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Commitment and Healing: Gay Men and the Need for Romantic Love Hardcover – May 1, 2006


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Commitment and Healing: Gay Men and the Need for Romantic Love + Being Homosexual: Gay Men and Their Development (Vintage) + Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self-Acceptance (Vintage)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471740497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471740490
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Psychoanalyst Isay trains a Freudian lens on the difficulty gay men have sustaining serious, long-term romantic partnerships. Up against society's prejudice against homosexual love, he observes, they've separated sex and love. As adolescents, gay men suffered the rejection of unrequited affection, but most formatively, they sustained emotional damage in childhood from paternal rejection and/or maternal inattentiveness to their feelings or disregard for their need for autonomy. The result is an inability to fall or stay in love, arising from deep-seated anxiety about dependency, lack of self-love and mistrust of another's love. Isay analyzes dozens of case histories of chronically single gay male patients (he has worked with gay men for more than 30 years), tracing their attachment difficulties to childhood experiences with remote, rejecting or smothering parents. Though Isay (Being Homosexual) weighs in on the same-sex marriage debate with his secondary argument—that the lack of a formally sanctioned structure further undermines gay commitment—readers looking for a complicated, cultural analysis will be frustrated by Isay's one-note psychoanalytic reasoning. He voices important emphasis on the happiness found in long-term, loving relationships, but his account remains too basic for mental health professionals and lacks concrete strategies for real sufferers. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

In his many years working with gay patients, psychiatrist Richard Isay has found that regardless of the original reasons they seek help, the majority of gay men eventually bring up their problems with romantic love. Some have difficulty falling in love and even more find it hard to sustain a loving, romantic relationship. If you experience these issues in your life, Commitment and Healing offers hope.

Filled with fascinating case histories drawn from Dr. Isay's practice, this compassionate and inspiring book examines how parental rejection or a lack of empathy with the needs of a homosexual child may later on inhibit a gay man's capacity to feel and express his need for love. Some gay men grow habituated to the means they have relied on to seek happiness without intimacy or intimacy without commitment. Many feel unworthy of romantic love or remain unaware of it until midlife.

In Commitment and Healing, Isay writes that a loving relationship over many years is the antidote for the loneliness and the rejection most gay men have experienced in their lives. While the book is a clear and empathetic exploration of the barriers many encounter, Isay shows that it is indeed possible for this generation of gay men to overcome their fear of commitment and learn how rewarding a loving, long-term relationship can be.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark F. Malan on August 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Isay makes some very strong points. I bought this book in response to a recent break up. I found its pages filled with incite into a very strong possible reason for why my recent lover was not able to let me into his heart. I used to think that monogamy was not possible in a gay relationship. I found someone that I wanted to share everything with, exclusively. I now feel that monogamy is possible and Dr. Isay explained some valid and compelling reasons why that should be a goal. I highly recommend this book for anyone that has found something missing in their traditional gay relationships.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Martin Kantor on November 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This terrific book makes two sustainable, important, and moving points: that monogamous gay relationships are possible, desirable, and wonderful, and that if a gay man cannot attain nirvana it is because of certain emotional hang-ups he has, which are possibly reversible by looking at oneself through the mirror that Dr. Isay provides. In my opinion the review from Publisher's Weekly cited above is way off the mark. This text is not narrowly but broadly oriented, and it offers real hope and help, far more than just a series of psychoanalytically-based formulations of no use to anyone but the theorist. I highly recommend it to gay men seeking love but having difficulty finding and sustaining it. Martin Kantor, author of "Together Forever: The Gay Man's Guide to Livelong Love. "
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Craig H. Garver on July 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so when I came out, I read just about every book on gay relationships and being gay that there was. You should see my book shelves - and the Amazon suggested for you pages were hilarious! "OK you big old queen, here's a few more for you to enjoy!" VERY helpful recommendations, by the way.

So I didn't expect much additional knowledge would come from Richard Isay's book. He's a favorite author, but still. Wow! Was I wrong. He nails it! I discovered so much about myself and my friends in this book! I don't care if you're trying to improve your relationship, trying to have one, or just trying to figure yourself out. This is one important new look at gay men, by a gay psychiatrist. In fact, he's a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and a faculty member of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, according to Wikipedia.

You'll find yourself thinking, "Oh, that's why" so many times while reading this slim volume. This is a very useful study - get it!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. U. Heaton on July 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book gave professional insight into gay relationships and their origins and ways to deal with resulting conflicts. Most books have not dealt with such an area. The case histories were also a plus.
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