Translating the Abstract Emotions of Everyday Life into a Happy Marriage

A Book Review

“Choose to be Happily Married: How Everyday Decisions Can Lead to Lasting Love”

Author: Bonnie Jacobson, Ph.D.

Purchase the book here.

This is a relationship road map; a manual for relationships that leads to successful communication, listening skills, and ultimate connection between two people. Illustrating twenty-five crucial turning points, the author raises the reader’s consciousness about critical individual and relationship decisions. Readers learn how to translate the abstract emotions of everyday life into concrete expressions, making them more manageable in the process.

Dr. Jacobson empowers readers to make conscious choices in moments of empathic disconnect between themselves and significant others as well as encouraging readers to explore inventive ways of working with conflict and constructive forms of aggressive expression. The approaches discussed are derived from attachment theory, neurobiology, and theories of healthy aggression and conflict resolution to help people manage their daily life without being a victim of their own history.

This work helps readers gain insight into some of the choices that can lead to lasting love including:

  • Learning different ways to respond or react to conflict in the moment
  • Learning  to pick and choose your battles and decide when and how to establish boundaries
  • Developing new ways to be tolerant of your partner’s need for personal space, change, and his/her own family values
  • Developing self-awareness and control with regard to your role in the relationship and your own style of interacting
  • Establishing effective communication
  • Sharing your thoughts and yourself
  • Using intimate listening skills
  • Supporting and empowering your partner
  • Understanding the difference between joy and happiness and embracing what lasts

This book is a modern dissection of relationships that acknowledges how roles shift over time. It can be immensely helpful to couples who struggle with communication and listening skills as well as those who have difficulty establishing and maintaining personal relationships. Enjoyable and easy to read, the author uses everyday examples to illustrate her points. The Emotional Turning Point Test at the end of the book allows readers to gain insight into themselves.

There are several online Self-Help Book Clubs in which participants read selected chapters and discuss them with other readers and mental health professionals. More information on the Self-Help book clubs can be obtained by going to and

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Cite This Article

Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. (2010, July). Translating the abstract emotions of everyday life into a happy marriage: A book review [Web article] [Review of the book Choose to be happily married: How everyday decisions can lead to lasting love, by B. Jacobson]. Retrieved from


1 Comment

  1. Dr. Peggy Mayfield, Ph.D, ABAP

    I am very interested in communication theory and implementation. I counsel many couples as well as individuals in breakups. I think this is an important topic as well as needed book.


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