What is the nature of enduring love–and how do we find this type of love? Some valuable lessons are to be found in Love Lingers Here: Stories of Enduring Intimate Relationships. As the subtitle of the book implies, Love Lingers Here concerns enduring intimate relationships that exist in our mid-21st Century world.
Most books about couples are written by those doing couples therapy and are based on the assumption that successful couples are doing whatever the couples in therapy are not doing (called “pathological extension”). Love Lingers Here is based instead on interviews with more than 70 couples who have been together for many years (averaging 20 plus years together). Through thick and thin, these couples (both straight and gay) have remained loyal to one another and have found ways in which to adjust to changing conditions in their own lives and the world in which they reside.
Making use of a model of developmental stages, the author, William Bergquist, has described how his couples have found ways to remain in love over time. Dr. Bergquist introduces new concepts regarding relationship-based covenants, remarriages within a relationship, and marker events (differences that make a difference). Making use of a metaphor regarding the “tectonic plates” that move below the earth’s crust, Bergquist offers inspiring narratives regarding how specific “plates” in the lives of couples are engaged at each of their developmental stages. These plates relate to such critical issues as the couple’s finances, establishing a home, and raising children or initiating a shared project. Both troubling earthquakes and majestic mountains are created by enduring intimate couples when confronting these issues—much as earthquakes and mountains are created by earth-bound tectonic plates.
Finally, attention is given to very long-term relationships (from throughout the world) as well as the long-term relationship of some celebrity couples. A summary of the findings from this twenty-year study is provided for the benefit of those who wish themselves to establish and maintain enduring, intimate relationships—and find love that lingers with one another!
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