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December 20, 2009, 4:00 PM, Hotel Plaza Athene, 64th and Madison Ave, NYC, private room, second floor, I am sixty-one years old and standing in front of my children, their spouses, my family, and closest friends, dressed in a tuxedo, about to proclaim wedding vows to a woman to become my third wife! What the hell was I doing?

I was formalizing a relationship begun two years earlier with a woman whom I had not only fallen deeply in love with, but with whom I had developed a relationship of mutual trust, respect, admiration, caring, honesty, romance, and sexuality. I was hopeful it would continue for the rest of our lives.

That hope was realized, and the relationship lasted until Susan’s untimely death from complications from ovarian cancer eight years later.

In The Essential Rules of Love, together with extensive scientific research, I share the lessons learned from that relationship, insights that provide hope and promise to anyone, whether in their first or fifth relationship, that a positive and mutually rewarding loving relationship is attainable at any stage in life. The advice and analysis I offer can help anyone who is in a new relationship or after a breakup or divorce, because it is a primer for how to do things differently the next time around. It is also helpful for anyone who feels they need to reignite the fire that has faded from a long-term relationship or for any couple that has fallen into patterns or behavior not conducive to a mutually loving relationship. Finally, the book offers hope to those who have not yet experienced the kind of relationship we will discuss.

This post is an excerpt from The Essential Rules of Love: A Practical Guide to Creating a Harmonious, Healthy, and Happy Relationship.

“This is a book born of tears and laughter. There is certainly no shortage of authors who have tackled this subject but few have overturned as many rocks along the way and unearthed such a wealth of insights in the process. Those of us who have managed to spend time with Mr. Russotti will attest to his resolve.”
- William Parker, LCSW
“We get education for our careers but we rarely ever get education for our relationships. Phil’s The Essential Rules of Love is a book that I WISH I had before I was married and divorced.”
- Theadora Vosse, Single or Divorced Relationship Podcaster
“The book was purchased as a gift for Valentine's Day, but instead of giving it away, I gave it to myself.”
- Emily C.
“This is, as it must be, primarily a love story. One told with striking depth of feeling.”
- Paul D.