Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grow Your Marriage by Leaps & Boundaries Guest Post by Dr. Jerry Cook

Today I'd like to welcome Dr. Jerry Cook to my blog. He has written a new book called Grow Your Marriage By Leaps & Boundaries with phenomenal advice. He offered to write a guest post to share with you, my lovely readers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Dr. Cook: 
Years ago, I was driving with my young daughter in the backseat.  We were in a long line at an intersection, with the green light allowing only one vehicle to get through at a time.  The wait seemed endless.  After several cycles of having to wait for our turn, the light turned green for the car in front of us and it cruised through the intersection.  The light quickly transitioned into a yellow, and I weighed my chances of getting through in time.  I decided to “floor it” and my inner voice congratulated me on getting through.  My daughter was less impressed.  When I tried to explain that you can drive through a yellow, my daughter said, “But Dad, you could have stopped, but you didn’t START until the light was yellow.”  You would’ve wondered who really had their driver’s license.

Marriage is a lot like that light at the intersection.  Many times we grow impatient, tired, or feel we deserve something better.  Then we cross the line, knowing, like the yellow transitioning to the red light, that the risks are now greater. Saying “those” words, fueling our own critical thoughts, and extending our time with someone of the opposite sex who seems to “get” us are all examples of crossing the line.  If you’ve ever asked, “Why did I just say that?”, you know the time between what you feel is justified and what is damaging is all so small.

Knowing where to draw the line for your marriage to protect it is not an easy thing. Everyone assumes everyone else knows right and wrong, but that sense of morality is often situational and depends on the family we grew up in. Two people, who love each other very much, can have serious problems simply because they assume each should show that love through certain behaviors.

Learning where and how to draw the line is everything that “Grow Your Marriage by Leaps and Boundaries” is about. It focuses on how to stand up and stand by your spouse, and together as a couple, decide what you will let into your circle of influence. You will decide how physical affection with the opposite sex affects each of you, how to talk about finances, and how your faith can improve your marriage.

While I offer a great deal of information about how to draw boundaries, the book is really about how you and your spouse can create your own boundaries together.  Dialogs are provided throughout the book to help you find the words needed, and a “quick read” section is available for those who are pressed for time or simply want a review of the material.

Amazon link

Is your marriage out of bounds?
The art of creating life-long marriages is disappearing at an alarming pace, largely because couples do not fully understand where (or how) to “draw the line” in a way that strengthens the relationship. These lines drawn are the boundaries that, when created the right way, show each spouse they are more important to the other than anything or anyone else. Grow Your Marriage by Leaps and Boundaries provides the tools for you to effectively create boundaries with technology, words, and body language.”

Cook’s new book will inspire readers to evaluate how they prioritize their marriage, and to make changes when needed. A common theme is that the boundaries are most useful when decided upon by the couple themselves; dialogs are provided to help readers create, maintain, and negotiate boundaries with their spouse and others.

“None of us are perfect, but our marriages can be perfect for us,” says Cook. “Sometimes we underestimate the power of a positive marriage, and outsource our best selves to those things that are least important.”

Jerry graduated with his doctorate in family and human development from Utah State University, and now serves as an associate professor of family and consumer sciences at California State University-Sacramento. Growing up on a farm in southeastern Washington state, and losing his mother to cancer at a young age, his passion is to help others recognize the basic skills that help families thrive. Jerry and his wife, Sarah, have been married for 19 years, are parents of three children, and co-authored The Parent’s Guide to Raising CEO Kids. Jerry has been interviewed by Fox 40 (TV, Sacramento), the Sacramento Bee (newspaper), and Sacramento Smiles (radio program).


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