Welcome to the official website of Dr. Jerry L. Cook, author of Grow Your Marriage by Leaps and Boundaries.
This must-read book teaches spouses to negotiate appropriate boundaries between their marriage and the rest of the world. Guaranteed to change the way you think about the physical, financial, parental, and many other boundaries in your relationship, this book will make your marriage stronger than ever before. Find out more…
A couple years ago, Sarah and I wrote “The Parents’ Guide to Raising CEO Kids.” In it, we showed how hundreds of families were able to help their child develop business principles and skills. While creating a business was important, even more important was how these skills were benefiting the child in life and would help them in future relationships.
Let’s take a quick look at three of these skills or characteristics. They include:
#1. Vision—having a sense of purpose and motivation
#2. Action—willing to work for achieving their vision
#3. Attitude—balancing their dreams with the here-and-now needs of life
Let’s take a “look” at Vision first. Many marriages get caught in a rut, perhaps out of a sense of normalcy, boredom, or predictableness. But what is it that you and your spouse want to accomplish or experience in life? On an individual level, you could consider your own sense of Vision in marriage—who are you going to be for your spouse and marriage, and why?
Action is often referred to as “hard work,” which everyone considers essential for marriage. It’s also important to love that work if you’re going to succeed. So when you are investing or contributing anything to your spouse, do you find a way to enjoy it or are you grumpy about it?
Attitude refers to the balancing of thoughts and emotions, and it’s best done by making sure you’re balancing your schedule. Are you doing the things that are most important? Did you know that one of the most common causes of stress is living inconsistent with one’s values? What are your core values in life and how can your marriage help you achieve those needs? PS. “Like” my Facebook page and you may have some of your comments included in my upcoming posts!
A couple years ago, I became really curious as to what my children were learning from society about marriage. While marriage was taught as a wonderful thing in our house, it seemed like our children were hearing about a weekly break-up or breakdown in married couples.
My son, 7 years old at the time, had a good friend whose parents divorced. When I asked my son if he understood why, he said what his friend told him. “His parents just didn’t get along.” It is a pretty common response, and I know there are those who suffer great things from their spouse, but for the most part “not getting along” often means losing the zest in their relationship or not doing things together anymore. My daughter, 11 at the time, would also occasionally make comments about other families, and I could tell she was creating a standard of the kind of family she would want—and accept. My son, then 14, was in high school, and either through curriculum or friends, was often encouraged to believe things I felt were damaging for relationships. The media also celebrates one-night stands and the Kardashian’s of the world get tons of free publicity.
Call it selfish, but I wanted my children to know how I believed about marriage. I wanted them to know that marriages could last, could be happy, and that setting standards was a very good thing for that relationship as long as they were the right standards. While written for adults, I hope they will read it someday, before AND after they get married.
Knowing where to draw the line for your marriage to protect it is not an easy thing. Everyone assumes everyone knows right and wrong, but that sense of morality is often situational and depends on the family we grew up in. Two people, who love each other very much, can have serious problems simply because they assume each should show that love through certain behaviors.
Learning where and how to draw the line is everything that “Grow Your Marriage by Leaps and Boundaries” is about. It focuses on how to stand up and stand by your spouse, and together as a couple, decide what you will let into your circle of influence. You will decide how physical affection with the opposite sex affects each of you, how to talk about finances, and how your faith can improve your marriage.
Does a real man look twice?
I’ve heard many guys say, “A man will look once, but a real man will look twice.” This statement/joke has always bothered me, and this is why.
When men see a beautiful woman, then choose to keep looking, a chemical reaction literally takes place. (Actually, it takes place the first time we look, but continuing to look makes it that much stronger). They’re called endorphins. Endorphins are the brain’s chemistry for reducing pain and making us feel good; the longer we look, the more or stronger the endorphins.
While endorphins are needed in the body, they can also distort reality and how we feel about our own marriage. Like a drug, who (or what) you are looking at becomes the source of pleasure and mild intoxication. And like a drug, it alters the brain—and you wonder, “Why don’t I feel this way around my wife?”
Some guys have argued there’s nothing wrong with appreciating beauty, much like a work of art. In my opinion, guys who visit that museum of thought are often looking at a woman like she’s a piece of meat. What do you think?
I was initially quite nervous to be interviewed on BYU Radio (including AM and Satellite stations) because of its audience reach and the reality that several of the people I knew would be listening in. But thank goodness it went great, and I really appreciate the opportunity! Feel free to click on the links below. . .
Part 1 starts at the 7:40 mark (Marriage Boundary Basics).
Part 2 (Examples of boundaries, and how to deal with conflict in marriage)