By Emma L. Wells

Relationship experts Dr. Lana Staheli and Dr. Pepper Schwartz are taking their dating advice to a new level of efficiency in Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls. In their new book about love, they offer quick, clear, practical fixes — or snaps — that couples can use to improve the day-to-day problems that often occur in relationships and love. The authors have identified 40 different situations that many couples face and 40 specific strategies for dealing with them. It’s the do-it-yourself marriage counseling book that we’ve all been waiting for! This relationship advice covers issues ranging from small, everyday squabbles to larger disputes that emerge over the course of a long-term love, offering couples an alternative to expensive discussion-based therapy.

Helpful Relationship Advice in New Book About Love

Being that you both are seasoned writers, what relationship trends made you realize that this book needed to be written?

In our experience, couples often get stuck on small issues that become the focal point of their relationships and love. They will have the same argument repeatedly with the same outcome…and still they continue. This circular banter undermines the trust and intimacy between them. Lengthy therapy is often simply not an option; it can be costly and time-consuming. We are offering simple strategies that we have both tested and found effective and efficient.

Related Link: Dr. Karl Pillemer Interviews Hundreds of Americans for ’30 Lessons on Loving’

You write about everyday relationship pitfalls. Can you give us some examples?

Some pitfalls include: not keeping the relationship front and center in your life; letting the relationship become “routine”; giving your partner advice that comes off as criticism and is unwanted; forgetting good manners; and believing you can say anything to your significant other because that’s what you are feeling. These are all damaging behaviors and attitudes.

Out of the 40 fixes you offer in your book about love, what is your favorite one? 

We think the first chapter, “Redundant Conversations,” is the most important because it is a widespread pattern and couples don’t realize how damaging it can be. Consider the snap: “If there is no new news, why are we talking about this again?” Rehashing old wounds and wars will only create more stress and teach your partner to tune you out. If you think you are going to change your their mind by repeating old conversations, think again.

Experts Discuss Common Problems and Solutions in Relationships and Love

What are the biggest difficulties that newlyweds face in their relationships and love? 

Many of the newlywed issues are the same ones that couples will encounter throughout their relationship — primarily keeping the relationship fresh and lively. Sex drops 25 percent in the first year of marriage, and as the relationship ages, it can decline even further. We think an annual upgrade is important; it is easy to fall into patterns over time that make the relationship nothing special.

Putting your relationship ahead of other responsibilities and obligations is difficult, but it needs to happen. Sharing new experiences, planning regular sex dates, and creating new memories together keep a relationship fresh and dynamic. Another great resource for couples of all ages is Dr. Schwartz’s recent book, Places for Passion: The 75 Most Romantic Destinations in the World.

Related Link: ‘Messy Beautiful Love’ Author Darlene Schacht: “True Love Doesn’t Happen By Accident”

As people who give a lot of relationship advice, what is the best relationship advice you have ever been given?

My mother-in-law once told me, “The things that drive you crazy about him are the same qualities you admire in him. He is focused, intense, creative, and independent, and he likes change. That’s who he is and always will be.”

Can you give us an example of a celebrity couples that seems to have it all figured out? What about a famous couple that could benefit from Snap Strategies?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are a great couple. Obviously, they have passion for each other, and they treat their relationship and love with respect. Perhaps equally important is a shared passion: to help others. They use their fame to draw attention to world issues; they have shared values, and they walk the walk.

Recently divorced pair Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams just didn’t seem to have enough time for each other. The more couples have in common, the easier it is to find a common path. We can imagine that this Hollywood couple could have benefitted from our chapter, “Neglecting ‘US’,” and the snap, “Think of it as a threesome: you, me, and us.” An intimate relationship between partners is something bigger than each of you as individuals. Who you are, what you do, and the things you say— all of this changes when you commit to someone.

It is no longer just your own beliefs and experiences or just your partner’s. Now there is an “us” that has to be bigger than you or me. As Aristotle wrote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and that concept applies here. Together, you are more than you are separately. That is what the “us” does; it creates synergy or the increased effectiveness that results when two (or more) people work together. As you’ve probably guessed, creating the “us” is neither quick nor simple.

Related Link: Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams File for Celebrity Divorce

Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers?

We would like to explore alternatives to traditional marriage, considering that more than 50 perfect of new marriages end in divorce and nearly 70 percent of remarriages do. In my practice, couples have sometimes decided not to live together full-time, especially if they are over 50 and have been married before. Women say they don’t want to take care of a man, and men want to do their “thing” and don’t want someone to take care of them. They want someone to have fun with, travel with, and share enjoyable experiences — not a housemate. Others have decided not to marry, especially women who have enough economic resources on their own and value independence more than marriage.

Pick up your copy of Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls today!