"Relationship Magic" Reviewed on www.thedanafiles.com "I couldn't help but love her book"
Happily Ever After. Every little girl dreams of living those words. From the moment we read Cinderella, we imagined that our Prince Charming would ride on his beautiful white horse and whisk us away to his castle in the clouds. But, as we grow up our fantasy quickly diminishes to reality and we realize the fairy tale we envisioned doesn’t always happen as perfectly as we hoped.
That isn’t to say that Happily Ever After doesn’t exist. We all remember meeting our soulmates, and how good our relationships were in the beginning. We cherished every kiss, every touch, and hung on each other’s every word. During courtship we went out of our way to care for the other person.
The romantic phase of marriage, that post honeymoon feeling that all the world is in love, you remember it, don’t you? I vividly recall those blissful moments in my marriage; long walks in the park, lazy days of lounging in bed on a Saturday morning, curling up on the couch to watch bad TV with not a care in the world. The only priorities in our lives were each other.
Fast forward a few years, add a baby or two and suddenly new demands are placed upon us. And let’s face it, who has time to be romantic when a screaming little person needs to be fed or changed? I’m not saying children are to blame for mediocre relationships, but when such a huge transition occurs it’s only natural to neglect each other little by little.
Why did we lose the magic in our marriages and relationships, and how do we get it back?
I was reading the book Relationship Magic: The Secret to Happily Ever After, which author, Dr. Edythe Denkin, PhD sent for me to check out, and I was amazed with the clever “fairy tale” approach she uses to help couples return to that state of bliss we loved so early in our relationships. I’m not a big fan of “self-help” books, but Denkin’s unique style was nonabrasive and her advice is easy to absorb.
Using fictional characters James and Cinda, the prince and princess of a faraway kingdom, Denkin highlights the beginning of their fairy tale romance that gradually dissipates to a disillusioned marriage. The prince and princess each have their own perception of how their marriage “should be,” and with the added responsibilities of children, keeping a household, work stresses and the mundane of day-to-day life, they begin to feel helpless. As each partner grows and changes, they start to resent the relationship, yet cannot find the way to express how they feel to each other.
Using the techniques of Imago Relationship Therapy, Denkin takes the reader on a journey through the marriage of James and Cinda while learning how to abandon our own relationship fears and unconscious behaviors we learn in childhood. Denkin believes that we learn to love our partners by watching how our parents loved each other, and that sometimes these examples do not work in our own relationships.
While reading this book, I began to put my own marriage into perspective and began to see how easy it can be to allow our relationships to erode as we focus on other priorities and personal needs. I honestly believe my marriage is happy and healthy, but after seven years (and being together a total of ten years) I can see how important it is to reinforce the foundation of my relationship.
At the end of each chapter, Denkin lists questions for the reader to ponder, such as “Do you remember the way acted and reacted towards your partner during the romantic phase of your marriage?” and “Do you feel responsible for your partner’s happiness?”
Once I began to truly answer these questions, I was amazed to learn that even the most solid of marriages still need to be nurtured and cared for. Denkin’s approach to bringing the magic back into our relationships is so down to earth I couldn’t help but love her book.
My favorite question she asks is “What is your prescription for happiness?” I’m still pondering that one...but I believe it begins with a loving relationship and a rock solid foundation