Monday, August 20, 2012

What Do Your Relationship and Your Car Have in Common?

How is caring for a car a little like caring for your love relationship? In their new book, Cars and Love: How to be Both Lover and Friend, two of my fellow marriage and family therapists (and my upstairs neighbors at my counseling office), Tessa Kershnar, MFT, and Steve Parker, Ph.D., MFT, have taken up this challenge of helping the reader see the connections.

This little book is an easy read, and is beautifully illustrated by Analise Hannah. It has some healthy reminders for couples wanting to create an even better relationship with each other. It would be a good refresher for couples who have graduated from couples therapy, but want to have some handy tips available to recap some common principles we cover in couples therapy, such as:

*The importance of spending time together

*How intimacy begins in many little ways throughout the day, like your tone of voice in the morning, or doing something kind for your partner

*Asking for what you need

*How to keep your partner's love tank full

*Love and commitment = action

*Set boundaries with outside forces, what/who you let in your car

*Healthy ways to communicate

*Being a better listener

*Learning ways to talk things through conflicts

*The importance of having your own life

*Warning signs your car is headed for a crash

*Maintenance issues

*Getting into alignment and cooperating with each other

This sweet little gem might be especially useful to men, as the car and relationship analogy is developed. We all realize you can't keep driving your car without putting more gas in, checking the tires, and getting car washes and service. The connection to our closest love relationship is clever: if you meet each other, fall in love, and expect it to stay wonderful without any care or attention, that is a big mistake.

You can order Steve and Tessa's book directly from Tessa at her email address:

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