Archive for the ‘review’ Category
Psychoanalyst Birnbach and organizational consultant Hyman team up to present a guide for gauging how serious problems are in a marriage, what can be done to resolve them, or whether it’s time to separate and divorce. The authors see divorce as a last resort, but provide a concrete plan for how to prepare and carry it out so it’s as painless as possible.
Excellent support for those who feel trapped in an unhappy marriage.
Birnbach book offers “reality test” for troubled marriages
| FROM ALUMNI BOOKS | BY SUSAN SELIGSON
How to Know If It’s Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage (Sterling Books) Through July, Lawrence Birnbach (CAS’67) will take your questions about marriage and divorce.
Both psychoanalyst Birnbach and conflict management consultant, coauthor, and spouse Beverly Hyman were divorced when they met. That is perhaps one of the reasons they take the refreshingly realistic view that while marriages require hard work, divorce happens — and is sometimes the best option for all concerned, including the children. Adhering to the usual self-help format of alternating advice, personal anecdotes, quizzes, and handy lists, the authors offer explicit circumstances under which a couple may be better off apart. They list and periodically refer back to nine areas in which spouses must work out agreements, including the usual suspects — sex, money, and parenting — and more intractable differences, such as those involving substance abuse and religion.
While bookstore self-help shelves sag under the weight of books about how to repair marriages, the authors deserve credit for acknowledging that divorce is sometimes the only way to salvage the peace, self-respect, productivity, optimism, and futures of those involved. They pummel, one by one, prevailing myths about divorce. “If I hang in there, things will get better in time” is one; another is, “If I were really ready to end it, I’d feel certain … I wouldn’t have such mixed feelings.” Others are fear of never finding another mate, being rejected by the community, facing financial ruin, or the widespread belief that divorce damages children forever.
What about the children? Using anecdotes drawn from families they’ve counseled, the authors take a hard look at the toll unhappy marriages take on children, affecting their schoolwork, friendships, and mental health.
For couples who have concluded that they have exhausted every remedy (take one last inventory, the authors advise), Birnbach and Hyman outline financial realities and other hurdles and offer instructive stories of people who improved or reinvented their lives after divorce.
And for readers who decide to take that step, it might be a good idea to keep the book around — if a second marriage looms, it could pay to revisit the part about how good marriages sour.
By Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman
Apr 1, 2010 – 3:37:32 PM
A 10-Step Reality Test for Marriage
(HealthNewsDigest.com) – “Should I divorce?” It’s a question that haunts millions of people. In their new book, HOW TO KNOW IF IT’S TIME TO GO, Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman help couples find the best answer. Birnbach is a psychoanalyst who specializes in working with individuals and couples in troubled relationships. Hyman is an internationally known consultant specializing in conflict management. In their book, they provide ten steps to help people examine how severe the problems are in their marriages, what they might try to do to improve it, and, if that’s not possible, whether it’s time to get serious about divorce. This unique guide presents the best research, personal examples about divorce drawn from Birnbach’s twenty-five years of counseling individuals and couples, as well as scores of interviews conducted for the book. Whether the decision is to stay and try to work it out, or to go, HOW TO KNOW IF IT’S TIME TO GO will help formulate a step-by-step, concrete plan for action.
While Drs. Birnbach and Hyman do not advocate divorce, they point out that the most desirable situation—a happy long-term marriage—may simply not be possible in some cases. The book also discusses how the lives of people who stay in chronically unhappy marriages compare with those who split up.
Filled with poignant case studies, cutting-edge research, a Marriage Bill of Rights, and a 100-question self-assessment to determine the problem areas in a marriage and the possible solutions. This unique guide dispels the myths about divorce and enables couples to recognize if there is still hope for their relationship and how to rekindle it or if they (and their families) are better off apart.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Dr. Lawrence Birnbach is a psychoanalyst who specializes in working with individuals and couples in troubled relationships. He maintains private practices in New York City and Westport, Connecticut. His website is www.lbirnbach.com.
Dr. Beverly Hyman is an internationally known business and organizational consultant specializing in conflict management. She is the chairman of the Dean’s Council at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Originally posted at Health News Digest: Book Review, Apr 1, 2010
“Drs. Lawrence Birnbach and Beverly Hyman have written a one-of-a-kind book called How to Know If It’s Time to Go. It helps people who wrestle with the question of whether to leave their marriage, or to stay. A conundrum for anyone who faces this dilemma, it is especially poignant and dicey for couples where there are children involved. In my over thirty-five years as a marriage and family therapist, I have never come across a book that is so thoughtful, thorough and research-based as this book is. I give this book two thumbs up.”
Dr. Beth Ericcson, Relationship 101 Radio Host, Marital Counselor and Therapist