How Can I Get Through to You?

How Can I Get Through to You?

3.8 5
by Terrence Real
     
 

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Why is love between men and women so difficult? In this groundbreaking new book, bestselling author Terrence Real analyzes the crisis in intimate relations, a crisis that has lasted over a generation, yielding divorce rates of 40-50%. Our culture prepares us to fall in love, but it does not give us the skills we need to stay in love. Here Real offers a radical

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Overview

Why is love between men and women so difficult? In this groundbreaking new book, bestselling author Terrence Real analyzes the crisis in intimate relations, a crisis that has lasted over a generation, yielding divorce rates of 40-50%. Our culture prepares us to fall in love, but it does not give us the skills we need to stay in love. Here Real offers a radical new vision of love and the practical tools with which to achieve it.

The current crisis is a product of changing gender roles. In the last generation, women's roles have changed radically and men's have not. For the first time, women are insisting that their partners access the very skills -- emotional sensitivity, expressiveness, responsibility -- that most men have had stamped out of them as boys. Patriarchal culture does not raise boys to be intimate; it raises them to be competitive performers. At the same time, girls are taught to be compliant and accommodating. The result is that men feel bewildered and unappreciated while women feel unheard and resentful. Conventional therapy, which reinforces "traditional" male roles, has failed. The demand for intimacy in marriage must be met with new skills.

Real draws on myth, literature, film, and stories of the men and women he treats to illustrate his compelling analysis. Breaking taboos about love, marriage, and passion, Real not only reconstructs gender roles but also shows that patriarchy's idealized model of love is impossibly flawed. He teaches partners to replace it with a love that acknowledges imperfections and then provides five Core Relational Skills designed to help every couple reach their full potential. How Can I Get Through to You? is the audiobook that every couple has been waiting for -- and our culture needs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Conventional therapy has failed most couples," Real writes, and with over 20 years of marriage and family counseling experience, he's qualified to judge. Though traditional marital counseling has been prevalent for 30 years, divorce rates remain the same, and studies show that counseling has no lasting effect on either marital satisfaction or endurance. The author of I Don't Want to Talk About It, the national bestseller on male depression, Real is attuned to the characteristics of contemporary marriages and demonstrates insight into both male and female perspectives. The fundamental problem, he argues, is American culture's deeply entrenched "psychological patriarchy," which devalues all things feminine (including healthy relationships) and wounds males at an early age by disconnecting them from themselves and others. Men can't relate, and women can't teach them how ("If a wife truly demands that her emotional needs be met, she may indeed put her marriage on the line"). Counseling, too, fails them both in a "collusion of silence" as to what's really wrong. Real's alternative is "relational recovery." Identifying a healthy marriage as one following the repeated pattern of "harmony, disharmony, and restoration," Real teaches five skills for accomplishing the crucial, ongoing task of repair: holding the relationship in high regard, preserving intimacy and relational (i.e., authentically connected) speaking, listening and negotiating. With numerous scenes from his therapy sessions including quarrels most married couples will recognize Real deftly shows readers how to transcend "our culture's anti-relational bias" and move "out of patriarchy into healthy relatedness." This is a well-balancedand exciting new addition to the marriage-manual genre. Agent, Beth Vesel. (Jan.) Forecast: This breakthrough handbook should cause a stir in the marriage guidance field, with its acknowledgement of counseling's failings and exposing of what Real considers unhealthy fundamental American cultural values. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Two veteran family therapists have each written an excellent book on communication between partners. The author of I Don't Want To Talk About It, Real analyzes the reasons why men and women don't speak the same emotional language: boys' emotional relationships are squelched early on by peers, siblings, and fathers, whereas women learn to accommodate. Written with couples' therapy dramatizations, Real's book demonstrates his five relational skills: how to hold the relationship in regard, how to speak, how to listen, how to negotiate, and how to stay on course. Real, who is often called upon to arbitrate between couples as a last resort, is excellent at showing how couples can uncover hidden issues from the past and begin healing. The author of How To SayR It to Your Kids, Coleman takes a workbook approach to marriage therapy. He opens with six questions to which the couple must answer "happy" or "unhappy." He then explains his GIFTS technique in conversations: be Gentle, fix arguments with In-flight repairs, Find hidden concerns, use Teamwork, and reassure with Supportive comments. Each chapter begins with a scenario and continues with short tips under the "Have you heard?" heading, followed by "How to say it" and "How not to say it" and ending with "How to say it to yourself." Since chapter layouts are the same, the reader can easily pick out a problem area and read the two- to three-page chapter. Some topics include encouraging more conversation, rigid vs. flexible personalities, pregnancy, and cybersex. As popular marriage therapy manuals, these books are both suitable for public libraries and medical collections. The Coleman title is easier to use for a quick "fix," but Real's theories about men and women and how to take care of a marriage, though challenging, may prove more fruitful. Lisa Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Binghamton, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743520911
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
01/28/2002
Edition description:
Abridged, 3 cassettes, 4 hrs. 30 min.
Product dimensions:
7.04(w) x 4.24(h) x 1.09(d)

Meet the Author

Terrence Real is a psychotherapist in private practice. He has taught couples and family therapy, principally at the Family Institute of Cambridge, for twenty years. He lives with his wife and two sons in Newton, Massachusetts.

Terrence Real is a psychotherapist in private practice. He has taught couples and family therapy, principally at the Family Institute of Cambridge, for twenty years. He lives with his wife and two sons in Newton, Massachusetts.

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