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I Do!: A Marriage Workbook for Engaged Couples Paperback – April 16, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 580 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“As a seasoned marriage and family therapist, working with many couples, I was reluctant to believe that there would be something in I Do! that would appeal to my highly sophisticated client base. To my surprise and delight, I found just the opposite. Jim’s beautiful book is filled with insight and practical application that any couple can use. I found the exercises helpful, the questions provocative, and lessons spot on. This guide can be used by clinicians as well, as it gives us a tool to pull out when we are at our wits' end or don’t know what else can be done. Well done, Jim Walkup.”—Dr. Heather M. Ehinger, LMFT, EdD, Past President of the Connecticut Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, adjunct faculty at Western Connecticut State University, and principal owner of Family Therapy Associates, LLC

“Dr. Walkup integrates solid clinical expertise with personal, down-to-earth wisdom in I Do! His book can be used as a pre-marital tool for the pastor, practitioner, or individual couples themselves as a resource for independent inquiry and growth. In an easygoing, conversational way, Dr. Walkup breaks down relationship myths of intimacy and communication and invites couples to reflect on significant areas of life they will share together as they plan for their future. This book is brilliantly written and full of engaging exercises.”—John Halbrook, Th.M., Ed.D. (LMFT & LCSW)

“Jim Walkup has put together the ultimate guide for pre-marital counseling. It's practical, insightful, and most of all, relevant. If you are looking to lay the long-term foundations for a happy marriage, this is a great blueprint.”—Rev. Susan Sparks, author and Senior Pastor, Madison Avenue Baptist Church

“This is the book I wish I had read before my wedding. There is a pretty good chance I would still be married if that were the case. It's a practical, no-nonsense workbook, and somehow Dr. Walkup manages to be very modern and refreshingly traditional at the same time. Buy this for anyone you know who is getting ready to make a long-term commitment—actually, it would make a terrific anniversary present, too!”—Lorna Davis, former CEO of Danone

“How can we best prepare for the inevitable challenges of marriage? With I Do!, Dr. Walkup brings his well-honed wisdom to this crucial question. If Cupid himself wanted a guide to help people stung by his arrows, this would be one of his very top picks.”—Anthony Stern, M.D., former Chief of Psychiatry, Westchester Medical Center’s Mobile Crisis Team, Valhalla, New York

“Committed couples no longer have to stumble upon the various challenges that life brings their way; Jim Walkup has created a guide with the implicit message that each couple is not alone in navigating their differences--they are part and parcel of the journey. How good it is to have a compass and a lantern to light the way.”—Elana Katz, LCSW, Senior Faculty, Ackerman Institute for the Family

“This wonderful guide walks couples through exercises and discussions that lay the foundation for a long-lasting marriage. Not only does Jim Walkup cover topics such as money, communication, and intimacy, but he also beautifully covers future-looking topics such as parenting styles, school considerations for children, and caring for aging parents. I highly recommend this book if you are in the planning stages of marriage, or even newly married.”—Kathy Rausin, LMFT, Vista, CA

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Althea Press; Workbook edition (April 16, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 228 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1641522135
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641522137
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 580 ratings

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Let me say on a personal note over the years I have enjoyed puzzling about what makes relationships work. Even as a kid, I eagerly looked forward to the Ladies' Home Journal. I would read the &quot;Can This Marriage Be Saved?&quot; column.

I feel a certain degree of pride in sharing that many years later the editors included several anonymous stories of couples that I had seen in my marriage counseling and how I worked with them to have a better life together.

My wife, Betsy, and I married almost 50 years ago. I must admit quite a bit of what I have learned about relationships has come from this training ground. We have attended workshops and have used marriage counselors to help us grow in our love. I am happy to report that our bond has evolved over the years and given us many years of happiness and joy.

I have particularly enjoyed working with couples who come just after getting engaged. Sometimes they know they have a bit of a problem on their hands that they want to work on before walking down the aisle.

At other times they want to make sure they are starting on the right foot. They are seeking to do due diligence to gain the tools and skills needed to make their relationship work.

I find a particular pleasure in providing them with the keys to communicate so that each partner can listen and not become defensive. I know that problem-solving skills will help avoid a multitude of woes. In a similar vein, agreeing to get out of intense confrontations until each can think a little more clearly, often saves the day.

Learning your partner's love language and how to speak accordingly will serve you well. Begin to discern whether your partner will enjoy words of affirmation, deeds of service, listening, gifts, or touch. When you communicate in this way, you will find your partner almost purrs.

I have a daily practice of spiritual meditation which I encourage my clients to do as well if interested. I find that this increases my compassion and ability to stay in the moment with my wife. I see some of my most creative ideas come while in a deep state. Clients who practice it become less reactive and more open to hearing their partner without defensiveness.

I took classical piano lessons through much of college. Recently I have begun playing more blues and favorite songs. As I work with couples, I teach them how to listen to the music that comes from the soul of their partner.

I grew up in the Bible belt (North and South Carolina). Since I come from a family of ministers and missionaries, I never thought about not being a minister. That was until in seminary I decided I did not was to preach sermons every Sunday. Instead, I wanted a hands-on way of spending time with people to help them grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

So right after completing seminary in Princeton, I studied for three years in a full-time training program for individual psychotherapy and marriage counseling. I enjoyed the in-depth interaction. I loved helping couples build a bond of love and care.

I enjoy helping clients find resources in their spiritual life to deal with their crises of depression, anxiety, or relationship concerns. Many times they struggle with a rigid sense of what their scriptures demand.

Some times the people I work with, project onto God some of the leftover fallout from the punitive attitudes they experienced with their parents. As they become aware of this, they find more freedom in their spiritual life.

For clients, for whom religion does not play a significant part in their lives, I help them find meaning and a sense of purpose as they sort their relationship issues.

I have served as the President of the New York State Association of Marriage, and Family Therapy, which means my fellow professionals recognize my leadership in this field. I have challenged marriage and family therapists to grow as competent healers.

I hope you find this book will inspire you to build a marriage that will give you a sense of joy and meaning. May you savor your relationship as long as you both shall live.

Customer reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
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