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The Invisible Partner: How the Male and Female in Each of Us Affects Our Relationships Paperback – January 1, 1979
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Many of us strive toward understanding the enigmatic nature of others while we are still quite perplexed by the confusing dualities within our own selves.
John Sanford, in The Invisible Partners, helps explicate the positive and negative sides of the complex animus and anima shadow personalities that complement women’s and men’s conscious personalities. Sanford, in his quite accessible style, shares examples of how we project our shadows as well as how our shadow projections are often inner callings for us more fully living our own under lived wholeness.
Particularly for those who find themselves repeatedly falling “in-love” (yet unable to maintain enduring loving relationships), Stanford describes how our “invisible partners” confuse and confound our potential relationships.
All in all the book offers plenty of food for thought! Also, I did end up ordering a book recommended by the author, "The Symbolic Quest" in an attempt to further my understanding of my inner life.
This book so intimately describes the nature and function of the animus (for me being a woman) but also gave me an amazing insight into the anima (an understanding and appreciate of the male experience). It will forever influence and change how I view my marriage, myself, and the men in my life.
I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding Jungian concepts - it is truly a gem.
While assuming that the reader has some basic knowledge of Jung, Sanford lays the groundwork even for those new to such ideas. And as pretty much everyone has had feelings of & yearning for love, from the purely sexual to the deeply spiritual, and everything in-between, this should strike a familiar & resonant chord. What makes this an especially useful book is Sanford's own compassionate humanity -- his background as a minister is present in the most positive of ways, and he writes as a wise counselor -- never dogmatic, never overbearing, but right with you & beside you at all times.
As other reviewers have noted, there are any number of Jungian books that examine this topic in depth. But I feel this one is not only an excellent introduction, but well worth reading even for those reasonably well-versed in Jungian thought. Most highly recommended!
I am also grateful to John Sandford for bringing about the re-printing of Fritz Kunkel who I feel will be my guide for life, needing no other. Except Joseph Campbell who says ut all do beautifully.
Having said this my comment and perhaps disappointment on The Invisible Partners - keeping in mind that I am a layperson not a scholar- is that the animus did not receive as much attention as the amima. As a woman I wanted to understand my animus. Perhaps as a man writing, Mr Sandford focused more on the anima and provided much description and comment on it and not nearly as much on the animus. However I do intend to read it again.