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Articles and books about healthy relationships

Below you find short reviews of selected self-help books and games that we use and recommend.

Personal and Spiritual Growth:

Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World, by Ken Wilber is his latest major book. I could not agree more with those who call it "the most important spiritual book in postmodern times."


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey was the first book to dramatically change my life. Even my wife at the time noticed the changes in me and liked them.
It helps you to grow from dependence to independence to interdependence.
Covey promises that if you follow his suggestions, your life will change for the better and he was right in my case.

The Way of the Superior Man
Dear Lover (for women)

Intimate Communion (both)
Blue Truth (both)
all by David Deida.
David Deida is in a league of his own and a pioneer.
He is trying to integrate the advancements of men and women in emancipation, spirituality, sexuality, meaning, love, masculinity and femininity. His language is often very direct and he is very opinionated. You either love or "hate" his writings, but I don't think you can ignore his wisdom if you want a spiritually deep and sexually fulfilling relationship.

Toward a Psychology of Awakening, by John Welwood was the first of his books that I read. I started with chapter 15 "Intimate Relationship as Transformative Path". For the first time I realized that both, falling (or being) in love and "compatibility" are important for a path of love and awakening (and otherwise a sure recipe for an unhealthy relationship). I often read and mentioned his analogy of "Heaven and Earth" on page 236 and 237 and integrated his wisdom into Integral Relationships.

The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz challenges us to live by four simple rules:
1.) Be Impeccable with your word
2.) Don't Take Anything Personally
3.) Don't Make Assumptions
4.) Always do your Best
I totally love the agreements and this profound little book. Personally I don't resonate much with his writing style which comes from the Toltec tradition.

Nonviolent Communication (aka NVC) by
Marshall Rosenberg provides a model of communicating that changed my relationship with others radically, and became part of Integral Relationships. This way of communicating requires the practice of non-attachement to the outcome of a conversation, other than mutual understanding of feelings and needs. There are local study groups for example at the Center For Spiritual Living Santa Rosa lead by Carol Chase that I highly recommend.

The Power Of Now, by Eckhart Tolle is a wonderful and easy (but not simple) introduction to spirituality for Westerners. It contains a very idealistic chapter (8) on Enlightened Relationships.

Integral Psychology, by Ken Wilber was the first of his books that I read. Later I realized that I should have started with "Introducing Ken Wilber". Although it was hard for me to comprehend, it still changed my awareness about human consciousness from 2D to 3D. I had NO IDEA! It was just WOW!!!! Ken Wilber has spent some 30 years of his life, reading and understanding everything that has been written and researched about the history of human development, spirituality, consciousness, psychology, science, art, religion etc. and integrated all these sometimes conflicting concepts and wisdoms into an integral model that allowed my to write Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men.

Facets of Unity - The Enneagram of Holy Ideas, by A.H. Almaas is the basis for some of the books below (e.g. Undefended Love) who build on Almaas's deep research into human consciousness and our essential nature.
My favorite post-modern spiritual book.

Truth in Dating, by Susan Campbell, Ph.D. is all about being authentic and truthful in the dating process and our relationships.
Many people think that they have to sell themselves on a date, to only show their best side. This book gives you great tips how to feel safe when speaking your truth.

Online Dating for Dummies, by Judith Silverstein, MD and Michael Lasky, JD covers all the basics, has useful tips and examples, is very easy to read and sometimes funny.

Find a Husband after 35, by Rachel Greenwald uses what what she learned at Harvard Business School. It is a 15 - step action program that covers all the practical/pragmatic aspects and ideas of dating that she could think of. It does not cover anything emotional or spiritual and it is very business-like approach. The author is very direct and blunt.

Mars And Venus On a Date, by John Gray
is focusing on the different thoughts, emotions and patterns that conventional men and women have in the dating process. Entertaining and sometimes useful, but not very profound.

If The Buddha Dated, by Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. provides many practical tips, not only for spiritual or Buddhist singles. The short chapters on many topics including some psychological and spiritual aspects. I love this book and use it often with clients

Intellectual Foreplay, by Eve Eschner-Hogan and Steven Hogan provides a plethora of questions to ask your date. We sometimes wish we would have asked or know before we committed, and this book helps you to avoid that mistake. Great to read alone or together.
19 chapters with dozens of lifestyle and personality questions cover all areas of relationships and compatibility.



Calling In the One, by Katherine Woodward Thomas is my favorite relationship book for women who want to open up to a partner.

Relational Being, by Kenneth J. Gergen provides an academic in-depth look at how our relationships define us as human beings. It centers on broad discontent with the individualist tradition in which the rational agent, or autonomous self, is considered the fundamental atom of social life, and provides alternatives to individualist understandings. This is not an easy read, but currently the most profound book on human relations.

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm is a
small but substantial book. While reading I could not help to often think... this is where the other authors got their basic information and inspiration from. I highly recommend this book for singles and couples.

Living Life In Love by Peter Rengel is a true treasure box of spiritual and psychological wisdom. It is also a workbook to uncover your spiritual and loving qualities. Peter Rengel is a HAI facilitator and teacher. To order, call Peter at 415-459-3113

Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, Ph.D.
is an excellent book for couples who want to keep Love & Intimacy alive in a committed relationship. One of the most "Integral" relationship books and a classic.

The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra
transformed my perspective on love relationships. It combines the Eastern wisdom traditions with modern Western Psychology. It made me realize that my source of love is not a women but Being. One of my favorite books for Spiritual and Psychological growth (beside "Love and Awakening" and "Undefended Love") in a relationship.

Journey of the Heart by John Welwood is a classic that took him 17 years to write.

Love and Awakening by John Welwood profoundly changed my perspective on love relationships. Like "Undefended Love" (but from a more spiritual and less psychological view) it explains how to take responsibility for our own feelings and how to use painful emotions to heal old wounds and awaken. It also gave me insights into universal love for all sentient beings versus this special love for a romantic partner and clarified the term "soul-mate" for me. Together with "Undefended Love", it is my favorite post-modern relationship book!

Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships
John Welwood
His latest book digs deeper into our inability to love universally and unconditionally. The source for this "unlove" is the unhealed wounding of our own hearts.

Mars and Venus Together Forever, by John Gray will make you often smile because you see your own behavior and that of your partner in it, and sometimes wince because of the generalizations. I would call it an entry level relationship book with all the "she says, he hears" and "he does, she sees/thinks" lists.

Undefended Love, by Jett Psaris and Marlena S. Lyons was an eye opener for me. In this book they describe how we can return to our essential authentic self when we learn to take responsibility for our feelings and recognize that they are ultimately pain from the past that can be healed. I still struggle a little with their concept of Compensatory Identity, Cracked Identity and Essential self. Together with "Love and Awakening", it is my favorite post-modern relationship Book.

The Exceptional Seven Percent, by Gregory K. Popcak is based on hard research and entertaining to read. It explains the 9 habits (or secrets) that the 7% of long-time happy couples have developed.
It is a "rule book" with a lot of "have to's". It is mandatory reading for those couples who want to get married and stay together.
If you can't agree on and integrate the 9 principles, your relationship will most likely not last.

The Mastery Of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz
If you like "The Four Agreements" I am sure you love this book as well.

Getting The Love you Want (A Guide for Couples) by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. is a relationship book classic with over 1 Million books sold. There is also a workbook.

How To Be An Adult In Relationships by
David Richo combines Eastern Wisdom with modern Western Psychology. This book is great for singles and couples who are on a spiritual path and take their relationships serious. Many good tips including full disclosure and breakups. A book I often return to just to read a few pages.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
is based on NLP modalities of giving and receiving love through touch (kinesthetic), words (auditory), gifts (visual) (and he ads "Quality Time" and "Service" to the list). When we did the chart in the back of the book and discussed it in one of our Wednesday Singles groups, we all had big aha moments. Being aware of these different ways of giving and receiving love is ABSOLUTELY essential for you and your partner.

Transformation Game:
If you recognize that your beliefs and thinking, as well as your sub and unconscious conditioning produce your actions and life experiences, and you want to change them, this is a great game for you! The game is not easy to understand at first and you need one evening just to set it up and figure it out. But it can be very rewarding, giving you deeper insights and open you up to communication with your partner that bring insights, changes and healing. I need to be in space where I have time and peace to play it. Set aside at least 4 uninterrupted hours per game session.

Couples' Intimacy-Communication Game
KISS, WATCH, TELL OR SHOW - How far will you go? Lose inhibitions and explore your sexuality while creating personal intimacy. The Game differs from standard adult games that focus on “spicing up” your sex life and showing you new positions to try out. It has an added element of thought provoking questions as well as physical activities. The Game is designed to improve your relationship through understanding and communication. It is also fun and simple to play. Simply roll the dice to accumulate points. Unlike other games, there are no losers. When you play The Game, everyone wins.
Price: $20 + mailing cost. To order contact revdupcc@juno.com or maxcue@hotmail.com

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