I'm honored to have written the foreword for this terrific new book on relationships by Guy Finley. I've been following Guy's work for years because of
the deep wisdom he's able to express so accessibly. In reading this book, I was struck by how similar his advice for romantic relationships is to my
advice for the parent-child relationship.
It’s common wisdom that relationships are hard. They may begin with the magic of romance, but as we start to weave our lives together, tensions inevitably
surface. Differing needs, wants, and perspectives are part of every human relationship, and most of us don’t learn how to work through conflict constructively
while we’re growing up.
Most relationship books reassure us that fights are essential to work out our differences, as long as couples “fight fair.” But in Relationship Magic:
Waking Up Together, Guy Finley issues a radical challenge to the assumption that fights with our partners can be healthy. After all, what does a fair
fight look like when each person is sure they’re right? We think we’re defending something important, so we lash out; we use our knowledge of our partner’s
tender places to wound; we insist that our partner concede that we’re right and they’re wrong. Somehow, we think that holding our partner responsible
for our pain will stop it from hurting. Too often, even when we try to “fight fair,” our fights leave a trail of wreckage. And because most fights
end in stalemates that don’t resolve anything, the same conflicts simmer and erupt repeatedly, solidifying into barriers that create a growing distance
Many couples try to avoid destructive fighting, but the alternative is usually storing up unexpressed grievances. Unfortunately, research confirms the
wisdom many couples learn from painful experience: this strategy leads to resentment and contempt, which inevitably erode love.
It’s not surprising that most couples feel trapped between these two damaging paths—fighting, or stuffing our needs—neither of which leads
to the relationship we know in our hearts is possible. But what if there were another answer? What if you could avoid damaging fights altogether, but
instead of accumulating resentments, you could use those challenging moments to grow? What if you could turn any heated exchange into a healing turning
That’s the Relationship Magic prescribed by Guy Finley in this book. Drawing on his many years as a spiritual teacher, Finley applies the timeless guidance
of spiritual growth to building intimate relationships, reframing our perspective on what’s actually happening when we fight and showing us how to
dissolve resentments to create the relationship we long for.
We often believe that our relationship clashes are caused by our partner’s failings, even if we don’t say that aloud. In our more fair moments, we blame
conflicting needs and wants. But Finley shows us how our relationship struggles are an expression of the pain we each carry and bring into our relationships.
That pain can’t be healed by visiting it on each other. It can be healed by the power of love.
In this book, Guy Finley gives you the tools to dissolve the pain causing distance between you and your partner and to strengthen your connection with
everyone you love. You’ll learn how to use the power of love to heal recurring conflicts. You’ll learn how to stop any fight before it starts.
This book will also show you how to renew your relationship, clearing away the stagnant resentments and rekindling your passion. Couples often complain
that they just don’t “feel the love in the same way any more.” Finley points out that for love to flourish, it must be constantly renewed, and shows
us how to do that. Love isn’t a feeling we either have or don’t have. Love is a choice we make minute by minute.
The magic in this book is learning how to let love be your answer. Just as love for their children gives parents the motivation to heal their ability to
love unconditionally, romantic partnerships give us the opportunity and the incentive to dissolve the old patterns that limit us. By showing us our
hidden triggers, supporting us to bring our conscious awareness to the pain we carry, and blessing us with the grace of healing, our love for our partner
becomes the catalyst for our own growth.
At core, every choice we make is between love and fear. In this book, Guy Finley shows us how to choose love even in those moments of pain and drama, use
the power of love to become better human beings, and create the relationship we long for.