At a time when it's popular to believe men and women come from different planets, the husband and wife psychology team of Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski takes a far different approach in Be Loved for Who You Really Are
. Using case histories, examples, and exercises from their own marriage and 14 years as relationship trainers, the authors suggest that individual and sex differences are not the source of relationship problems. Instead, they assert that true intimacy can be found in mapping and acknowledging differences as relationships ripen with time. You can't hurry love, say Shervan and Sniechowski, who counsel couples to understand four predictable passages to lasting love. These passages include "A glimpse of what is possible," "The clash of differences," "The magic of differences," and "The grace of deep intimacy." In each stage, couples are discouraged from hiding their differences or manipulating their partner to change, and rather are persuaded to encounter each other in genuine, unguarded ways. The book would have been strengthened with less New Age vocabulary and more examples from the authors' marriage, but overall, this is a wise and intriguing guide to creating a lasting love. --Barbara Mackoff
From Library Journal
A husband-and-wife psychology team, the authors are well known for their show on Wisdom Radio, appearances on TV talk shows, magazine columns, web site participation, and previous book, The New Intimacy. Here they present a blueprint for what they call "the arc of love." They detail the four passages through which real, mature love between two people progresses, highlighting how the differences between men and women can enhance rather than destroy a relationship. Anecdotes from their own 15-year marriage and from the lives of people they have counseled are used to illustrate their points. Replete with suggestions for further reflection or activities, the narrative tends to have a spiritual, New Age flavor. Love is often personified, and a higher power or spirit is referenced throughout, though no particular doctrine is espoused. The section describing the importance of conflict and its place in a relationship includes a warning about abuse. Given the proposed national media campaign, which will include appearances on Oprah, The View, and other popular media outlets, this book should generate demand. For public libraries' self-help collections. Margaret Cardwell, Christian Brothers Univ., Memphis
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