The New True Love Paradigm
What We're in
When We're in Love
The "fall in love and live happily ever after" model is living nearly 50% of couples broken by the pain of divorce. This commonly cited statistic does not reveal how many couples stay together yet feel perplexed by how to continue growing more deeply in love. We need a new idea of what we're in when we're in love.
Dr. Anderson has been presenting to married couples for over twenty years. His "Eight Great Dates" program in the Toledo area drew over 400 couples and was called by Bishop Albert Ottenweller "the most successful marriage program in the history of the diocese." Couples are drawn to his humor, storytelling, insight, and spiritual depth. Many men in particular over the years have approached him after the presentation and said things like, "To be honest, my wife dragged me to this, but I had a great time--I could listen to you all night!"
Here is an overview of the seven shifts of the new true love paradigm:
From True Love is Happily Ever After... to ...True Love is Soulfully Ever After (Transforming Shift #1)
Includes: Story of the day Dr. Anderson realized he needed to give up all hope of changing his wife; The myth of Cupid and Psyche and the origins of "happily ever after;" A surprisingly soulful marriage quote from J.R.R. Tolkien that can help us redefine the meaning of "soul mate."
From True Love is Two Loves... to ...True Love is One (Transforming Shift #2)
Includes: What the "Where's my cell phone?" story can teach us about the "Where's God?" question; Is true love like a double star or single star solar system?; How a bird and a plane criss-crossing in the sky helped Dr. Anderson formulate The New True Love Paradigm; The need to let go of the illusory separation between romantic love and love of God.
From True Love is Perfect... to ...True Love is Practice (Transforming Shift #3)
Includes: How a warning sign at Bethpage Black public golf course applies to marriage; What Dt. Anderson's lousy golf game can teach us about love and marriage; The wisdom of accepting that, like life, marriage is both beautiful and difficult; Why getting good at building your best marriage is like getting good at anything else.
From There is no I in Love... to... Work on the I in Marriage (Transforming Shift #4)
Includes: The giant candle snuffer Dr. Anderson made to symbolize one of the biggest mistakes we make in marriage; The problem of reactivity and the need to put a gap between stimulus and reponse; Growth in marriage often involves learning to do what comes unnaturally; Focusing on becoming a more loving individual and marriage partner gives us our best shot at our best marriage.
From True Love is Timeless... to ...True Love Takes Time (Transforming Shift #5)
Includes: Story of Dr. Anderson's six-year-old daughter saying, "I don't want your money, Dad--I want your time;" The importance of making time for "secure attachment" in a "time famine" culture; Committing to going beyond the "default" model of marriage to an extraordinary, soulful companionship; The importance of developing a relationship ethic at least as strong as our work ethic.
From True Love is Emotion... to ...True Love is Immersion (Transforming Shift #6)
Includes: The symbol Dr. Anderson discovered in a session that began: "Doc, I'm hoping you can help me get my wife off my back"; What Dr. Anderson told the woman who did not know if she was in love with her husband; The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice; Creating a symbol of "True love is immersion" for your home.
From Conflict Invalidates True Love... to ...Conflict Invites Truer Love (Transforming Shift #7)
Includes: Letting go of thousands of years of shame about conflict in marriage by realizing that conflict is the necessary element that points us to truer love; Types of abusive conflict that are NOT an invitation to deeper love; Why "perpetual issues" in marriage make us wonder, Is something wrong with us or our marriage?; What using soap bubbles to find natural gas leaks can teach us about the role of conflict in creating a safe, connected marriage; The problem of "the second arrow" in our thinking about conflict in marriage.