The Marriage Manifesto

The Marriage Manifesto

Cover Art by Kristen K. Vanden Hoek

Praise for The Marriage Manifesto (from Amazon)

“I’ve spent several hundred dollars over the years buying books that would fall under self help but this has to be the best buy of all.” ~ Candace

“…while the advice Dr. Flanagan gives can truly change the way we look at marriages, the most powerful thing he does is inspire us to live out our relationships in a way that transforms the world around us, making marriage a vehicle for revolution. Read this book. Now.” ~ Luke

“I have rarely recommended a new book so specifically and frequently as I have this one. It has become a standard assignment to many of the pre-married and married couples who come to see me for relationship help.” ~ Tim

“I encourage everyone to read this book…it will give you plenty of new ways to look at your marriage.” ~ Jennifer

“I’m relishing the prospect of creating my own mini-uprising of unconditional love in my corner of the world.” ~ Megz

“This book left me feeling hopeful and excited…I highly recommend it.” ~ Kim

What is The Marriage Manifesto?

From the moment of birth, we are wired for relationship and connection. And for most of us, the search for authentic companionship culminates in marriage. But the reality rarely matches the promise. Approximately half of marriages end in divorce. And for those who remain married, the daily task of love can be challenging at best and excruciating at worst.

The Marriage Manifesto reveals why our best efforts in marriage so often fail:

Have you ever tried to wash the odor of chlorine from your skin after swimming in a pool? It’s almost impossible to do, isn’t it? When we swim in chlorinated waters, the ingredients are soaked into our fibers and only time and distance can rid us of them.

We swim through our lives in a global culture chlorinated by consumerism—the worldview in which everything can be commodified, or assigned a value based upon its usefulness to us. In our world, we are encouraged to ignore the intrinsic value of all things and to assign value to everything based upon what it will do for us.

And this worldview can saturate our marriages, as well, without us even realizing it. If we expect our marriages to meet our every need, when the “product” doesn’t deliver, we will fight to “customize” our spouses and ultimately trade them in for a “better model.”

Unfortunately, most approaches to marriage explore its complexities from within the consumer mindset. But if we hope to truly redeem our marriages, we must overthrow everything we have been encouraged to believe about what marriage represents. Our marriages must become a rebellion: a site of anarchy in a world dominated by a focus on self.

We must turn our world upside down.

The Marriage Manifesto is not a self-help book with a list of solutions or three easy steps to a satisfied marriage. It is a call to rebellion. It is the anti-self-help book, challenging us to turn our consumer world on its head and to make marriage the birthplace of a new way of living.

In The Marriage Manifesto, we will explore how sacrifice, commitment, unity, vulnerability, companionship, wonder, and gratitude are not simply attractive aspirations, but the ingredients of revolution. Are you ready to participate in an insurrection?

Who is the Author?

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist, with a Ph.D. from Penn State University. He began his study of marriage as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He went on to study marriage in graduate school at Penn State University. His Master’s thesis focused on the ways couples use humor to de-escalate marital conflict. His dissertation explored the ways that core emotional needs influence the creation and resolution of marital conflict.

Kelly’s approach to marriage has been shaped and honed by more than a decade of clinical work with couples from a wide range of cultures. And his writing about marriage has been influenced in the last year by the wise and challenging comments and questions of the followers of his blog, UnTangled.

eBook Description

The Marriage Manifesto is approximately 12,000 words, or 60 traditional paperback pages. Approximately two-thirds of the book is a compilation of my blog posts about marriage, which have been revised, expanded, and integrated based upon reader feedback. The remaining third of the book is exclusive content available nowhere else.

The eBook is now available for FREE to new blog subscribers. Click here to subscribe!

If you prefer not to subscribe, or if you simply prefer to have a final version that is user-friendly for your e-reader, it is now available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Angie

    I am a current subscriber and would like to download your ebook. Could you provide me with a link?

    • Jennifer

      Hi. I’m also a current subscriber who would like to download the book. I’ve also just called your office to inquire about potentially becoming a new client. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Kelly

    I am with Angie! I am a current subscriber and would like the ebook! Is that possible?

  • drkellyflanagan

    Hi Kelly and Angie, If you still have your email dated December 11, there is a link in that email by which you can immediately download the book. However, I’m aware that amidst the bustle of the holiday, many people lost track of that email. So, you’re request is my command! On Tuesday I will post again about the eBook and your email that day will again contain a link to download the book. Hope you enjoy!

    • Jennifer

      Hi Dr. Flanagan,

      I’m also a current subscriber who would like to download the book. I’ve also just called your office to inquire about potentially becoming a new client. I look forward to hearing from you.

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  • Tracy

    How do I download the marriage manifesto? I didn’t see a link anywhere.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Tracy, If you have entered your name in the email subscription form in the right sidebar, you should receive a confirmation email and a welcome email, which both contain a link to the eBook. If you didn’t receive the confirmation email, first check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, let me know and we’ll figure something out, okay? So glad you found us here at UnTangled!

  • Chrystal

    I would like Marriage Manifesto ebook & I signed up my husband on facebook Jameswork11 not sure how.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Chrystal, Glad you found the blog! Unfortunately, the eBook can’t be delivered through Facebook. To get the book, enter your email address in the box at the top of the right sidebar and click on the subscribe button. You will then receive a confirmation email that will contain a link to download the book. I hope you enjoy it!

      • LateNightReader

        Many thanks. I discovered your site last evening…..have thoroughly enjoyed reading past topics and look forward to receiving more of your admirable postings.
        I have tried several times to subscribe, completed the form, but do not receive the confirmation email…thoroughly checked that it’s not lurking in my JUNK MAIL. Consequently, I can’t download your well acclaimed ebook. Please advise.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Chrystal, I also just added a link in the eBook description above that will take you directly to a signup form. Thanks for pointing out that this wasn’t very clear!

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  • Ktlady

    Dr. Kelly, I would like to thank you for the complimentary eBook. I read the entire 57 paged life and relationships manual from the moment it downloaded, right through the author’s note. I have come across many grief books on divorce and loss of a loved one–even having unsuccessfully started a number of self-helps, but I couldn’t put yours down. I’m a Type 2 Loser and the ease and honesty with which you write spoke to me like a dear friend. I so value your use of life experience as a tool for developing your work in a professional yet profoundly personal manner. I applaud the consciousness with which you tackle the complexity of this world. I look forward to sharing this with my Type 3 friends, even more with my fellow Type 2 friends who really need it, and just about anyone living or dating I know. Thank you!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You are very welcome, Ktlady! I’m glad it resonated so deeply with you and I hope your friends will find it helpful, too!

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  • Windy

    I just read your letter to your daughter about the “oppressive magazine aisle” in department (and all other) stores. WOW!! What an amazing father you are. And, not only did you write that letter to your baby, but to every other beautiful, struggling (teen years are TOUGH!), doubtful, not-yet confident daughter out there. I was her once and would have benefited tremendously from your sage advice. I learned on my own and came out on top, but your words are a beacon to many. God bless ViralNova for forwarding your wisdom and you for sharing it. I cannot wait to start reading your eBook. I just downloaded it. Wishing you all the best, and keep on blogging!!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Windy, I hope you enjoy the book!

  • Paige Wolfe

    I just read your post about redefining beauty for your daughter… Although I’m a mom to two rambunctious boys, I appreciate the love you poured out to your daughter and the wisdom you shared. I hope I can raise my boys to appreciate true beauty of the soul, not just makeup on a face. 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’ve got a couple of those, too, Paige. Best of luck to you as you try to mold all that energy without breaking it!

  • A. Johnson

    So I signed up, got the confirmation email & clicked on it. How do you get the free ebook? Anybody know? Thanks for any help.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Are you still having trouble?

      • A. Johnson

        Thanks. I got it now. I didn’t realize I had to subscribe a second time. Sorry for the trouble.
        I’m looking forward to reading it now.

  • Doris

    Thank You Dr Flanagan for your most enlightening and encouraging words in your letter to your daughter . Like most friends have already shared, you sure have connected to every girl out there ! Just wish that the,meaningful people in our lives also think the same. For those that already bear the outlook you share, the superficial never matters.However, it is the few near and dear ones who do not get it that are yet to have a discerning eye. Having said that , it is definitely a very brave choice to make.Thank you for making me feel so much better. 🙂 God Bless you !

    • drkellyflanagan

      I’m glad my words have helped you feel better, Doris. Blessings to you, too!

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  • lola

    How amazing. So touched

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  • Leader of the Masses

    I’ve subscribed and am unable to figure out how to download the Marriage Manifesto. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    • drkellyflanagan

      When you subscribe and then confirm your subscription, you should receive a “Welcome” email containing a link to the book. If you did, just click the link, the book will appear, and you can choose how to save it. If you didn’t get the email, check your spam folder and add my contact to your address book. If neither of those options work, let me know and we’ll keep trouble shooting it!

      • Debra Edwards

        I am having the same problem. I have been a subscriber to your blog for some time now, and have no other emails with a link to the download. I would love to have the book, and even tried to sign up to the blog again but that did not work. Any way I could be sent the link again? Thank you for your help!

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  • Dana Sheets

    I got here by reading the letter to your daughter on Facebook, but the Marriage Manifesto is groundbreaking!! My husband and I have been working with getting our church focused on the importance of working on their marriages for over a year, and this will a recommended read for those in our group!! Thank you for putting real perspective on the world vs. marriages!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Great to hear it resonated with you, Dana, and I hope it can bear fruit in your community!

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  • tee

    I don’t have children but I have 2 beautiful nieces that are young and impressionable.
    I overheard a conversation between the 2 the older one (8) asking the younger one (7) what she thought of her thighs. I was mortified! I quickly asked them why they were asking one another those questions.
    The older one replied that it is what one girl asked her at school. I was saddened to hear such things coming from an 8 year old. I asked the younger one what she thought. She told me she had been picked on at school. Kids can be so cruel to one another. It’s sad to think that an 8 and 7 year old think of the body image already. I think school teachers need to have a more active roll in educating things about the power of knowledge and education and self respect for these kids and stamping out what the media bombards these kids at such a young age. I worry about how these kids are so easily influenced by it all. Kids are just growing up at such a rapid rate… It’s scary! What ever happened to childhood?

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  • Todd Lubins

    Hi, is it possible to download the book in any other format other than a pdf?

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Todd, Right now the book is only available for free in PDF format. However, you can, for a small fee, purchase it in Kindle or Nook formats, by following the links in the page above. I can foresee a time in the future when I might make it available for free in those formats for a period of time, but for now, it’s just the PDF. I hope you get a chance to read it!

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  • Julie

    I am desperately hoping to send a hard copy of this book to my fiance in jail. We will be married on November 8th and I was just profoundly inspired by the perfection of your article, “the 9 most overlooked … he has to receive a brand new hard copy of books through a store or manufacturer, he can not receive, electronic editions or printed editions from me. Can you help me? Please? Also he has a long hard story as to why he has become an addict and ended up in the “system”, please try not to judge our circumstance. Thank you so much for your time, kindness and consideration. I am having a hard time downloading the free edition as well.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Hi Julie, Unfortunately, the book is not available in hardback at this time. In the future it likely will be, but for now there is only the electronic addition. Also, please feel free to email me and I can help with any problems you’re having with the download.

      • PJ Stevens

        Is it possible, Julie, for the prison to allow Dr. Flanagan to print it & send it to your fiance? I have a loved one in prison, so I understand why it can’t come from you. But I’d call your fiance’s classifications officer & see if that would be possible, since Dr. Flanagan would be sending it directly from “him” (a business). Obviously, this would be if Dr. Flanagan is willing to do this.

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  • separationcs

    An audio book would be awesome.

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  • Sam

    I have a question. What can you do when you are the one fighting for your marriage but your partner is lazy and only fighting with you, because they take offense to the very thought of drama? My partner sees my attempts to get us both to work on things as me stirring up drama where , if I would just leave everything be, in his mind, there wouldn’t be any. Which simply isn’t true because he lives his life in the shallow end of the pool and is knee-jerk reactionary and a blow hard when anything is ” too serious” and it is always my fault in his mind for not just letting things be. It is terribly frustrating to feel that I am the life-support system. It is the horse lead to water scenario that no matter what I put before him and share with him that could make things better, unless he actually WANTS to do it, he won’t drink. Period and I am the dramatist for saying, hey this is not working and here is what we can try to make it better, in my opinion. What to do with that? any feedback in your experience? thank you.

    • Tabbylover

      Walk away

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  • Tabbylover

    I subscribed a while ago but never received a copy. Can I still download it?

    • Absolutely. Just email me via the link on the about page, and we’ll get you hooked up!

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