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If it seems as if Krantzler is working backwards--from Creative Divorce (1974) to Creative Marriage--it may reflect an upswing in his personal fortunes. He went from divorce after 24 years of matrimony to remarriage four years ago, with the resulting insight that ""the grass can be greener inside your relationship rather than outside it."" To this end, he divides marriage up into six successive phases; identifies ""triangles"" that queer the relationship (not so much another person, usually, as a skewed concept of self or marriage); and urges us to meet the challenges of each given phase. This shotgun wedding between marital self-help and Sheehy-like stage theory does have its credible moments, particularly when illustrated (at great length) by the tumultuous marriage of one ""Nina and David""--long since reconciled to the Is-My-Past-the-Only-Future?--Marriage (ages 50 to 65), and heading for the Summing-Up-Marriage of age 65 and beyond. Anyone can figure out that most people go through an early-marriage stage where they adjust to the notion of couplehood, strained finances, etc.; a career-conscious stage; a child-rearing stage; and a transition to middle age. But Krantzler takes the clichÉs one step further, so that each ""challenge"" comes down pretty much to shifting one's perspective, working at better communication and understanding, and sticking with the commitment to ""mutual development."" Just another grow-together-and-yet-separately marriage guide; but it's packaged with sufficient craft to ensnare the same audience that believed in Creative Divorce.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1981
Publisher: McGraw-Hill