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PASSIONATE MARRIAGE: Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
By David Schnarch, Ph. D.


Passionate Marriage bookPublished in 1997 by W. W. Norton & Co. (hard cover)
Published in 1998 by Owl Books (Henry Holt & Co., paperback)
Re-released in 2009 by W. W. Norton & Co. (paperback)

After 12 years helping couples around the world, Passionate Marriage is being re-released in the United States on April 27, 2009 (W.W. Norton & Co.). 

  • New release contains a new forward and key-concepts guide based on reader comments.
  • Passionate Marriage has become a perennial best-seller from of word-of-mouth advertising by its growing loyal readership. We appreciate your continued support.

Book Overview

In Passionate Marriage, Dr. David Schnarch organizes fourteen chapters into three sections which detail how his new approach to intimacy integrates hot sex with caring love:

  • In Section One, The Basics, Dr. David introduces differentiation and explains why this natural process of growth is the cornerstone of marriage. Five chapters build a new framework of sex, intimacy, sexual potential, and personal growth. This gives new meaning and utility to the natural ebb and flow of sexual desire and intimacy, and offers couples new options in their relationship. In chapters such as "Nobody's Ready for Marriage- Marriage Makes You Ready for Marriage," and "Sexual Desire-Who Wants to Want?," he explains why intimacy and desire are enormous challenges and not for the faint of heart.
  • Section Two, Tools for Connection, offers five chapters of explicit advice on how to have deeply meaningful sex and mind-blowing intimacy with your partner while you develop your sense of "self." Couples often adopt bedroom techniques that give the illusion of emotional connection and produce orgasms as quickly as possible. Dr. David draws couples out of this orgasm-centered mindset by focusing on ways to develop more intimate contact. He offers examples from his own clients and discusses such topics as "feeling while touching," the language of foreplay and kissing styles, and dimensions of sexual experience. Learn how to experience deeper sexual satisfaction through eyes-open sex. Chapters such as "Hugging 'Till Relaxed," "Eyes-Open Orgasm," and "Fucking, Doing, and Being Done" open new routes to romance and passion in long-term relationships.
  • Section Three, Observations on the Process, describes how sex and intimacy really operate in marriages. Dr. David provides an incredible "map" of a marriage's evolution, detailing how "two-choice dilemmas" (natural crucibles of differentiation) produce their own solutions. Sex and intimacy are part of the "people growing processes" embedded in love relationships. He reveals how differentiation is essential to dealing with difficult realities like normal marital sadism, balancing growth and stability in marriage, and when one partner refuses to grow. Chapters such as "Hold Onto Yourself: Your Crucible Survival Guide" and "Sex, Love, and Death," advise how partners can become more differentiated while getting closer to their partner, in order to develop the strength to love each other deeply.

Each section of this landmark publication contains material unlike you have encountered before. Unlike simplistic "how-to" books, Passionate Marriage provides a tightly integrated system of ideas and tools for couples seeking greater passion, intimacy, eroticism, and love. This unique book can help revive troubled relationships and bring out the best in good ones.

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