Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Book Excerpt - Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage

About the Book  (In the Author's own Words)

The journey through “Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage” includes a trip through history, where the most significant lessons civilization has learned over the last few thousand years are used to demonstrate not only the way to set up a positive relationship, but the causes of that relationship turning negative.

Additionally, I dive into the science of psychology to answer the most basic question anyone asks who goes through the pain of divorce, “why didn’t we work out”?

The basic premise of the book is that we have a 50% divorce rate yet there doesn’t appear to be anything happening to help solve this problem. Just because divorce has become a significant part of our culture doesn’t mean we should simply sit back while countless families suffer through the agony of splitting up.

The toll to society tomorrow because of our culture of divorce today is impossible to determine but future generations will have to deal with this change to the culture that has occurred over the last two generations.

For the first time in history I elaborate on a psychological solution to our psychological problems so that couples can learn how to change the direction of their negative relationships. In essence, the psychological objective is to understand what happens mentally between two people who make one of the most important decisions of their lives, to get married.

The objective of this book is to provide real, logical help to couples so that they can learn how to stay out of the divorce trap. The bottom line is to learn how to set up your relationship so that you can maintain a happy, healthy, harmonious, loving, affectionate, intimate marriage.

About the Author

Renowned Wall Street analyst Tim Kellis takes on what could be considered society’s biggest problem today: divorce. The journey that led to him tackling such a significant issue was both personal and professional. After a successful career that eventually landed him on Wall Street, Tim met what he thought was the girl of his dreams, only to see that relationship end with bitterness and anger. The journey included work with a marital therapist, and after he discovered the therapist wasn’t really helping decided to tackle the issue himself.

Ambition and a strong aptitude for math helped lead Kellis to discover how to make relationships work. His math skills led directly to an engineering degree, nine years in the telecommunications industry, an MBA in finance, and finally on to Wall Street, where he became the very first semiconductor analyst to focus on the communications market.

After publishing a 300-page initiation piece entitled Initiating Coverage of the Semiconductor Industry: Riding the Bandwidth Wave, Kellis became a leading semiconductor analyst at one of the biggest firms on Wall Street. The experience he gained as a Wall Street analyst provided an excellent backdrop for becoming an expert on relationships, and resulted in his relationship book entitled Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage.

You can visit his website at www.happyrelationships.com or his blog at www.questforthehappyrelationship.blogspot.com.

Book Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Even the least knowledge of things superior is of greater value than the most extensive knowledge of things inferior - Thomas Aquinas

A most remarkable and curious fact about our society today is that in consideration of all our collective accomplishments- specifically, our democratic system of government, our discoveries in medicine, in science, in technology, along with our unprecedented material success, particularly in the last twenty years where we experienced growth not seen since the fifties and, before that, the twenties- that we have not yet cracked the code of the relationship! Today the concept of the relationship remains an enigma, one that can have devastating social impact if not resolved. Yet, even in light of these societal developments, our relationships today are more troubled than they have been in the history of human civilization. We have dug such a deep hole for ourselves that today fifty percent of people who utter those infamous words, “for better or worse,” decide that they can’t make it. These people take a fork in the road of life that leads them from the bliss of falling in love to the devastation of divorce. What an incredibly sad fact.

This incredibly important problem in our society has not been understood yet because it is much larger than a psychological problem. Philosophy actually gives us the solution, which includes psychology, but also, history, sociology, politics, religion, culture, education, capitalism, even anthropology, mythology, alchemy. Happiness is a philosophy, not a psychology. Happiness has been a part of civilization from the very beginning, thousands of years ago. Using the author’s love of history, the text enlightens the reader with societal issues from ancient civilizations to our modern world. From education to capitalism, from politics to religion, the book offers every conceivable reference upon which to draw the ultimate conclusion of just how to achieve a happy, lifelong relationship.

In truth, relationships do develop from the “falling in love” stage to the “staying in love” stage, yet ambiguity lies in each individual’s definition of love. All relationships get to a fork in the road during this transition where they can decide to take one path, a path to harmony and happiness, or the other path, that path to bitterness, anger, and sadness. If we are going to get to the bottom of the unrest of the relationship struggle then we must examine and learn about this proverbial fork, so that we may have the knowledge to make the right decision. Fortunately, the answer lies right under our nose, there for the taking.

The objective of the journey you are about to embark on is a simple one. The underlying concept of our wonderful democratic system of government is that happiness and freedom can only occur when we think and feel equally, and we have one more final step to take. The root cause of our marital troubles today is one last fight for inequality and that is within our troubled relationships. For the traditional patriarchy concept of the relationship, a concept that has defined relationships for thousands of years, held that the man was in charge of the household, was responsible for the thinking part, while the woman was responsible for the development of the emotional bond, the feeling side of the psyche. Thanks to the equal rights movement, and the subsequent education and employment of women, and the development of the pill, which resulted in dating and man experiencing real feelings for the first time in history, imbalanced relationships have struggled dealing with the transition. True freedom and true equality can only occur when the two involved get to share equally in both the feeling side and the thinking side of the psyche of the relationship. You are about to learn how to do that.

For thousands of years we have been developing a most basic concept, one that simply presents the ability to resolve this perplexing issue. We have been learning the notion of common sense since the dawn of time and now we get to use it. Common sense, the antecedent to common law, is society’s definition of how we are supposed to think, feel and behave. Common sense is not something that should be sneered at but, instead, something that should be grasped as the basis for how two people are going to come together in love to take on life’s many, many, many challenges. Life’s struggles occur on a daily basis; and the great thing about common sense is that it leads to two people taking on the world instead of each other.

A great man once said that once you have knowledge then you cannot return it, and the knowledge does exist. As it turns out, history provides the key link for getting to the root of the problem because with history comes lessons, and boy we have had many. History enables learning, both individually and as a collective society. One of the most significant elements of the journey you are about to embark on is the lessons of history, what was learned with some of the most significant experiences civilization has gone through as it developed, as it grew up. If you want to understand not only how to have a successful relationship but what are the causes of unsuccessful relationships you can gain the best insight by looking at the big picture. Yes, the stories you are about to read present large examples of society becoming civilized and these stories present the best examples for each and every one of us to learn from.

And so, we have been learning to think. Over the last hundred years we have had an unprecedented number of individuals who have developed the ability to think. This shouldn’t be taken lightly, for it has never happened before to so many people. We can think to the point that many of us know how to use a computer. Could you imagine going back in time and telling individuals that eventually the masses would understand how to use a computer? They would have probably laughed at you. Today things are different. Thinking is such a wonderful mental experience. Of course, feelings can be just as wonderful, if we could only understand how to develop the right ones. One of the great discoveries of science is that, contrary to the conventional wisdom of research, we as individuals do have free will, the ability to decide one path over the other. Yes, we can think.

The most basic requirement for understanding how to make a relationship work is to understand how the mind works. Remarkably, research into the mind has discovered only truly how the mind works over the last two decades, but the knowledge is finally here. Additionally, we have the work of the greatest psychologist who ever lived but whose work, unfortunately, has been lost to history because of its contradiction to the mainstream school of thought. Combining the work of the modern scientists and this great psychologist, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, provides us with a wealth of information on how the mind works. And this is absolutely essential to getting to the root of the causes of the conflicts in so many relationships. Contrary to the teachings of modern psychology we are not biological beasts but psychological beings.

The journey into understanding the workings of the relationship and the working of the mind is incredibly rewarding. If we place our life’s priorities in proper perspective, then we get to accomplish the ultimate goal, and that is the goal of happiness. Happiness is not a thing; it is a life process, a very challenging life process. But the rewards are very much worth the effort. With the proper relationship not only do the two people in it get to find individual happiness but happiness as a couple. Believe me, the rewards are worth it.

But we must pinpoint the ultimate issue that needs to be examined if we are going to make this venture a helpful one, and that is the struggle between faultfinding versus problem solving, the very foundation that provides the difference between success or failure. For the people who take the fork in the road that leads to divorce do so through faultfinding. Those who are successful face life’s many challenges through problem solving. And today, since we possess the ability to think, together we can figure out the solutions to these problems.

Common sense would tell us that the problems in our relationships can be resolved through an industry that has been developed whose function is supposed to be to help those with troubles, and that is psychology. Unfortunately, though, mainstream psychology remains one of the last bastions of society today that has yet to comprehend its ultimate function. The psychology industry has been struggling to develop a concise function because of the prejudices that have existed since the very beginning when the psychologist most associated with the industry by the common man and woman, Dr. Sigmund Freud, hypothesized that our behavior is determined by our biology, by our brain, which we are born with. This hypothesis has led to the conclusion that we are born with our troubles and there is nothing we can do about it. Every other element of society, from religion to capitalism, exists for the main purpose of helping its “customers” find some form of happiness. Capitalism itself exists because individual companies develop some product or service that helps some portion of its customer base’s life, helps makes its customers happy. Happiness is the key here. Common sense has held that happiness is the goal of life since the very beginning of civilization. When the very first cities accomplished the most amazing feat in history by discovering irrigation, society was able to successfully feed itself for the very first time. This discovery also led to the development of the ego, a development that we have been trying to learn how to balance since then.

If we are going to get to the bottom of our relationship troubles then we must develop within our own personal psyches the path to happiness, which requires us to understand the working of the mind. Mainstream psychology may believe that the mind is nothing more than the firing of neurons in the brain, but knowledge does exist which proves the exact opposite. Not only do we know that the mind exists, but we also know the components of the mind thanks to Carl Jung. As it turns out, Freud’s designated heir-apparent, Dr. Carl Jung, spent his entire life delving into the workings of the mind, which led to his understanding of the working of the most complex element of our minds, our unconscious. In order to solve our troubled relationships we must re-introduce Jung’s great discoveries of the working of the unconscious so that we can get to the root causes of the troubles within each of us that results in our relationships taking the wrong fork in the road.

To be sure, as any of us who have fallen in love knows, relationships are psychological experiences. The only possible way for anyone in an unhappy relationship to understand how to change the path of the relationship is to understand the basic components of the working of the mind, which is what this project is all about. To begin with, there are three components to all of us two internal and one external. The external component is our behavior and the internal components are our thoughts and feelings. And you are about to embark on a journey to discover the development behind all three. The key word here is development because behind our behaviors lie thoughts and feelings that have been developing since we were born. This journey that you are about to undertake looks at development from the perspective of the individual and of civilization.

We begin our journey by looking at the very beginning of each of our relationships, back to the time when our love life began, back to the time when our lives were irrevocably changed. For those of us who married for the right reasons, not because of looks or money, this part of the journey will be an emotionally charged one. Granted you may and probably do fall in love with someone because of looks and/or money but you stay in love because of something much more important, character. We then begin the examination of that fork, the pivotal point in all of our relationships when we decide which direction we want to take it in. We elaborate on the definition of happiness, the ideal path and the one that common sense would tell us to take. Our first example demonstrates the ideal situation, one where the two people involved learn to work together as a team.

Next we will take a look at the basis of the development of our behaviors, thoughts and feelings. We begin by looking at the concept that society has been trying to teach each and every one of us about the proper way to behave, common sense. We may look at common sense as a basic concept and that is because we as a society have done such a good job teaching it. The best way to explore the notion of common sense is by looking at a time when this notion was about to have its biggest change in the history of civilization, for the entire notion of democracy was a completely revolutionary idea. We get the clearest understanding of the change in common sense by looking at the revolutionary pamphlet published in 1776 entitled Common Sense, by Thomas Paine.

Next we briefly look at the fundamental cause of problems in negative relationships. One discovery of mine is that the difference between successful relationships and unsuccessful ones is the concept of problem solving vs. faultfinding as couples learn to behave together. Completing our journey into behavior we examine the root cause of each of our individual behavior, character. Before we can explore a way to redirect our behavior in a positive manner we must understand the root causes behind it. Before our democratic and capitalistic society became so successful character was a significant part of individuals of society. We simply need to relearn this concept.

Next we explore that proverbial fork in the road, where couples learn to either handle the inevitable conflicts that most certainly arise when you bring two independent people together as one as disagreements or arguments. We begin the discussion by looking at examples of the greatest disagreements civilization has ever seen that did not lead to wars, the disagreements between corporations and our system of democracy. We are talking about disagreements that led to the antitrust movement, the development of monopolies. Then we begin exploring the other side of the disagreement vs. argument question by looking at the feelings behind the experience of fault finding. Afterwards we break down arguments into their components in what I have termed The Hierarchy of the Argument.

We then begin our journey into the inside of our minds. First we look at the components of consciousness within each and every one of us. We look at the development of our thoughts and feelings. We begin by looking at the development of the logical side of society by examining the development of our education system. After all, it is much more logical to look at the development of thoughts than the development of feelings. After looking at the big picture we will then look at an individual example of the development of thinking, and that is my personal journey. This is then followed by the personal development of the feeling side of my psyche. I then elaborate on my personal experience in a relationship that I had originally thought would go the distance, one that didn’t but provided me with the lessons elaborated here, which led to the writing of this book. I end this section by elaborating on my personal experience with a relationship that takes the path to bitterness and unhappiness. I end with asking the ultimate question that anyone who goes through this pain must ask. Why?

And then we get into the psychological discussion, beginning with a look at the history of the industry. Yes, we elaborate on the basic concepts of Freud, as well as the further development of those concepts. This then brings us to the current state of the art of psychology today, one that is most focused on trying to mend unhealthy relationships but has yet been unsuccessful. One of the basic premises behind this entire book is that we still have a fifty percent divorce rate and there doesn’t yet appear to be any improvement in that statistic. But there is help. Ironically, the most significant part of your journey will be in undertaking the discoveries of Jung. Dr. Carl Gustav Jung was such an accomplished psychologist that Freud had appointed him his heir-apparent referring to Jung as his son, before Jung broke with Freud over Freud’s basic theories. We end this section with the work of modern scientists who have only recently scientifically proven the notion that we as individuals think, providing the final key to helping each of us as individuals and couples. For the first time in history we will use the work of previous scientists to formulate a psychological solution to our psychological problems.

This brings us to the exciting part where we look into the question of why. Why are we supposed to have happy and healthy relationships? We then end with my personal example of never ending love. Yes, contrary to all of the skeptics out there, it is possible to fall in love and stay in love.

In essence the objective of your journey here is to make one of the most remarkable journeys any individual can make, the journey to discover yourself. The first and most important step for any successful relationship is for the individual to be happy with him or herself and this can only be accomplished by you realizing that you are, well you. This allows you to appreciate your strengths and work to overcome your weakness. And let me make a most emphatic point here. The definition of the individual has nothing to do with how much money or how beautiful he or she is, or the opposite. For the definition of the self is the internal quality of the individual. The objective is to appreciate the good qualities while working on the negative ones.

What in essence is done here is to demonstrate the differences between the positive relationship and the negative one. This requires not only elaborating on wonderful examples through the lessons of history but also includes my own personal journey. The names have been changed in the personal stories that are used to highlight a point, where the story can be construed as negative. Therefore, I have changed the name of my ex-fiancée to Suzanne. The name of the therapist we went to hoping to get help for our troubles has been changed to Dr. Willis. The names have not been changed in stories where there are not negative connotations.

The motivation behind taking on a project of this scale was a very personal one. Although I had had a successful career and a healthy social life, I had never met the girl who captured my heart until I met Suzanne, at 36 years of age. We fell in love, decided to get married, fought and broke up. The pain from that experience led to the writing of this book. My objective was to learn from this experience so that hopefully I could help others so they wouldn’t have to experience that pain. Just because we have a 50% divorce rate doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to figure out why. What you are about to read is my attempt at resolving that enigma.

Hopefully what you are about to read is helpful for you in your life. Enjoy the journey, you may just find your relationship back to its very wonderful beginnings, back when the two of you fell completely and madly in love.

Good luck!

Readers, your thoughts / comments are most welcome.
This Book Excerpt is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
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1 comment :

  1. Way to go Tim! The subject of marriage and divorce can be touchy at best, but I think you have handled it pretty well.

    ReplyDelete