From New York Times bestselling author Michael Gurian comes a groundbreaking plan for happiness in love and marriage that shows you how to build healthy boundaries, work through past hurts, and create greater intimacy by maintaining emotional separateness.Become separate from your partner yet also become closer—sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? With twenty-five years of family and marital counseling practice, Michael Gurian shows that “intimate separateness” is the key to creating a healthy partnership in life. Recent university studies show that the most frequent reason relationships dissolve is not abuse, alcoholism, money, or even infidelity, but rather a lack of emotional fulfillment. Most books on love and marriage focus on teaching communication and conflict skills, but neglect to help couples with the “other half” of intimacy—separateness. In this practical yet personal guide to love, Gurian details the benefits of creating a lifelong balance of closeness and separateness. He outlines a twelve-stage model created for his own private practice, which provides long-term goals and focal points for dialogue that can help couples work through arguments. Gurian also delves into differences in white and gray matter between the male and female brain (which may explain the varying needs for intimacy and separateness), differences in verbal and emotive development, and the effects these all have on relationships. Rich with examples and case studies, this book presents strategies for communication and conflict that build more emotional balance, while showing how intimate separateness can be the key to lifelong happiness.