Customer Reviews: Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours
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on September 18, 2000
I read an older edition of this book about 7 years ago when my marriage was ending. I have tons of self-help books on my shelves from that period in my life. One of the reviews below panned this book because he/she thought it would be horrible for someone who was 'on the fence' about ending a relationship. I don't think this is the book for that type of person - there are plenty of others out there for someone who wants to try to salvage their relationship. This book is for someone who has done everything they can to keep things together or to feel the same love (or ANY love) for the person they once cared for, but they don't. Or it's for the person who has been dumped and has tried everything to get their love back but can't. It's over. Now what can you do to accept and understand it? This book will help you to understand why the relationship ended and why you two got together in the first place. It's a wonderful book for that purpose and I would recommend it to anyone who's going through the pain of a breakup.
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on February 22, 2004
I think each new relationship would benefit so much if all parties were to read this before going IN! Kingma challenges us to look at the myth that relationships "should last forever" --and consequently why our self-esteem takes such a beating when they actually don't! (Surprise!) Her basic premise is that relationships are a series of processes by which we complete developmental tasks in our life journey of self-discovery/creation. Case studies illustrate how this plays out in the various ways.
From reading this book, I gained much comfort and understanding about my present-coming-apart-relationship. Although I initiated it, I was feeling much pain. The clarity that I gained--about why we choose the partners we do--helped to stop the angst. Such gems of simple yet profound wisdom: "Love...does not conquer all. Real love, enduring the quiet recognition and ongoing appreciation of another person, the experience of continually sharing what is important to you."
The chapters on pampering yourself, and the rituals for completion are absolutely valuable!
I feel heartened and strengthened by her words in the chapter "Is there Love After Love?": "Eventually we all get to the place where--except for fine-tunings and refinements-we have learned pretty much who we are. We have sorted out our preferences from the vast number of possibilities we all have as human beings, and we know what we want to spend our lives doing..."
"...You will love and have a happy life with the person whose looks, nature, habits, preferences, values and priorities call forth the truest expression of yourself, the person who invites you to blossom and grow."
This book is kind of a condensed version of the "Future of Love" which I also highly recommend. (I bought several copies of each of these to share with friends.)
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on January 20, 2004
Of all the books I've read on divorce and separation, this was the first to make me feel okay about the end of my marriage - the first to make me realize that even though I could have been a better partner it wasn't all my fault, or all his, even though he was the one who left.
Sometimes we get out of a relationship what we needed at the time, and then when that stage of our personal development has been completed, we no longer need that particular partner, and we find out that the partnership is empty and lifeless. We see that really we have very little to say to each other, no shared activities or common values or intellectual affinities, and no real connection is happening.
The book does not gloss over the pain and confusion of a separation, but it does take away some of the self-doubt and self-blame that come with it. If you are ready to accept the fact that your marriage or relationship is really over, then this is the book for you.
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on January 20, 2000
This book will not make the pain go away. But, it will give you a perspective you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. When I was suffering from a broken heart, I read a ton of books about relationships and feeling better. This is the only book that came close to making me heal. "Coming Apart" will truly help you understand what goes wrong with relationships. And, by explaining the simple fact that relationships, like anything else, do have a lifespan, this book helps immensely. What a relief it was when I could stop wondering what was wrong with me that made my spouse leave? Now I know, this happens to relationships. Like I said, it won't cure your broken heart, but it will give you the insight you need and the wisdom that no other book will.
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on October 22, 2000
A friend recommended I read this while going through a breakup last year. He recommended I read the last chapter first, and then read the rest of the book, especially since I was regretting my decision to break off the relationship. The last chapter helped me realize that the relationship was not worth preserving, and then helped me identify the natural phases of mourning the end of that relationship. This book helped me get through the pain, but also see the growth potential through the whole experience. Now, a year later, I'm in a healthy relationship that is fulfilling -- basically everything my past relationship wasn't.
I passed this book onto another friend who is going through a tough breakup, and plan to order it for yet another friend. Everyone who is going through a breakup needs a box of tissue, a couple cartons of Ben and Jerry's, Alanis Morriset's "Jaged Little Pill" CD, a good friend who will listen to you, and this book.
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on September 28, 2001
I've been in the middle of a disintegrating marriage for years, which has only recently come to a head in the form of a nasty divorce. When this book was recommended to me, I was a bit skeptical--I couldn't imagine what the author could say that i hadn't already figured for myself. But it was something more, something different. The book helped me to understand better how my husband and I had been coming part for so long, and it also showed me that I'm nowhere near alone. I should point out though that this book does not hold back for the benefit of the emotionally weak. I read it in the mindframe that my relationship was over, so maybe some of the brutal truths seemed a little less brutal as I'd already lived them. Overall, I'd say this is recommended reading for anyone in any kind of intimate relationship--its toughness is just an accurate mirror of reality.
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on January 19, 2003
I first found this book in the form of an audiotape at a time in my life when I was so filled with the emotional turmoil at the end of a 25 year marriage that I was unable to focus long enough to actually read the words on the page. Ms. Kingma's explanation of the evolution of some marriages/relationships so resonated with me that it enabled me to face the myriad feelings of failure and destruction I was struggling with, and to hope that some day my life might again be good and whole. That was over seven years ago, and I am still reading and re-reading it. I highly recommend it to others who know it has ended, but still feel there was 'something' they could have done to prevent it.
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on April 17, 1999
This book accomplishes 2 very important tasks. The first of these is to present a very plausible case for the reason why people enter into relationships in the first place. The second is to present people with the much needed objective data regarding the separation and termination of relationdships. This book is NOT ONLY for someone in the middle of a break-up, but also for anyone in a relationship or anyone that wants to have a relationship. It is a quick and easy read, with clear and convincing perspectives on all relationships whether they are a success or a failure. I encourage all of you to buy this book, read it, and pass it on to the next person in your life that needs understanding.
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on July 26, 1998
Today I am ordering this book to send to an acquantance who is going through a divorce.
I read it five years ago when I was going through mine. It helped me do the "emotional work" that must be done to heal. The quiz on relationships alone is more than worth the price of the book. It helped me put into perspective what the quality of the relationship was and validate that while the divorce was extremely painful it was the right choice.
The happy life I have now is probably in part because of what I learned in from reading this book during a very emotional time. I highly recommend this book.
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on October 1, 2003
I am a Clinical Social Worker-specialize in working with people around divorce. Am also divorced myself. I just discovered this book in preparation for a divorce support group I'm running. I've read tons and tons of books on divorce and this is the only one that I have found can really help people understand and take responsibility for why their marriage ended and what part they played in that. I recommend it not only for people getting divorced but also to other therapists-it's got some great exercises in it to use either yourself or with clients.
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