Reading self-development handbooks is not my usual treat. Well, sometimes
one has to give them a chance. Recommended by a good friend, who is a
therapeutist herself, I gave a chance to Myrna Mazzola Zezza's "How to build
a Lasting, Loving Relationship". Subtitled, totally appropriately,
"The blueprint you were never given".
True is that we learn a pile of knowledges in school, and in private life we
learn how to plant flowers, drive bicycle, motrocycle or a car, repair
engines, build houses etc., but we never get any significant instruction on
how to make a successful relationship. At most we get a life-instruction how
NOT to do it, by our parents or, through trial and error exercise,
Myrna Zezza gave a complete, step-by-step guide through the process.
I was drawn to a book, when checking about it online on recommendation of my
friend, by the model for relationship which was used: a house. Building a
house of love, writer teaches us about importance of fundament, walls and
roof. She does not forget about cement, glues and all what holds it
together, she even thinks of catastrophes, critters and insurance!
Building of self-esteem is also an important part of our relationship with
Model is like this: foundation is Communication, walls are: Common purpose and
values, Trust, Appreciation and Clear agreements. Roof is Commitment.
Love is nails, screws, bolts and glue (obviously an American house in warmer
parts of USA-author herself lives in Hawaii), holding the house together.
Basements and interior spaces are also important, those are different
arrangements a couple makes in their daily life about work and spending free
time, still preserving the core of their relationship.
Termites and other critters can easily destroy even the best house if not
eradicated effectively, so any misunderstanding or trouble should also be fast and
effectively removed from an relationship.
Homeowners insurance is something what in relationship is given by a support
group like family, colleagues, friends... Author even finds, at the end, a
place foe House blessing, which might be a wedding, but can be any other
ritual a couple chooses. Most of us usually starts from this...but it is not
by chance, I believe, given at the end of this book. Life is a learning
process, all through.
When definitely too American that I would really like it, this book is a good
guide. I might comment away in my head some sentences as "eh, easy to write
this in California or Hawaii, come to Balkans!", but since the book is
addressed to a developing individual, not given as a school of thought or
perception of reality, we are free to take from it what we find useful. And
it is really a trove of useful points about each of us and relationships in
which we enter, often without really knowing what we want from it, or how to
achieve what we want.