"What happened to the passion we started with?
Why aren't we as close as we used to be?"
PROBLEM: If you are a woman who is unfulfilled in your marriage...if you feel unheard or overburdened...if you quietly live in a state of slow-burn resentment...
PROBLEM: If you are a man unhappy that your partner seems so unhappy with you...if you feel bewildered, unappreciated, or betrayed...
This book offers a solution
Bestselling author and nationally renowned therapist Terrence Real unearths the causes of communication blocks between men and women in this groundbreaking work. Relationships are in trouble; the demand for intimacy today must be met with new skills, and Real -- drawing on his pioneering work on male depression -- gives both men and women those skills, empowering women and connecting men, radically reversing the attitudes and emotional stumbling blocks of the patriarchal culture in which we were raised. Filled with powerful stories of the couples Real treats, no other relationship book is as straight talking or compelling in its innovative approach to healing wounds and reconnecting partners with a new strength and understanding.
"Conventional therapy has failed most couples," Real writes, and with over 20 years of marriage and family counseling experience, he's qualified to judge. Though traditional marital counseling has been prevalent for 30 years, divorce rates remain the same, and studies show that counseling has no lasting effect on either marital satisfaction or endurance. The author of I Don't Want to Talk About It, the national bestseller on male depression, Real is attuned to the characteristics of contemporary marriages and demonstrates insight into both male and female perspectives. The fundamental problem, he argues, is American culture's deeply entrenched "psychological patriarchy," which devalues all things feminine (including healthy relationships) and wounds males at an early age by disconnecting them from themselves and others. Men can't relate, and women can't teach them how ("If a wife truly demands that her emotional needs be met, she may indeed put her marriage on the line"). Counseling, too, fails them both in a "collusion of silence" as to what's really wrong. Real's alternative is "relational recovery." Identifying a healthy marriage as one following the repeated pattern of "harmony, disharmony, and restoration," Real teaches five skills for accomplishing the crucial, ongoing task of repair: holding the relationship in high regard, preserving intimacy and relational (i.e., authentically connected) speaking, listening and negotiating. With numerous scenes from his therapy sessions including quarrels most married couples will recognize Real deftly shows readers how to transcend "our culture's anti-relational bias" and move "out of patriarchy into healthy relatedness." This is a well-balanced and exciting new addition to the marriage-manual genre.