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-From the foreword by Julia Lewis, co-author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce
Posted October 9, 2006
I strongly disagree with the complaints that I have seen here about this book. Coleman says within the first 2 pages that people have a right to leave unhappy marriages, even if those divorces are potentially harmful to the children. In addition, his book has been endorsed by many of the top family researchers in the field such as sociologists, Paul Amato at Penn State University and David Popenoe at Rutgers University. I think the author takes the position that not all marriages can be made ideal, but there's a lot you can do to protect your happiness and the happiness of your children. He also cites the cases where it's more harmful to stay than to leave. This whole idea that ''If you're not happy then you should just leave' is way too self-serving. What about providing children with the model that you work on being happy even if your partner doesn't make you happy? What about providing children with the role model that sometimes you have to stick it out when things aren't going well because there aren't any better alternatives? Providing readers with healthy solutions seems to be more of the message of his book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2005
to know that staying in an unhappy marriage for the 'sake of the children' is an absolutely ridiculous decision. You cannot under any circumstances hide your unhappiness from your children. And I don't care what 'techniques' you try, if you do not find your happiness, you can only pretend for so long. There may not be any fairytale marriages, but there are certainly people better suited for an individual more than others. For those living like this, think about how unhappy you are. Do you want your children to follow in your footsteps?? The best thing you can do is love your children and show them how to be happy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 18, 2004
I can understand a negative reaction and, to a limited extent, agree. I was especially disturbed by the suggestion that some couples agree on affairs. Nonetheless, Coleman's accepted reasons for divorce include far more than abuse and mental illness. Coleman¿s clear advice is that you should move on if you can¿t reduce the conflict in your marriage. Open, continuous, hostile conflict is bad for kids. He also seems to acknowledge that, when children are involved, there are no good answers if you have tried and don¿t seem to be able to resuscitate your marriage. He does, however, encourage you to consider the possibility that continuing the marriage for the sake of your kids could be more important than your selfish and doomed pursuit of a fairytale marriage. Furthermore, it is refreshing to read books that encourage ¿ in fact, demand ¿ that you examine your part in your marital discord. I have seen too many books that irresponsibly permit or even encourage the reader to blame the other spouse for all the problems. If you are miserable, it¿s time you examine your part in making your marriage miserable, especially if you once believed you had found your partner for life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2004
Coleman basically states that NO MATTER WHAT (though he does make exception for abuse or mental illness) a couple should stay married for the sake of the children. The books shows different types of marriages - which should really be called 'agreements' - one of which is CO-EXISTING. What does that teach your children??? He even states that SOME COUPLE AGREE TO AFFAIRS WITH UNDERSTOOD LIMITS - LIKE ONLY ON BUSINESS TRIPS OR OUTSIDE THEIR SOCIAL CIRCLE! What would THAT say to your children??? It is dispicable! I found the book to be the perfect book if one is looking for justification as to why they continue to stay miserably married!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 27, 2003
Marriage is not all `happily ever after¿, and when the bumpy times hit, it¿s good to have options. This book discusses the option of staying married through the hard times. And it¿s a really great read ! This book doesn¿t suggest martyrdom (actually, it discusses the times when leaving a marriage can be the best option). Rather, it empowers us with techniques for change, methods of coping, and new ways of looking at relationships that can lead to greater marital harmony and personal happiness. I¿d even suggest this wonderful book as a wedding gift, because the techniques discussed are helpful in building and maintaining strong marriages. Kudos to Dr. Joshua Coleman for taking on this controversial topic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2003
Imperfect Harmony describes my marriage which has felt for a long time like mere roommates sharing a house with small kids. I have now begun to think that the kids might benefit from this arrangement more than they would if I left to seek 'greener pastures'. Maybe I can have greener pastures while still living in this house. This book has given me hope. Thank you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 30, 2003
Imperfect Harmony is a breath of fresh air. So many of us stay married for the sake of our children but feel encumbered by this reason for remaining in the marriage. Dr. Coleman validates what so many of us have done but have felt our underlying reasons to be socially unacceptable. Imperfect Harmony provides a realistic view of what is happening in contemporary society and offers tools to manage a widespread choice (staying married for the sake of our children). These tools have had quick, dramatic effects on my entire family system. Practical, insightful, nonjudgemental.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 17, 2003
I found Dr. Coleman's approach extremely refreshing. So many of us feel guilty for staying in a marriage primarily for the sake of our children. His book allowed me to actually feel good about my reasons for staying in my marriage. His way of thinking has helped me to actually change the way I feel about a stance I have taken. Very practical, user-friendly!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2003
Dr. Coleman has produced an elegantly written book which speaks to a sizeable portion of the population. Bound to stimulate controversy because he has the courage to accurately reflect the struggles of many couples, while recommending self-care strategies which are thoughtful and practical. Even couples without serious marital problems will find many of his suggestions useful. Intelligently written with a noteworthy list of references.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.