All You Need Is Love and Other Lies about Marriage: A Proven Strategy to Make Your Marriage Work from a Leading Couples Counselor

John W. Jacobs, Author
John W. Jacobs, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-06-050930-9
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 272 pages - 978-0-06-078011-1
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-078017-3
Paperback - 283 pages - 978-84-7953-593-3
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-06-050931-6
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-173994-1
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-089475-7
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This particularly thoughtful and articulate volume marks the arrival of major new voice in couple's psychology. A professor at NYU's School of Medicine, Jacobs has also run a private psychiatric practice for the past 30 years, and his experience working with couples in both locations informs the practical, realistic view of marriage he presents in this book.""Virtually everyone has significant problems at some time in their marriage,"" he acknowledges. Some of those problems are made by husbands and wives, he explains; some of them are caused by biology, or by the tremendous social and economic changes of the past 40 years. Some are handed down generation after generation in families. Jacobs considers each of these sources in turn as he deconstructs""The Seven Lies of Marriage""--among them the ideas that""people don't really change"" and that""children solidify a marriage."" While the book's myth-busting structure resembles that of many pop psychology guides, Jacobs's advice is noticeably more sophisticated. His tone is friendly and impartial, and he makes no false promises.""Marital relationships,"" he writes,""are by their very nature fraught with difficulty and vulnerability."" It takes dedication to make them comfortable, loving and fair year after year, he says, and the tools he outlines go a long way toward making that task easier. He teaches readers how to overcome anger and resentment without sacrificing their needs. He explains how couples work as""systems"" of action and reaction, and gives them ways to break""negative emotional spirals."" Men, in particular, will appreciate his concerted effort to recognize the complaints and desires of both genders. In fact, Jacobs's book is so well organized and insightful that even happily married couples may find it useful.
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