Published as part of Oklahoma's Marriage Initiative, which was launched in 1999 to reduce the divorce rate in the state, Les and Leslie Parrott's Building Better Marriages in Oklahoma offers encouragement, humor, straight talk, and insight to help couples improve their relationships. Here are some wise words and facts offered by the Parrotts in this book.
"Marital unhappiness is never caused by only one person. That's why therapists focus not on who is wrong, but what is wrong."
"It's no mistake that maturity and matrimony come from the same word."
"There is nothing in the world worse than a bad marriage, and at the same time nothing better than a good one."
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott were asked by Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma to be the state's "marriage ambassadors." Part of their job is to raise the public level of awareness about marriage and "to equip as many couples as possible for life-long love." The Parrots are co-directors of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University and have written several books on relationships and marriage.
[Excerpted from Building Better Marriages in Oklahoma, by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. River Oak Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2001. Reprinted with permission.]
"Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere, Rhett and Scarlett, even Jack and Rose from the cinematic tale of the Titanic -- each snuffed out their powerful love while the heat of passion was turned up full blast. Why? Because it couldn't last. The heat of passion was never meant to. Can you imagine Romeo and Juliet grocery shopping?"
"One of the best things a couple can do from time to time is review the choices they made, both good and bad, that have shaped the current state of their relationship."
"Every successful marriage requires necessary losses. For starters, marriage means coming to terms with new limits on one's independence."
"What is the most dramatic loss experienced in a new marriage? The idealized image you have of your partner."
"Love, by itself, is not enough to sustain even the most loving couple -- at least the kind of love Hollywood pumps into our culture is not enough. Marriage requires new skills in communication, conflict resolution and so on. Love cannot protect a marriage from harm. But love combined with effective skills can overcome all."
"The failure to give or receive forgiveness probably accounts for nearly every marriage that does not endure."
"Marriages can never be perfect because people are never perfect!"
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