Transform your unsatisfying relationship into a "loving, sustainable, healthy partnership between equals." Licensed marriage and family counselors Tina Tessina and Riley Smith show you how in this guidebook for couples of all stripes (straight and gay, married and unmarried, monogamous and open). The goal is to become a "free couple"--expressing love easily; respecting each other; sharing equal power in the relationship; expressing desires, needs, and satisfactions; and resolving problems cooperatively.
Tessina and Smith walk you through the five steps of "cooperative problem solving" using the clear, sequential instructions of the "negotiation tree." Each step is detailed in its own chapter, with highly structured techniques, frequent anecdotes, and sample dialogues clarifying the concepts and strategies. "Rather than fight, you work together; rather than feeling deprived, you both feel fulfilled," write the authors. "Rather than being defeated, you experience success; rather than restricting yourselves, you are each free to be yourself."
This book is like taking a couples workshop from two skilled, warm, and articulate therapists. Recommended for couples who are frustrated by getting stuck in conflicts and are willing to learn structured guidelines for cooperative problem-solving. --Joan Price
From the Back Cover
"Being a couple yet free is our next challenge on the evolutionary ladder. This book successfully helps us unravel the myths that block that achievement. It does so with warmth, readability, and balance. It recreates everyday problems and paints the path to their solution." Warren Farrell, Ph.D., author of Why Men Are the Way They Are. For over two decades, this book has been recognized as the established handbook on relationships between equals. It introduced the concept: cooperation instead of compromise or competition. It gives clear instructions to show you how to be true to yourself and true to your partner at the same time. Thoroughly revised and expanded, this new edition is written as a manual and includes fresh and new step-by-step instructions and guidelines to create a mutually supportive partnership allowing each individual to be equal in a relationship. It introduces the Negotiation Tree, an ingenious tool that can help any couple turn a struggle or fight into a cooperative problem-solving session. The book is designed especially for:
- People who seek a model for equal partnership.
- Couples who want to transform struggle into teamwork.
- Couples who are married, cohabiting, or dating.
- Couples who are in a traditional or alternative relationship. How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free is the perfect tool for designing and creating a relationship unique to your individual personalities and situation. With it, any couple can learn to work together to create a loving, sustainable, healthy, and equal partnership that you will treasure.