Couples and the Art of Playing

couples playingCouples and the Art of Playing

by Keith Hackett, (www.iuniverse.com), 2003

Reviewed by Reneé Colclough Hinson, Former Executive Director

If you are interested in a “tried and true” process and you’d like to spice things up for Valentines Day or Early Spring, here is a quick read and easy step-by-step guide to getting some fun and levity back into your relationship. January usually means budget discussions around our house, then starting to think about taxes– neither of which are what I would call “fun tasks.” So this little gem just hit the spot over the long weekend, when searching for an antidote to the heavy, heady labor of negotiating income vs. outgo (expenses) or Uncle Sam’s portion.

Hackett provides plenty of brief “to-do lists” and sugges- tions of inexpensive activities to put a little play back into the marriage. He also makes the case that having a little fun and laughter together often takes the sting out of some of the harder interactions that come in any long-term relationship. Recall John Gottman’s “five positives for every negative?”

Long-time Better Marriages members will enjoy seeing humble homage being paid to Hackett’s teachers, Drs. David and Vera Mace. In this market of “big name, entrepreneurially-minded competition-driven world of marriage education products and professional (read “paid”) trainers,” plenty of folks use Better Marriages material without reference to the Maces or Better Marriages. (Better Marriages does have among its membership some noteworthy exceptions to this generalization.) But in contrast to the larger world/market, Hackett was refreshingly generous with citing the source of both his enthusiasm for marriage enrichment and his ideas about how to make it happen for couples. Back to the basics – dialogue, daily sharing time, structured intentionality to grow in healthy ways.  Hooray Hackett! And thanks, again, to our beloved founders, David and Vera Mace!

 

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