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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
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!
This book really won't help to reconcile, but it should help you understand that some people just want to leave a relationship. Sometimes employees leave good jobs because they are bored or they just want to move on --- and that's just the same way with some spouses.
Some are no longer interested in working on the relationship. And that's where this book comes in. For instance, it helps explain that a spouse can not easily leave a good spouse; so the arguments begin, the accusations begin; and if necessary, "deal-breakers" will take place just to make sure the holding-on-spouse will let go.
So while I was wasting my time attempting to help keep my marriage intact, all along my wife just wanted to leave.
Once I got it through my head that she just wanted to be set free, I shook her hand, thanked her for the years she shared with me, and finally went on to recover fairly quickly.
I'm not sure if the book will resonate with you, but for me this was the final piece to the puzzle that I needed to help me let go, and move onto a new chapter of my life.
This book helped me understand why and how my own marriage had failed and gave me ideas that have helped me prevent an "uncoupling" in my current relationship, which has lasted over 25 years now.
Vaughn prodigious research unequivocally establishes that people who have affairs ultimately do so by way of a slow but lengthily process of redefining a spouse or partner on negative terms. This enables the "initiator" (i.e., the betraying spouse) to have and justify an affair. Ultimately, the initiator will do the same for the marriage/relationship, then declare it not savable, and finally leave. The process for the betrayed partner/spouse is "unspeakably cruel."
Adding insult to injury is the advantage this process gives to the initiator. By the time a betrayed spouse knows something is wrong (or going on), the initiator is months ahead in redefining and creating a new understanding of his/her partner. The betrayed spouse is pulling her hair out trying to understand while the initiator already has (I would say selfishly) his own understanding.
All of this is so painfully true.
This book will probably not help you save your marriage. It may help you challenge your partner's "negative definitions," leading you to ask them to recall what is good about you (and thereby potentially challenge your relationship's path), but for the most part Uncoupling gives you points to understand the chaos in your brokenness.It will also help you see how you are not "controlling," a bad person, or this or that. Such negative definitions are the product of selfish spouse whose life does not comport with reality.
This book is about the process-- from a macro or sociological point of view. It is a must read.