w/ a Few Simple Steps is a grand claim. When someone makes a grand claim, there are those who conclude he must know something, and others who suspect he is selling something.
 

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Anyone remember "Men are From Mars.."?

There was nothing wrong with that book, per se. It was a gross over-generalization of a bunch of things that might apply, more or less, to any heterosexual couple. Men are sorta like this. Women are sorta like that. If you are a man who doesn't understand how the "average" female thinks, you are going to make mistakes of attribution and intent that are damaging to your marriage. Unless you rigidly subscribe to the "no significant gender differences" theory, at least.

It wasn't wrong. Nor was it completely right. Neither is Perel, or Savage, or probably Gottman. Until someone sits down and writes a book about your SPECIFIC relationship, every bit of advice, including everything discussed here by people who believe themselves to be experts in some small slice of co-habitation, will be at best only generally applicable. That's why the Social Sciences are called "soft". If we're going to toss everything ever written that cannot be p-Tested at the 95% confidence level, then we might as well not even bother with any relationship discussion.

Sure, I agree that these folk shouldn't be making predictions with confidence intervals and extrapolation that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Anyone familiar with my particular bent knows that I am data driven more than most. Nonetheless, the insights of people doing work and writing in this area are still meaningful, if not the whole story.

If you want to know what makes people unhappy in a marriage and how they behave under those circumstances, you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice to ignore the opinions of two people who have spent decades researching the topic with real couples in actual marriages. As long as you don't take her advice with the rigidity of Newton's laws of motion, reading "Mating in Captivity" will give you insights you might have otherwise missed. Avoiding Gotmann's bad behaviors in your marriage can hardly cause you much harm, even if he cannot tell you personally if you'll still be married five years from now with the accuracy he claims.

Sure they're a little self-aggrandizing. That does not by default make them wrong.
 

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Sure they're a little self-aggrandizing. That does not by default make them wrong.
It does if they make claims to be scientific and that they've proven something, when all replication attempts have failed to demonstrate that they're right.

If you ignore that, it just shows you're lying and attempting to appear credible while doing so. There's many reasons for the current anti-science movement that results in anti-vaxxers, etc, and these kind of lies are part of it. And as a result, people make uninformed choices, become entrenched and dogmatic in their thinking, and people get hurt or die... and old diseases come back.

Mimetic diseases, too... like thinking about relationships as a transactional/predictive mechanical model.
 

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I would have to agree with Marduk on validating science. The reason there are so many journals of science is because true valid science can be replicated. If you replicate the process you should get the same results. If you don't the process should be questioned or the theory thrown out.

I think you in the human relationship world you have to combine a bunch of source's information and apply to your situation cautiously. It seems like everyone makes at least one good point but it may take a bunch of different perspectives to develop one plan.
 

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So I can assume you didn’t watch the video?

What other sources? What’s your favorite?
My recent favourite relationship books have all been trauma informed, so they're not meant for everyone - just for relationships that have been or are currently impacted by trauma, sometimes resulting in PTSD and BPD-like behaviour.

I Hate You, Don't Leave Me
https://www.amazon.ca/Hate-You_Dont-Leave-Understanding-Personality/dp/1491575735

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience such violent and frightening mood swings that they often fear for their sanity. They can be euphoric one moment, despairing and depressed the next. There are an estimated 18 million sufferers of BPD living in America today — each displaying remarkably similar symptoms: - A shaky sense of identity - Sudden outbursts of anger - Oversensitivity to real or imagined rejection - Brief, turbulent love affairs - Intense feelings of emptiness - Eating disorders, drug abuse, and other self-destructive tendencies - An irrational fear of abandonment and an inability to be alone For years BPD was difficult to describe, diagnose, and treat. But with this classic guide, Dr. Jerold J. Kreisman and health writer Hal Straus offer much-needed professional advice, helping victims and their families understand and cope with this troubling, shockingly widespread affliction. This completely revised and updated edition includes information on the most up-to-date research that has opened doors to the neurobiological, genetic, and developmental roots of the disorder, as well as the connections between BPD and substance abuse, sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, and eating disorders, making it a vital reference for understanding and living with BPD.
The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
https://www.amazon.ca/Body-Keeps-Score-Healing-Trauma/dp/0670785938/
A pioneering researcher and one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for healing

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Such experiences inevitably leave traces on minds, emotions, and even on biology. Sadly, trauma sufferers frequently pass on their stress to their partners and children.

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives.
The more I dig, the more I think you need to define what your relationship problem really is, and then deal with it head-on with a targeted plan. The more general stuff I find to basically just say "be nice to each other," which is good, but ultimately won't fix all problems.
 

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Anyone remember "Men are From Mars.."?

There was nothing wrong with that book, per se. It was a gross over-generalization of a bunch of things that might apply, more or less, to any heterosexual couple. Men are sorta like this. Women are sorta like that. If you are a man who doesn't understand how the "average" female thinks, you are going to make mistakes of attribution and intent that are damaging to your marriage. Unless you rigidly subscribe to the "no significant gender differences" theory, at least.

It wasn't wrong. Nor was it completely right. Neither is Perel, or Savage, or probably Gottman. Until someone sits down and writes a book about your SPECIFIC relationship, every bit of advice, including everything discussed here by people who believe themselves to be experts in some small slice of co-habitation, will be at best only generally applicable. That's why the Social Sciences are called "soft". If we're going to toss everything ever written that cannot be p-Tested at the 95% confidence level, then we might as well not even bother with any relationship discussion.

Sure, I agree that these folk shouldn't be making predictions with confidence intervals and extrapolation that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Anyone familiar with my particular bent knows that I am data driven more than most. Nonetheless, the insights of people doing work and writing in this area are still meaningful, if not the whole story.

If you want to know what makes people unhappy in a marriage and how they behave under those circumstances, you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice to ignore the opinions of two people who have spent decades researching the topic with real couples in actual marriages. As long as you don't take her advice with the rigidity of Newton's laws of motion, reading "Mating in Captivity" will give you insights you might have otherwise missed. Avoiding Gotmann's bad behaviors in your marriage can hardly cause you much harm, even if he cannot tell you personally if you'll still be married five years from now with the accuracy he claims.

Sure they're a little self-aggrandizing. That does not by default make them wrong.
It is fine to give advice in either a lighthearted or serious way.

But when you abuse science and make empirical statements that science doesn't back up, it's akin to a financial planner telling me I can't lose money in an investment in which I actually can lose money.
 

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https://www.gottman.com/couples/apps/

@EleGirl, both of our MCs studied under Dr. Gottman. Our first after agreeing to attempt R was nothing short of stellar with his methods. The MC introduced us the the Gottman Cards (See above link). These exercises we did using the cards/app helped us improve our communication immensely. I posted this link sometime back. All I can say is I will testify to the effectiveness of his techniques employed by both our MCs. If you have not done so, I would recommend you consider visiting the link and downloading the app. My wife and I have these on our iPads and our communication improved vastly after doing these for a month.
 
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