Tell Me No Lies

Ellyn Bader, Author, Peter T. Pearson, Author, Judith Schwartz, Author
Ellyn Bader, Author, Peter T. Pearson, Author, Judith Schwartz, Author Golden Books $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-26238-9
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Paperback - 241 pages - 978-0-312-28062-8
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After 15 years ""studying marital communication"" as coordinators of the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., Bader and Pearson (a married couple themselves) share the secrets to uncovering, understanding and recovering from lies between husbands and wives. Based on the presumption that ""everybody lies,"" this highly detailed manual explains why lying happens, how it harms relationships (and those who lie) and what the underlying motivations may be. With many examples from their practice and their own marriage, Bader and Pearson guide readers through the deceptive traps common to what they cast as each of the four stages of relationships: Honeymoon, Emerging Differences, Freedom to Explore and Together as Two. Examining the ""dark side"" of each stage, the authors show how ""lies in a marriage cause wanton destruction."" In the idyllic honeymoon phase, slight imperfections can provoke secret resentments, while differences between partners can later cause a ""seething stalemate"" if not balanced honestly and respectfully. Freedom to grow can slip into an ""anything goes"" mode, involving rebellious drinking or money dealings, or sexual infidelity. Even seemingly innocuous lies, intended to spare feelings and maintain equilibrium in a marriage, can backfire or become obsolete over time. At the book's end, Bader and Pearson provide a nine-step process for revealing a difficult truth. The rest of their self-help manual may be better used in conjunction with professional counseling, as it can be dauntingly complex. At least one chapter, addressing the ""Lie Invitee,"" may push readers too far, leaving them feeling blamed for another's deception. Perhaps Bader and Pearson can guide clients through these difficult events in person, but their advice on the printed page may not offer enough help for couples in trouble. (Aug.)
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