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Reconcilable Differences: Hope and Healing for Troubled Marriages Paperback – November 1, 2004
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"It will be helpful to couples who are experiencing difficulties in their marriages. It will be helpful to all couples in learning essential truths for gaining intimacy in marriage." (John E. Shaffett for The Christian Librarian 50, no. 1 (2007))
"Reconcilable Differences offers one of the freshest contributions to evangelical social science I have read in many years. Toddy Holeman's research and integrative theory-building offers a great resource for both practitioners and researchers. Almost every week couples sit in my therapy office wondering if it is actually possible to truly reconcile without sacrificing their own integrity. This book documents the real-life stories of couples who have done just that, and Holeman describes a differentiation-based approach to reconciliation that is both theologically grounded and relationally healthy." (Steven J. Sandage, Ph.D., L.P., associate professor of marriage and family studies, Bethel Seminary, and licensed psychologist)
"St. Paul writes that Christ's message of reconciliation has been entrusted to us. That makes for great sermons but challenging discipleship in daily life. This is especially challenging in marriages and other close relationships where betrayal can be so painful and potentially shattering. In this wise, practical and much-needed book, Toddy Holeman thoughtfully guides couples to envision and embody faithful ways of living as forgiving and forgiven people--even in the wake of brokenness. I hope this wonderful resource will be widely read and used!" (L. Gregory Jones, Dean of the Divinity School and Professor of Theology, Duke University, and author of Embodying Forgiveness and Everyday Matters: Intersections of Life and Faith)
"Dr. Holeman has done an incredible job of using the best research on forgiveness and reconciliation in marriages and made it accessible for anyone to understand. This book is full of practical ideas on reconciling after minor or major hurts in a marriage. It is something desperately needed by any couple who has experienced hurts in their relationship. When couples face the desire to reconcile but are struggling to achieve it, this book will walk them through with examples and ideas they might never have thought of. The stories and exemplar couples bring the ideas to life. Dr. Holeman's background as a theologian, scholar and clinician makes her uniquely qualified to tackle the difficult issue of marital reconciliation from a Christian perspective. Readers will be inspired and equipped to face the areas of their marriage where they need reconciliation." (Jennifer S. Ripley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Regent University)
"Virginia Todd Holeman has done a superb job of blending the theoretical and practical ideas on how couples can get over emotionally painful issues and move on to intimacy. Reconcilable Differences will become a standard volume in my library on helping couples heal." (Terry D. Hargrave, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling, West Texas A&M University, author of Families and Forgiveness and Forgiving the Devil)
"Dr. Toddy Holeman is the reigning authority on reconciliation. In Reconcilable Differences she blends biblical and theological truth and psychological truth into a practical book that helps people reconcile. Commitment and transformation are the keys to reconciling differences. Commit to reading the book, and it could transform your relationship." (Everett L. Worthington Jr., author of Forgiving and Reconciling (IVP))
"Toddy Holeman weaves stories of betrayal and reconciliation out of and into the story of God's good news. The result is a message that is both down-to-earth in its grappling with the hurts of human relationships and profound in its appropriation of the gospel. Here is the plain and hopeful talk we desperately need." (Joel B. Green, Dean of Academic Affairs, Asbury Theological Seminary)
About the Author
Virginia Todd Holeman is professor of counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She previously taught at Ashland Theological Seminary and Kent State University, and worked at New Life Family Ministries in Akron, Ohio. Holeman is a licensed psychologist in Ohio and a licensed marriage and family therapist in Kentucky. As a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, she leads workshops and seminars around the country. She contributes to professional journals and speaks at churches, conferences and universities on the topics of forgiveness and family.
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Holeman, Virginia Todd, Ph.D., Reconcilable Differences, IVP Books, Downers Grove, Il., 2004
Here are two excellent resources for those of us working with marital couples when one party has had an affair. Stephen Judah quotes the research summary of nine studies that suggest affairs occur more frequently than believed. 50% of all married couples may experience infidelity over the course of their marriage. When couples cohabit, the rates are even higher.
Judah looks at the three types of affairs: 1.) Sexual, 2.)Non-penetrating, i.e., no sexual intercourse, and 3.)Affairs of the heart. He notes that even though affairs all differ, they are very much the same when it comes to the impact on the spouse.
He discusses at length what he considers to be the main causes of affairs, how they develop over time, the conditions that lead up to an affair, and then what causes someone to cross the line into an active affair.
But the major part of the book looks at the healing process couples He begins with a discussion on what to tell and how, then how the process of reconciliation takes place, the correction of the issues that led to the affair, and how to go beyond the pain to see not only the positives still in the marriage, and be able to envision a future beyond the pain.
Virginia Holman's books looks at affairs, but goes beyond that subject to deal with other damaging issues that occur in a marriage, what she calls marriages at the crossroads. She talks about our need to grow up on the inside as we grow together as a couple.
A major portion of Holman's book looks at seeking and extending forgiveness, how we rebuild trust, and build a new future together. Reconciliation is a major theme of her book, and she uses case studies to show the practical applications of what she is describing.
Both authors speak from the perspective of private practice, so what they have written is valuable to the marital counselor, but both are also written in a style that will be helpful to the couple being counseled. They both do an excellent job of weaving together biblical insight with current psychological studies. Holman is now the professor of counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary.
Final Note: Telephone and Online Counseling may be a great way to help struggling couples. Learn to Provide Telephone and Online Counseling with this book: The Therapist's Clinical Guide to Online Counseling and Telephone Counseling: The Definitive Training Guide for Clinical Practice
Dr Toddy Holeman has woven stores of betrayal and reconciliation with plain and hopeful biblical and theological truth into a practical book on how real people have reconciled.
Here is helpful information for any one who has had a fractured relationship, whether it was a longtime friend, business colleague or other family member. When the betrayal is your spouse it is even more deadly. This excellent book is full of true (hard to believe) stories and how good biblical counseling made the difference. It shows that it may take years of rebuilding but like a broken bone, it can be made stronger than it ever was before over time with lots of prayer and hard work. Dr Holeman has used the best research on forgiveness and made it accessible for anyone to understand. In addition the book contains 2 sections with resources for reconciliation and advice about reconciliation, a glossary, references and a very complete scripture index. It is a book to be trusted.
It would be excellent for counselors and pastors working with troubled couples as well as the couples themselves. I feel honored to have been exposed to this wonderful title and will make sure our marriage counselors get first look at it.