Power Snuggles, Your Path to Vibrant and Lasting Love

All relationships have a moment where communication goes out the window and a struggle for power overtakes common sense. Power Snuggles: Your Path to Vibrant and Lasting Love is the perfect guide to achieve peace and understanding in any relationship. Penned by therapists Jon and Beverly Meyerson, who counsel together as a married team, this self-help guide will teach couples to turn their power struggles into power snuggles.

The Meyersons have included eighty-one scenarios that are presented in engaging, quick story formats. They then analyze and resolve the challenges presented in each scenario to help readers approach their own unique situation. The perspectives of both Jon and Beverly shine through in this book, so neither side is left unheard. Some of the issues covered are The Blame Game, How We Learn to Love, How Arguments Evolve and How to Avoid Them, Melting Stress, Taking Steps for Greater Love, keeping things new and exciting, and getting to the deeper issues behind squabbles. By using the tips and techniques presented here, couples will achieve conversations they never thought possible while simultaneously creating a comfortable environment for change in their relationship.

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Rachel in Love

Rachel remembers that Sunday morning when Bradley’s dog ran toward her in the park and jumped up, begging to be petted. Bradley scolded, “Down Plato, down!” and he apologized profusely, but it was too late. Plato had already drawn muddy streaks on her jeans.

Rachel had said, “No major damage. He’s just a friendly dog.” Then Rachel and Bradley began chatting. Their smiles and chitchat led to conversation at an outside café with coffee and sticky buns. Plato was nearby lapping up a bowl of water.

Rachel’s thoughts return to the present, where she sits at her office desk. She pictures Bradley’s smile and how he holds her hand and speaks so engagingly about so many subjects. They have been dating for eight weeks. Actually, it has been seven weeks and five days, but Rachel likes the idea of eight weeks since that means almost two months. Now it’s Friday so they have ahead of them another full weekend together.

Rachel cannot imagine they will ever part, but her best friend, Kathy, had once been this in love. Now Kathy and her husband, Dan, argue right in front of her. Rachel and Bradley might marry and live together for the rest of their lives. However, to stay happily married, they will need to minimize their “Power Struggles” of couples like Kathy and Dan and learn to “Power Snuggle.”


Power Struggles

A Power Struggle is a disagreement that evolves into an argument. Each partner tries to “win” the argument, believing they are right. Each tries to control the other. Rather than listening, they up the ante to prove their point. They may become angry, tense, and loud. They feel stress throughout their bodies, causing both mental and physical damage.

During Power Struggles there is no winner. Even the apparent winner loses since their partner becomes resentful and tries to get even, compounding the turmoil. Because partners are not working toward a resolution by listening to each other, these conflicts may continue for months or years. If conflicts occur frequently, they may lead couples to the point where their relationship cannot be salvaged.

The following narrative illustrates a relatively simple Power Struggle:

Bill: Oh no! I forgot to use the 20 percent off coupon at the store.
Jill: I can’t believe you forgot to use it. You always forget things like that. You know we’re tight on money!
Bill: Why didn’t you remind me? And I don’t always do it. You know, you’re not perfect. Last week, you lost the key to the file cabinet, and it took us a day to find it.

Power Snuggles

A joyful, long-term relationship requires that we minimize Power Struggles and increase Power Snuggles. Power Snuggling practices loving behaviors, building safety and trust, which will temper difficult situations. Disagreements are unavoidable; however, by listening intently to each other and being open to each other’s suggestions, our collective ideas will lead to agreeable decisions. Power Snuggles focus on the “we” instead of the “me.”

Through Power Snuggles, love and affection will abound as we merge our best ideas and accept each other’s imperfections, understanding that no one is perfect. Power Snuggling allows us to grow by learning from each other, becoming best friends as well as lovers.

The following illustrates a relatively simple Power Snuggle:
Bill: Oh no! I forgot to use the 20 percent off coupon at the store.
Jill: No problem. I know you have a lot on your mind. I’ll use it on Thursday when I go out.
Bill: Thanks, Hon. (They hug.)

We have worked with hundreds of couples who were looking for ways to connect without daily conflicts. Through Power Snuggling, we have shown them how to capture the joy of long-term love, an even deeper form of love than the romantic love that initially attracts couples. The ideas and communication skills described in this book have worked successfully for most couples, as well as for singles seeking a loving relationship. If you are willing to try some new ideas, you too can realize the deep, loving couplehood you and your partner deserve.

Acknowledgments 13
Introduction: Rachel in Love15
I.  When Love Feels Safe and Warm
Feeling Safe20
How We Learn to Love22
The Beauty of Two 24
The Simplest Way to Warm a Relationship26
The Magic Potion of Music28
What Are Your Daily Highs and Lows? 30 

II.  How Do We Avoid Conflicts?

The Blame Game34
Who Should Control the Purse Strings?36
What Bugs You? 38
When Your Partner Won’t Decide40
She Just Can’t Take a Joke42
I Know What He’s Thinking! 44
Waiting for the Marshmallow46
How Arguments Evolve and How to Avoid Them 48
Avoiding “Exits” in Your Relationship50
You Have Power. Use it!52 

III. The Power of the Past

The Orange56
Messages from Your First Love 58
Emotional Allergies60
Admit it. You’re Criticizing Me!62
Mom, Marriage Isn’t What I Expected64 

Money, Money, Money66

Jon and Beverly’s Argument68
IV. Why Do We Argue over Loading the Dishwasher? & Other Stuff
Why Do We Argue over Loading the Dishwasher? 72
Company’s Coming!74
It’s Not Really about Socks on the Floor 76
The Facebook Fiasco 78
Hold Hands, Not Handhelds80
How Can Such a Little Remark Wreak Havoc?82
You Have to Get Rid of Your Stuff!84
Why Do I Have to Do It All?86
When Your Partner Tries to Control You88
V. Is My Partner Crazy?
Are You and Your Partner Living in the Same Country?92
Analytical Amanda 94
Ms. Dreamer vs. Ms. Practical96
Neat vs. Messy 98
You’re Always Late!100
Eric Efficiency102
What Could She Be Thinking?104
Understanding Angry Andy106
Heather the Helper108
VI. In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other Complex Forces
You Love Your Mom More Than Me112
Meddling Mom 114
Balancing a Blended Family116
Easing Our Hectic Lives 118
Help! I Need Time for Myself! 120
You Know How Men Are! 122
Don’t Change Who I Am 124
Say Something! 126
Priorities, Priorities 128
Let Your Pet Settle Your Quarrels 130
Melting Stress 132
VII. The Enigma of Love
Avoid the Golden Rule to Improve Your Relationship
When Being Right Is Wrong 138
But I Thought He Was the Perfect Guy! 140
You Don’t Have to Say “I Love You”
to Say I Love You 142
What Makes a Happy Marriage? 144
If You Win, You Both Lose
You Met Your Partner by Chance, Didn’t You?148
Unfair Games
Being Together yet Feeling Alone
It’s Never Too Late154
VIII.  Taking Steps for Greater Love

How Long Should I Wait? 158

Build—Don’t Steal—Your Partner’s Poker Chips160
How to Talk so Your Partner Listens 162

A Three-Minute Relationship Change 164

The Impressive Benefits of Sexual Intimacy 166
Let’s Talk about Sex
Learning to Love after Infidelity 170

This Will Always Please Your Partner 172

A Powerful Way to Love 174

When Your Relationship Goes “Blah” 176

Counting the Ways He Doesn’t Love Me 178

When Your Partner Needs Help 180

IX.  What Is Love All About?

Why Do We Love? 184

The ABCs of Caring 186

We Are All Born to Love 188

The Gift of Wishes 190

Creating Loving Cells 192

The Missing Cups of Tea and Thee 194
Our Upside-Down View of Love 
X. Rachel in Love
The Journals of Rachel and Bradley 200
Understanding Rachel and Bradley’s Relationship217

Praise for Power Snuggles

“In a warm, readable style, Power Snuggles offers rich insights in understanding—and improving—the common disconnects that can build into heavy intimate-relationship burdens. Through charming vignettes, the Meyersons demonstrate empathy for both sides of such relatively universal marital frictions then offer sound suggestions for mutually positive reconnection. A delight to read, and re-read.” —Laura Mestelman, retired clinical psychology service (psychometrist), McMaster University Medical Centre

“Jon and Beverly’s new book, Power Snuggles, seizes on some of the best research from the marriage and family sciences, blending that research with the warmth of story and anecdote. As a practicing therapist, as well as an instructor of marriage and family therapy, I highly recommend this book.” —Dr. Robb Palmer LMFT, Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy,  Graduate School of Marriage and Family Studies, Evangelical Seminary

“Your Snuggles are warm, encouraging, human, and SO approachable for couples. You model good, straightforward, loving, and playful communication. We often forget the incredible healing force of play and humor. This book should be mandatory reading for all couples!” —Joal Ann Bennett-Stenzel, LCSW, couples psychotherapist

“ It is with pleasure that I recommend the Meyersons’ book, Power Snuggles. I have found sharing various stories within Power Snuggles as a way to help military couples hear their own struggles, without criticism or defensiveness. When in pain, it is difficult to remember a time when you were not in pain. These stories remind us that we are not alone.” —Johnny Cusimano, Social Services Assistance Coordinator, Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia 

“Everyone needs to read this book!  It is fabulously enlightening, easy, fun to read and re-read. I’ve been waiting for Beverly and Jon to write this book since their first one, After the Glass SlipperPower Snuggles is a great guide to help clients improve their relationships, showing them how to move from Power Struggles to truly resolving issues. Their stories, examples, exercises, and advice help with the biggest issue we all share: how to communicate with someone we love, our opposite.” —Donna C. Fortney, LPC, Advanced Imago Relationship Therapist; past president, Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors

“I love the Meyersons’ down-to-earth writing: entertaining, normalizing, and easily digested therapeutic truths ranging from neuroscience, Hollywood, and sports to everyday life stories. This is a book with the best of relationship wisdom that I can give to my family, in addition to clients, without appearing to ‘therapize.’” —M. Dorsey Cartwright, LPC, LMFT, CCMHC, past president, Austin Chapter of the Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

“As an individual who does extensive pre-marital and post-marital counseling, I can offer an enthusiastic endorsement of Power Snuggles. I find the book valuable in that it is co-authored by a husband-and-wife team representing Erich Fromm’s differentiation between male and female perspectives.” —Rabbi Harold S. White, spiritual advisor, Interfaith Families Project of Greater Washington, D.C.

Power Snuggles –– what a great title that captures the great gift that Jon and Beverly have given us. This is a power-packed handbook of tools and techniques that can help each of us develop and maintain a loving relationship. It’s both down-to-earth and soaring to great heights simultaneously. Thanks for the gift; thanks for the toolbox.” —Dr. Bernard S. Arons, psychiatrist,  Director of Medical Affairs, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C.

“Jon and Beverly, husband-and-wife therapy team, exquisitely tackle most issues couples may experience with a story to which we can relate, accompanying humor, and a bit of analysis, and each solution to a particular issue takes only two pages. This book is a much-needed jewel.” —Rev. Stephen Parker, Episcopal priest

“I have enjoyed reading your ‘Power Snuggles’ newsletters, and I frequently send them to my couples clients, who enjoy them as well and find the guidance very helpful. Thank you for your creativity and wisdom. Good stuff!” —Margery Silverton, LCSW-C, Director, Relationship Counseling Services

“This is an engaging book. It is very clever with nicely distilled theories that even the layman can understand.” —Judith Asner, MSW, BCD, LCSW-C, psychotherapist

“My husband and I have been married for sixty-nine years! It is amazing, even at our age, how often the advice in Power Snuggles gets to the root of some of our problems and helps us resolve them. We have advice for younger couples: It is never too late to improve your love relationship.” —Doris Miller, retired English teacher and wife

“Relationship lies at the heart and soul of who we are and what we do. In their book Power Snuggles, Beverly and Jon address relationship issues in a clear, meaningful manner, providing key insights into relationship stressors and practical steps to overcome that which threatens or undermines what we hold dear.” —Jane Ferguson, Safeguarding Coordinator/Support Person for Survivors, Spiritan Provincialate, Dublin, Ireland