There are many "potholes on the road to love," says therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., who stresses that despite the heady emotions involved, loving is a skill that needs to be learned: "It's very easy to 'fall' in love, but very few people know how to stay in love." Weil teaches "Smart Heart Skills" to strengthen a relationship when you're tempted to abandon it. You learn how to "connect, disconnect, and reconnect" with your partner.
This book has plenty of substance. Weil describes the typical problems that couples experience, explains what's going on and why, and teaches skills to overcome those problems. For example, are you a Pursuer or a Distancer? How about your partner? What can you do to ease the other's fears and create a healthy bond? How can you "fight fair"? Why is it important to do family-of-origin work? Frequent tips, self-tests, dialogues, case studies, and the author's personal stories make the information easy to read and absorb. And if you think you have a history of awful dates, wait until you read the author's horror stories!
Although more than 60 percent of modern marriages end in divorce, Weil claims that 98 percent of the couples who learn and use her program make up instead of break up. And 98 percent of her single patients who learn these tools end up in love and marrying, usually within a year or two. This book is endorsed by two relationship biggies: Harville Hendrix and John Gray. --Joan Price
From Library Journal
New York magazine named Weil one of New York City's top therapists; she has been featured on many TV shows, published her work in many magazines, and written a best seller, Adultery: The Forgivable Sin. All this makes it hard to understand why her current effort is so lackluster. Here she struggles to pick an audience, dealing at first with long-term relationships but then throwing in a section on dating. Feminists will find much to quibble with in this book. For example, Weil encourages readers to work with current relationships rather than getting new ones but never tempers this advice with any caution regarding abusive partners. She also keeps telling women that they need to be the "Connection Guardians," since they have innate knowledge about relationships. Finally, she refers constantly to the "Smart Heart" skills she developed and to her own success with them in her marriage with Jeff, the Prince, which can grate. Not particularly recommended, but demand will probably warrant purchase.APamela A. Matthews, Gettysburg Coll. Lib., PA
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