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Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship Paperback – July 1, 1997


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Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship + I Love You But I Don't Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452275350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452275355
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trying to make the agonizing decision whether to get out of a troubled, potentially life-wrecking relationship is the specific ambivalence this book addresses. The reader is offered a focused way to deal with one critical issue at a time rather than sort endlessly through the whole messy bundle of emotional pros and cons. Kirshenbaum's expertise allows her to pinpoint the pertinent questions. The Boston psychotherapist, who does relationship counseling, offers a series of them, amplified with guidelines: "Power people poison passion"; "If your partner can't even see what it is about him that makes you want to get out, it's time to get out"; "If it never was very good, it'll never be very good." And threaded through the book, which is written in a sympathetic, chatty, accessible style, are validating anecdotes that dramatize how other people have experienced and responded to the same problems the reader is going through.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

For those struggling to decide if a relationship is worth trying to save, Kirshenbaum (clinical director, Chestnut Hill Inst.) knows the issues and explains them clearly, presenting 36 well-phrased and well-ordered diagnostic questions, giving examples, and then succinctly offering guidelines to follow. Those who give certain answers to the diagnostic questions will be faced not only with a realization of how deep the problems may be but also with Kirshenbaum's repeated admonitions that "most people who answered the question the way you did were happy they left and unhappy they stayed." Her emphatic prescriptions for such nuanced problems, as well as her promise that "new hope is now entirely realistic for you" and assurance that "there are definite answers for you here," should make most readers wary. But Kirshenbaum does caution that "nothing in the book overrules what a good therapist...might tell you," and she will help readers sort out ambivalent feelings about relationships. For larger public library collections.?Susan E. Burdick, Reading, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mira Kirshenbaum is clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute, a center for therapy and research in Boston, and has been treating patients in individual and couples therapy for more than thirty years. She is the author of ten other books, including Our Love is Too Good, To Feel So Bad, Everything Happens for a Reason, and When Good People Have Affairs.

Customer Reviews

The book is very easy to read and has some really good ideas!!
J. Carroll
I did finally find the courage to leave and this book will always be one of the things that helped me make my decision.
S. Taylor
If you have questions about your relationship, is it too good to leave or too bad to stay- THIS IS THE BOOK TO BUY!!!
Graycat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

775 of 800 people found the following review helpful By peacemaker18@hotmail.com on September 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
After a 20+ year marriage to a decent guy who was a good provider but not in any way my true friend, lover or life's partner, I had tried everything imaginable to make sense of my commitment -- especially because we had two children. I sought years of psychotherapy, read a library's worth of self-help books, listened to every "relationship expert" from Tony Grant to Barbara DeAngelis to Dr. Laura, always searching, concentrating to the point of exhaustion, to glean that essential kernel of truth that would illuminate the path I should take to find acceptance and happiness. But I could find no peace, no resolution, no answers.
FINALLY, this book gave me the tools I needed to understand the many issues and problems that weighed so heavily in my marraige. Mira Kirshenbaum provided the template I needed to lay over my decades of ambivalence. Her direct, snappy writing style was a breeze to read. Her observations cogent and concise. She makes no bones about taking a clear stand and expressing a firm opinion about whether people where happier that they stayed or left a relationship when the issues she explored were identifed as problems.
She gave me the language to articulate and define my marital problems. It became undeniably clear to me that I would be happier if I left. With tremendous relief and some real trepidation, I gave myself the freedom to leave for my 46th birthday present. Fast forward two years -- I have never been happier!
I recently reread the book and my second thorough reading reinforced my initial interpretations. I am now using Kirshenbaum's criteria to judge whether my current relationship meets my needs in the categories that are most important to me. YEAH! Success!
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340 of 352 people found the following review helpful By Diana on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first needed this book -- okay, I needed it before I married. I recognize now that I needed it in 1988, when the pain and confusion were enormous, and the counseling I received was, to put it generously, ridiculous. But Kirshenbaum hadn't yet written the book. Then I needed it in 1995, when totally on the fence. But Kirshenbaum hadn't yet published. Finally she did, in 1996 (hardcover), and even though I'd already made the decision to leave, and knew somehow it was right, I bought the book.
Gosh, how come I wasn't taught all this stuff before?!?
Too Good To Leave is not only the book you pick up when you're on the fence. It's not just the book you turn to to make sure you made the best choice under the circumstances. It's the book you refer to again and again and again to help you learn what IS a healthy relationship, what IS love. Because in showing us what ill-health can look like, Kirshenbaum also teaches those of us who just didn't get it what we can look for in the future, when our hearts decide to risk again.
This is an easy read: each chapter is structured the same way, with the issue, circumstances, diagnostic questions, couples examples from Kirshenbaum's practice (she provides therapy in the Boston area), and guidelines...are most people in this particular situation happier if they leave or if they stay? She begins with the incredibly painful (are you being beaten?) and moves through the book toward less and less clearcut circumstances.
Take Chapter 8, for example: "What Is This Thing Called Love?" The issue: is there any real love left?
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561 of 624 people found the following review helpful By "jim-in-dc" on June 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
My wife and I have been married six years and have had marital troubles for nearly a year. However, we are taking very concrete steps to try to address them and we're making good progress. We're learning a lot more about ourselves and each other, about personalities and temperaments and what influences them. Now we are better able to appreciate how those factors manifest in our day-to-day behavior. It is hard work, but we both agree that in the end it's worth it -- regardless of the eventual outcome of our marriage. This book was recommended to me by a person that I have generally known to have good judgement, so I took a look. I can say without a doubt that if I had read this book a year ago, my wife and I would now be divorced and that decision would have been the biggest mistake of our lives. Several of the so-called guidelines pointed to behavior on my wife's part AND others on my own part that would have caused each of us to conclude that we would be more happy if we left than stayed. The method of decisionmaking suggested by this book is bereft of the kind of hard work it really takes to evaluate the future of a relationship and the behavior of people in relationships. It fails to explore personality types -- a cornerstone to understanding why your partner may behave the way he or she behaves. It also assumes the problem MUST reside within your partner, not within yourself. In my relationship, the problem was 80% of my own creation. But, through self-evaluation and study we have been able to LEARN more about our own personalities so that now we can better appreciate our differences and give our love for one another a chance to flourish.Read more ›
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