The New York Times
The Husbands and Wives Club: A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Groupby Laurie Abraham
Starting in spring 2006, journalist Laurie Abraham sat in with five troubled couples as they underwent the searing process of group marriage therapy. Published as "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" the resulting article generated intense reader response. While space limitations allowed Abraham to focus only on one couple in her article, this book, which grew out of it and the reaction it inspired, tells the moving, fascinating story of all five.
Writing with the narrative dexterity of a great novelist, Abraham recounts the travails, triumphs, and reversals that beset the five couples as they work with their therapist—and each other—to find out whether they can attain the satisfaction in marriage they originally sought. At times wrenching, at times inspiring, the sessions bring out the long-hidden resentments, misunderstandings, unmet desires, and unspoken needs that bedevil many an imperiled couple. At the same time, these encounters provide road maps to reconciliation and revival that can be used by anyone in a relationship. Along the way, the author draws on her explorations of philosophy and literature, on Freudian theory and modern science, to decode the patterns and habits that suggest whether a troubled marriage will survive or die. The fact that the five couples are ultimately successful makes this not only an important look at the state of marital dysfunction in America today but a reaffirmation of the enduring bonds of love.
The New York Times
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Meet the Author
Laurie Abraham is a freelance writer and senior editor of Elle magazine and the author of Mama Might Be Better Off Dead: The Failure of Health Care in Urban America (University of Chicago Press). Formerly the executive editor of Elle, she’s written for New York Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, and many other publications. Her work is also included in Best American Essays 2006, as well as the original collections The Bitch in the House (2001), Maybe Baby (2006), and The Secret Currency of Love (2008). Laurie has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s in law from Yale University.
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