You don't have to have sex to cheat on your marriage, counsels M. Gary Neuman in his practical and provocative book, Emotional Infidelity
. Neuman, a therapist, family mediator, and rabbi, suggests that when you invest your emotional energy in opposite-sex coworkers or friends--instead of focusing on your spouse--you are unfaithful to your marriage. With clear case examples, scenes from his own marriage, quizzes, and exercises, Neuman illustrates 11 "secrets" that couples can apply to insulate and protect their marriage. Each secret is defined in a separate chapter, along with a blueprint for bringing it home. For example, the secret of setting marital goals includes a step-by-step guide to creating a "marriage proposal," and the chapter about the impact of childhood in marriage offers readers probing questions about the legacy of their parents' marriage. However, Neuman's most controversial secret is his ability to skewer the myth of marriage as mutual independence. Instead, he urges couples to establish a "healthy co-dependence" in their marriage and to "protect their marriage against emotional infidelity by avoiding friendships with members of the opposite sex." Neuman's passion for increasing focus and commitment in marriage can be both persuasive and challenging, with his clear values and strategies requiring that readers reexamine their ideas about marriage. --Barbara Mackoff
From Publishers Weekly
"If we operated our business the way we run our marriage, most people would be bankrupt," asserts Neuman in this manual for creating and maintaining nothing less than great marriages. Admitting that this objective "takes a 110 percent effort," the coauthor of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way brings 14 years of experience as a marital counselor and an equally long marriage of his own to this comprehensive guide. The title refers to Neuman's belief in "the single most important thing you can do for your marriage," namely limiting your relationships with everyone other than your partner, particularly members of the opposite sex. Neuman also offers 10 other "secrets" for couples to work through in 10 weeks, including sharing specific goals and plans, clearly defining roles for each partner, appreciating each other, fostering interdependence and understanding the effects of your childhood on your marriage. Reminding readers that a great marriage takes years to cultivate, Neuman provides a four-point plan: touch each other five times daily, go on a weekly date, have a long talk four times a week, and have an all-out romantic lovemaking night monthly. Neuman makes the questionable claim that it only takes one partner to transform a marriage and make it great, and confuses interdependency with "codependency" (which may offend readers struggling with issues of relationships with actively addicted persons). Still, this is an important addition to the marriage manual genre, complete with an unusually helpful section on in-law relationships. (Oct. 23)Forecast: Marriage manuals are always in demand in bookstores and hot topics for talk shows. This one offers a unique (and possibly controversial) viewpoint as well as an experienced and engaging author. Planned national publicity could spark high interest and sales.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.