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Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships Paperback – September 5, 1990
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From Library Journal
Vaughan's examination of the breakup of relationships from a sociological and psychological perspective identifies the key steps in uncoupling from both partners' points of view. This schema is supported by 103 in-depth interviews and solid documentation from the professional literature. Useful to professionals, this work is also invaluable to lay people both because it normalizes a universal experience often seen as idiosyn cratic and because it will help those in the early stages of uncoupling to identify what is happening, enabling them to take the steps necessary to avoid the ultimate breakdown. Given the current divorce rate of approximately 40 percent, Uncoupling will have a wide readership and is recommended for general collections. John M. Haynes, Mediation Associates, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Now in trade paperback, the ground-breaking and carefully documented book that shows how couples come apart.
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Top Customer Reviews
I picked up this book by instinct, as I needed to read something--anything--about how relationships end. I don't care about the why's anymore; I just wanted to understand what was happenning in my own relationship.
This book will not tell you how to save your relationship, or whether it's worth saving or not. Vaughan argues that there is a pattern to how relationships end. And in the telling, she gives the story that makes sense of everything--and that is all we need when we go row into the choppy waters of a faltering relationship.
AFTER you complete the above assignment, then I join the majority consensus in recommending this book as a refreshingly unemotional and analytical study of how the breakup process evolves. I am that unusual person who is burdened with an acutely empathetic and emotional nature in constant battle with my demand for reason and logic. As a result I don't have the luxury of dealing with just one or the other, like most people. This book addresses the latter from a sociological perspective and is a great relief from the emotionally demanding yet useful books that address the pain you're feeling and how to move beyond it.
Uncoupling has one objective: to analyze the "how," and it persuasively posits that irrespective of age, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, type or length of the relationship, the fundamental process is curiously uniform. With that knowledge, this decidedly dispassionate breakdown ultimately eased my pain in a way the other books could not by making it abundantly clear that I am not alone, my pain is not unique or worse or more intense than yours or his or hers or theirs, even though it feels like it is. I don't think it's that "misery loves company," because I don't wish this torture even on the woman my husband moved in with. Instead, it's about feeling a part of something again, after so many agonizing hours believing I am completely and forever alone with my heartache.
I know there will be some who take offense at my unorthodox "review," but those people actually enjoy wallowing in despair and giddily recruit others to join them. For the rest of you, I hope I can help lessen the pain, if even just a little bit or for only a moment. I'm right here with you, friends. If you want to talk, send me a message. But whatever you do, go watch that movie NOW!
However, if your primary goal is knowing how this one could help your marriage, here's my take:
Instead of focusing on THE reason or reasons that marriages and relationships fall apart, the author notes that the process of separation - and, inevitably, divorce or estrangement - occurs even before the warning signs may be apparent. That infidelity that seems to be the "cause" of the divorce may be just one more step in a long progression of steps that started long before the actual affair. I think this makes sense.
It made sense to me that things may seem normal in a marriage and yet something is a bit worse than the day before, already shifting off-kilter. That is the type of change this book discusses, the veering away from being a couple and the distance that grows wider, day by day. It is the kind of thing that can be easy to dismiss until the inevitable happens - and by then it could be too late for therapy or counseling to help.
Although I'd call this more of a "philosophical study" than hard core science (even though many couples were interviewed, etc), I found it an engaging and intriguing book. This one would be worth reading before marriage and could help turn many precarious marriages back on track.
One of the most interesting parts of the book dealt with how unhappy partners may "revise" marital or relationship history, turning formerly happy memories into negatives in order to justify a separation.
Just to be clear, this review is not being written by a divorced person or someone in an unhappy marriage. I have no bones to pick, no axes to grind, etc. I simply found the book to be worth reading.
If you're the initiator, stop what you are doing, read this book and carefully consider the spiraling path to relationship destruction you are on.
Either way, I believe that you will learn more from reading this book than a dozen others. Much more than from marriage counselors or even Psychologists.
But the truth may be hard to take. It was for me as I was looking for help in saving my relationship from my wife's affair. Alas, she had long since started a transition out of our relationship and redefining me in negative terms.
This book will help you understand why the person you love can turn on you like a rabid dog, rip your beating heart from your chest, throw it in a blender and hit frappe!
Eventually you will want answers whatever the emotional cost and this book is filled with them.
However, if you are one of the fortuitous or lucky ones fortunate enough to find this before it is too late, then read, learn and act now before your life is sucked through a crushing black hole of change very few are ready for.