Loving in Flow
How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay that Way
by Susan K. Perry

If you want a realistic look at loving relationships, including how to get and keep them, this is the book for you. In the midst of so many books foolishly touting "instant intimacy" or "perpetual passion," it's refreshing to read one that actually makes sense.

The meaning of the title is described in a number of different ways: as having a partner you can count on through good times and bad, as having someone with whom to transcend aloneness, as feeling good just to be together, and like "being in the zone." But however it is defined, the bottom line is that it's a place where most couples would like to spend their lives. And this book can help you do it.

While it presents a broad-based approach to sustaining love, it also covers the specific details that couples face in their daily lives (including sex, children, chores, conflict, money, play, and many more). The ideas are based on positive psychology without being Pollyanna. They provide hope for attaining and sustaining real intimacy over time by covering all the practical factors that make this possible.

Not only are the ideas in the book solid and smart, but the writing itself flows in a very readable way. This is not surprising, since Susan Perry is a wonderful writer who also teaches writing and is a writing consultant. (In fact, you might want to check out some of her other books, including "Writing in Flow.")

I'm particularly impressed by books where authors include their own personal experiences; and while this one shares the stories of many couples, it's Susan's willingness to share her own life/love experiences (including a time when her marriage was in serious trouble) that makes it especially valuable. I generally find the advice that comes from experts who also speak personally to be far more genuine, believable, and ultimately helpful.

One reason I strongly recommend this book is because it's so rare to find a book on love that includes the issue of extramarital affairs. Most books (including my own) focus either on love or on affairs—but not on both. In fact, while only two of the chapters address the issue of affairs, I'm listing this book under both the Marriage category and the Affairs category of Reviews.

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