From New York Times bestselling author Michael Gurian comes a groundbreaking plan for happiness in love and marriage that shows you how to build healthy boundaries, work through past hurts, and create greater intimacy by maintaining emotional separateness.
Become separate from your partner yet also become closer—sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? With twenty-five years of family and marital counseling practice, Michael Gurian shows that “intimate separateness” is the key to creating a healthy partnership in life.
Recent university studies show that the most frequent reason relationships dissolve is not abuse, alcoholism, money, or even infidelity, but rather a lack of emotional fulfillment. Most books on love and marriage focus on teaching communication and conflict skills, but neglect to help couples with the “other half” of intimacy—separateness. In this practical yet personal guide to love, Gurian details the benefits of creating a lifelong balance of closeness and separateness. He outlines a twelve-stage model created for his own private practice, which provides long-term goals and focal points for dialogue that can help couples work through arguments. Gurian also delves into differences in white and gray matter between the male and female brain (which may explain the varying needs for intimacy and separateness), differences in verbal and emotive development, and the effects these all have on relationships.
Rich with examples and case studies, this book presents strategies for communication and conflict that build more emotional balance, while showing how intimate separateness can be the key to lifelong happiness.
Michael Gurian is a marriage and family counselor in private practice, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven books. Michael cofounded the Gurian Institute, a training and research organization, in 1996 and frequently speaks at and consults with corporations, physicians, hospitals, schools, and other professionals. He has been called “the people’s philosopher” for his ability to combine cutting-edge science with people’s everyday lives.
"In this important book, backed up by convincing scientific evidence, therapist Michael Gurian provides a relational roadmap that can help any couple navigate the journey of life-long intimacy and separateness that makes love possible. Read it yourself and give it to your friends and family and those you counsel psychologically or spiritually. Everyone will blessed by its insights."
– William M. Watson, S.J. Ph.D., President/Founder: Sacred Story Institute, Author of Forty Weeks and The Sacred Story
"In Lessons of Lifelong Intimacy, marriage and family counselor Michael Gurian culminates a quarter century of work with clients by elucidating the essential piece of marriage that is missing from so many self-help books: Intimate Separateness. This new paradigm for balanced marriage will change the way America thinks of love, marriage and relationships."
– Farnoosh Torabi, financial expert and award winning author of When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women
“The wise work of Michael Gurian has consistently helped and influenced me professionally and personally. Each page of this masterful new book challenged me as a husband and father to develop lifelong intimacy; these lessons give new insights and tools for the journey, and a powerful sense of hope that may just breathe new life into your marriage."
– Gregory Jantz, Ph.D., Founder of The Center, A Place of Hope, and Bestselling Author of Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse
“LESSONS OF LIFELONG INTIMACY offers practical steps to turn around a failing or stressful marriage. Gurian untangles the science of love so that you can understand power struggles and navigate a new and deeper intimacy. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to fan the flames of a love they have begun to take for granted.”
– Joanna Ellington, Ph.D., Author of Slippery When Wet: One Woman's Journey Through the Mystery of Sex
“Whether you are single, newly married, or an old-timer, this book will bring light to the complex and mysterious world of love and marriage. And what’s even better, it will deepen the understanding of life’s most important relationship – the one we have with ourselves. Thank you Michael Gurian for a practical, passionate, and inspiring manual on love!”
– Dr. Shimi Kang, Psychiatrist and Author of The Self-Motivated Kid
"Can a marriage survive emotional turmoil? Yes! In The lessons of Lifelong Intimacy, Michael Gurian looks at marriage with a blend of scientific research and his vast clinical experience, then spices the mix with reflections culled from the likes of Einstein and Proust. Gurian writes with warmth; he deeply cares about his readers, and along the way, we learn ground-breaking insights into how happy marriages blend intimacy with separateness. I highly recommend this book for all couples looking to enrich their connection to each other."
– Scott Haltzman, M.D., Author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women and The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity
"Lessons of Lifelong Intimacy explores the hidden depths of marriage and relationship. Michael Gurian utilizes leading edge neuroscience to help couples experience happy and balanced love. This is an important and powerful book."
– Daniel Amen, M.D., New York Times Bestselling author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and co-author of The Daniel Plan