Contented Couples: Magic, Logic or Luck?

Author(s) : Anne Power

Contented Couples: Magic, Logic or Luck?

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : May 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 360
  • Category :
    Family, Couple and Systemic Therapy
  • Catalogue No : 96376
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913494469
  • ISBN 10 : 9781913494
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What is the secret of a long and contented marriage?

In Contented Couples, Anne Power interviews eighteen couples in the USA and the UK to discuss how they found each other and what made it work. A wide range of couples are featured – non-binary, homosexual, heterosexual – some brought together by family for arranged marriage, others by pure chance, and those set up by friends or by using dating agencies or the internet.

Power is trained in emotionally focused couple therapy (EFT) and she takes a rounded, constructive look at the different traditions couples form and live by. Power uses questions she puts to new couples in therapy: What does an argument look like? How has sex been across the years? Who has grown up the most over your time together? What has stopped you from becoming a divorce statistic? Throughout the book, she weaves expert, jargon-free explanations of how couples form a bond, how they fight, and how they repair. Each chapter ends with questions which invite us to reflect on our own relationships and to benefit personally from this chance to eavesdrop on contented couples. This empowers us to think about what constitutes the essence of a contented couple.

An ideal book for psychotherapists working with individuals, couples, and families, as well as the general reader looking for greater insight into what makes a successful, long-term relationship.

Reviews and Endorsements

The strength of Power’s work lies in the diversity of the population she has interviewed. With the multiple racial, ethnic, economic and lifestyles represented, she delivers on her commitment to illustrating how couples can arrive at contentment. This book is a guide for couples that desire to deepen and expand the fulfilment of their partnerships.
Linda Bloom, LCSW, co-author of 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last

Anne Power is a sensitive and respectful guide in enabling eighteen couples to describe how they navigated the ordinary challenges of coming together and making a success of their relationships. Through the wisdom accrued as a therapist, she distils their stories into a treatise on the nature of love. This is a valuable resource for anyone considering commitment, anyone in a committed relationship wishing to understand more about their experience, and anyone whose role is to try and help them to do so.
Christopher Clulow, Ph.D., Consultant Couple Psychotherapist and Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology

Anne Power has written an elegant, comprehensive book about coupling … Anne’s writing is captivating and so easy to fall into, just like some (but not all) relationships. The experiences of real-life couples and Anne’s compassion take you on a lovely journey of imaginative possibilities, while grounding you in the science of how and why love works. The confluence of magic, logic and luck come alive! Read this book to grow yourself and your relationship.
Dr. Kathryn Rheem, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Trainer, Co-Founder of the EFT Cafe

Listening in to couples that thrive, who enjoy, trust and continue to develop is rare. Therapists tend to write about what needs changing, not what works. It is warming to hear these accounts of closeness in which obstacles are managed and which bring growth to both people.
Susie Orbach, psychoanalyst and author of The Impossibility of Sex

Anne Power provides a diverse cross-cultural perspective on the elusive mixture of magic, logic and luck that is involved in the making of a happy marriage … Covering a range of marriage styles – from random romance to self-arranged marriages – this book shows how an initial spark of attraction can be transformed into an ever-glowing cosy fire that sustains a long-term relationship. A ‘must read’ for anyone who has ever wondered what makes a marriage work!
Raksha Pande, author of Learning to Love: Arranged Marriages and the British Indian Diaspora

'For the lay reader and professional alike, this book outlines what each partner in a couple can do, offering reflections and implicit suggestions based on decades of experience. Each chapter ends with a series of questions Power encourages partners to consider, paving a path for greater understandings of the self, partner and couple dynamics.'
Felicia Smith-Kleiner, integrative psychotherapist, New Psychotherapist, Summer 2023

Table of Contents

The couples

1. What makes a ‘good enough’ marriage?
2. Attachment and the couple bond
3. Random romance – looks like magic
4. Arranged marriage – looks like logic but could be magic
5. Self-arranged marriage – can lay claim to magic and logic
6. Selection
7. Staying power
8. Support and challenge
9. Fighting, money and sex
10. Conclusion

Appendix I: How this study was conducted
Appendix II: What have we learned which could be helpful to single people?
Further reading

About the Author(s)

Anne Power, has an MA in History and was a nurse before studying attachment theory at The Bowlby Centre. After qualifying in couples work with Relate she trained in emotionally focused couple therapy (EFT). She has published papers on attachment and one book Forced Endings: Attachment and Loss in Retirement. She has contributed to oral history projects and sees her interviewing and story-collecting as borrowing from that tradition. After working for twenty-five years with clients in difficulty, she wanted to hear from contented couples.

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