"In reality we don't fall out of love," writes Mark Goulston, M.D. "Rather, love falls out of us, like the floors of a building whose foundation crumbles." If you're in a relationship that has lost its magic, The 6 Secrets of a Lasting Relationship aims to rekindle your heart by teaching you a process of examining, discussing, and fixing your relationship.
The first letters of each of the six secrets make the acronym CREATE: chemistry, respect, enjoyment, acceptance, trust, and empathy. Goulston maintains that relationship problems are caused by a breakdown in one or more of these elements, but if you strengthen the supporting structure in these overlapping areas, you can restore your passion and romance and discover "a new, mature love that surpasses in depth and intimacy all your romantic memories." Whatever the specific problems in your relationship, he says, improving these six areas will help restore your bond.
The 6 Secrets of a Lasting Relationship is like couples therapy in a book. You and your partner will want to work through specific chapters together, which you'll return to often for guidance. You'll learn warning signs that your relationship is in trouble in one or more of these areas, how to communicate about it, and how to repair and renew the relationship. Goulston includes self-tests, exercises, and many anecdotes that illustrate his points. Eye-catching quotes pepper the chapters, such as, "Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions," (Woody Allen) and "Men always want to be a woman's first love--women like to be a man's last romance" (Oscar Wilde).
Goulston is a board-certified psychiatrist and a well-known relationship advisor who has conducted 10,000-plus hours of couples therapy. Goulston and coauthor Philip Goldberg also wrote Get out of Your Own Way. --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
In an intelligent if unexciting work that benefits from Goulston's 25 years as a psychiatrist, he observes that relationship problems stem from a breakdown of any of the six essential traits he's grouped under the acronym CREATE: chemistry, respect, enjoyment, acceptance, trust and empathy. For each trait, he offers self-evaluations and exercises that elicit open dialogue between partners working together, in either written or verbal form. Though he sprinkles the text with pithy ideas he calls "Usable Insights" (e.g., "Constantly asking your partner to tell you you're attractive is unattractive"), the heart of the book is in its fictionalized accounts of real-life cases. Many of these stories are genuinely moving, though some are too easily resolved; overall, they effectively illustrate the issues. Though Goulston apparently wants to counter John Gray's gender characterizations by declaring that men and women are not from different planets, but from earth, he still serves up some stereotypes (e.g., men who resort to type as sullen and withdrawn; women who are critical and demanding). Some of his comments about sex may raise some eyebrows (he connects the availability of Internet porn to a "masturbation epidemic among married men"). This solid effort should appeal to mature couples willing to do the work he suggests to shore up long-term marriages. (Feb.)Forecast: The lack of a gimmick or obvious sales handle will make this book harder to sell in the crowded relationship market, though that may give it some durability in the long run. A first serial to Ladies Home Journal and Goulston's syndicated column at lifescape.com will insure exposure at publication.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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