By Emma Secker, Staff Writer
“Love is conditional.” This troublesome twist to the popular idiom is a splash of cold water to the face of many relationship idealists, and the point Harvard-trained lawyer, couples mediator and communication expert, Laurie Puhn, emphasizes in her new book, “Fight Less, Love More,” released last month.
To kick off her book informing readers how to improve communication, emotional intimacy and overall quality and satisfaction in their relationships, Puhn begins by refuting this commonly held notion that love is unconditional. Instead, she urges couples to take responsibility in bringing love and satisfaction to their relationships, to not simply expect one’s relationship to endure “no matter what.” Puhn warns that couples that lean on prevailing love as the only pillar of support to their relationships can be left buried in the remains of this formerly love-filled relationship when it inevitably collapses.
“Every person in the world should expect love in his or her relationship to disintegrate if the conditions for love aren’t kept alive,” Puhn said. “These are things every human being needs and wants: appreciation, respect, compassion, trust and companionship
So how does one demonstrate and maintain these essential habits in a relationship? Puhn informs couples of her “five-minute conversation” strategy to foster better communication skills in a relationship, without couples having to take an unrealistic amount of time out of their hectic schedules. If communicated effectively, couples can address issues and reach resolutions without a long, grueling battle. Puhn maintains that couples do not need to talk more, they need to talk better.
“In five minutes you will see results,” Puhn said. “A fight avoided, a decision made, an apology given, a word of appreciation spoken.”
Puhn does not merely advise readers about how to train partners to act more lovingly, but emphasizes that changing and modeling one’s own behavior to strengthen the relationship will motivate partners to cooperate.
“You will create your own transformation,” Puhn said. “It will impact your mate immediately, influencing him or her to say and do things to continue the cycle of love that you initiated.”
“Fight Less, Love More” is very informative and illustrates relationship-improving strategies that are easy to follow and implement. Though dealing largely with issues many married couples face, Puhn’s advice can benefit couples of all ages and help relationships enduring any degree of strain.
According to the author, “No matter who you are or where your relationship falls on this spectrum, a more satisfying, reenergized love awaits you.”