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Hugo Rodriguez is a senior Psychologist with special interest
in the field of Effective Thinking and Mind Power. He completed his
Post-graduate degree at the
Disillusioned with the little impact Marriage Counselling programs have had on the still alarmingly high rate of divorce, he designed a counselling program based on a set of evolutionary laws and principles of Effective Thinking, which he utilised and perfected over a period of 20 years. This book is the culmination of these works.
His professional platform has built primarily from his
Psychological Practice (West Area Psychological Services), established in 1982. The Practice
has a referral database of approximately 1500 Medical Practitioners and 550 Law
Firms; mostly from the South Western Sydney area. During 1995 and 1998 Mr
Rodriguez conducted a series of Mind Power seminars throughout
The most common and damaging misconception in marriages is the belief that to have a happy relationship we need to solve problems, those that arise whilst living together, or work out differences between partners. Not only is this practice unnecessary but it can actually be quite damaging and create more problems than those they solve. The correct approach is a lot simpler and far more effective. One of the first lessons you will learn from this book is that to make your marriage more functional and fulfilling, you need to avoid working on marital problems and focus instead on following the wisdom of a set of laws, The Golden Rules of Marriage which, when respected, cause most problems to vanish.
Your relationship is governed by specific laws; those that regulate your thoughts, your mood and your attitude towards each other, and which make the game of marriage either easy to play or very complicated. By adhering to these rules you will be fostering feelings of wanting to be together, as different to having to be together, thus transforming your marriage into the enjoyable and durable institution it should ideally be.
You will learn that the differences that separate you are the very constituents for the success of your marriage, and that instead of eliminating these differences, you must profit from them – your marriage strives on compatibility, not similarities.
A crucial element in the success of your relationship is to understand what true love is. You will be pleased to know that love is something a lot simpler and a more down-to-earth feeling than the way it has been typically portrayed. You will discover that the force that binds you to each other is made of the same psychological constituents that creates your attachment to all your possessions, including your car, your computer, or your clothes. By understanding these forces you will be able to appreciate the love you feel for each other in a more practical and constructive manner.
The future of your relationship stands on answering ‘yes’ to two fundamental questions: “Is it easy for my partner to love me?” and “Is it easy for my partner to live with me?” The wisdom of the Golden Rules of Marriage is contained in these questions. They refer to your ability and willingness to make matters easy and simple for each other and on fostering closeness, the constituents that power your love and make you a team. Answering ‘no’ to either of these questions foretells inevitable and unsurmountable hardships.
Life moves following two major strategies: cooperation and competition. Your marriage strives and develops on cooperation, and if you bring into it elements of competition, you are effectively introducing the very means for making it dysfunctional. The Golden Rules of Marriage are all designed to honour this fundamental premise, helping you perceive the importance of working with, and never against your partner.
There are six general Golden Rules. They are designed to address specific marital requirements, the building blocks of conjugal harmony. To honour them, you will be asked to consider making some modifications to your attitude and thinking habits, aimed at promoting mutual respect and harmony.
In addition to these general rules, there are gender-specific obligations that apply to husbands and wives separately. They comprise concepts and strategies that both spouses must implement individually to cater for each other’s needs, thus facilitating teamwork and mutual gains.
In Chapter VI, the Golden Rules of Marriage are compiled into a training seminar that you and your spouse can complete at home over a period of five weeks. It is a step-by-step methodology covering the foundations of the rules and how they apply to your relationship. A credit-point system will help you instigate the necessary changes. You will also be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess the state of your relationship before and after your training to appraise the benefits obtained.
In the last chapter, the book narrates a real-life counselling intervention program conducted by a professional psychologist. It demonstrates how these rules were implemented to assist a couple with marital difficulties.
The Golden Rules of Marriage are based on timeless wisdom depicted here under the scope of modern research. You will be confronted with challenging concepts extracted from a long ancestry of thinkers about how successful marriages have since immemorial times, relied on similar rules as modern relationships.
The foundations of your marriage (PART
(PART SAMPLE ONLY)
As with so many other couples, Martin’s relationship was far from happy; and like so many other people, he was hoping for some guidance to resolve the seemingly endless conflicts and discontent. Also, like it is so often the case, by holding to this strong wish, one day he found the assistance he was seeking – in the most remarkable way. Martin had been working in the Archaeological section of the National Library for some time, and the discovery he made that night was the most astonishing experience of his life. As if mysteriously escorted by a magic hand, whilst removing some ancient ornaments from a 1000-year-old chest, he noticed what looked like an ancient manuscript, covered in dust. It was impossible to tell what the original colour was. On the cover page it read “The Golden Rules of Marriage.”
In the gentlest way he picked it up, sat on the edge of the trunk, and with trepidation he carefully turned some of its pages. The manuscript was handwritten, but it was clearly not a draft: the neatness and professional presentation of the calligraphy denoted that this was indeed the final elaborate product of an ancient book. Martin instantly realised that he had found a genuine, antique volume that had been written prior to the advent of printing technology, at a time when all books were handwritten, volume-by-volume. But there was something definitely odd about this one. It had no author, no date and no information regarding who may have been responsible for its contents. He needed a more expert opinion and, luckily for him, the National Library was the right place to seek advice. Linda came to the rescue. She was the newly appointed Director of the Research Department and she was completing a doctorate thesis on relationships. Martin couldn’t believe his luck – he was convinced that there was a special force placing him at the centre of something big – but what?
“This is not the work of a single author,” Linda said, “but a compilation of chronicles gathered through millennia, very likely written by many thinkers and philosophers over a very long period of time.”
“You mean like the Bible?” interrupted Martin.
“Yes,” answered Linda, “at least 20 generations lived and died between the first and the last entry.”
Linda was convinced that this was indeed an archaeological literary rarity of great value; and what was most astonishing was that the concepts contained in it appeared to be very similar to those she was researching for her PhD thesis.
“How could this very ancient document be so conceptually similar to modern thinking?” Linda pondered. The more she studied the book, the more these Golden Rules of Marriage likened her modern research. Alone with her thoughts that night, Linda made a decision that was to result in the most extraordinary cultural connection, she decided to combine the teachings of The Golden Rules of Marriage to the findings from her doctorate research to produce a work containing the most ancient and the most modern.
Martin instantly offered to assist, in the hope that the information from this work would be the guidance he was so desperately seeking to fix his relationship. And so, the quest began.
“In the realm of riches and contentment man is bound by seven shining paths. Those who master these essential skills secure their position amongst the Gods of pleasure. Enlightenment is but knowing what these paths are, and which ones deserve most our thoughts. Think of your wealth; this can be but the last in this list of priorities. Think of your willingness to enjoy what you already possess; this is your second most critical path; think of your health, your job, your success in sports; your sense of self-confidence; these are amongst the other priorities. Think of your relationship; you have now isolated the most crucial of all shining paths.”
Linda constructed the introduction for her book. She wrote:
Have you ever wondered what brings happiness to your life? Is it your money or possessions? Or is it primarily your social status, your personal qualities or your job? Or is it perhaps leisure activities or success in your sports? Research has demonstrated that none of these factors compare in value to the satisfaction generated by your relationship. Of all the objectives we strive to achieve in life, a good relationship has been identified as the most satisfaction-generating one. There is consensus amongst health practitioners (Holmes B, Kleiner K, Douglas K, and Bond M, 2003) that investing in people is what best guarantees life satisfaction, and living in a happy relationship fulfils this best. Your relationship is the most important asset in your life.
A primary goal in life then is to ensure that you are in a happy relationship with a compatible partner. The effort, money and time you spend solidifying and improving this relationship is the best guarantee to have a good life – in order of importance, other relevant factors for life satisfaction include: “Being happy with what you already possess”; “Your employment”; “Your philosophical beliefs and altruism”; “Your looks and health”; and “Your wealth”.
There are other benefits brought about by a happy relationship. Happy, long-married couples were found to live longer and be healthier and wealthier (Popenoe D, 2002). They also tended to have a more satisfying sex life, and their children enjoyed a better life, with lower levels of poverty.
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