Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage

Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage

by Maggie Scarf
     
 

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“Anyone involved in, embarking on, or yearning for, an intimate relationship should buy, borrow or steal Intimate Partners.”
–New Woman

What goes on in our intimate attachments? What patterns of relationships do couples tend to follow, and why? The bonds we create affect every aspect of our lives, and yet our grasp of them is limited by our

Overview

“Anyone involved in, embarking on, or yearning for, an intimate relationship should buy, borrow or steal Intimate Partners.”
–New Woman

What goes on in our intimate attachments? What patterns of relationships do couples tend to follow, and why? The bonds we create affect every aspect of our lives, and yet our grasp of them is limited by our emotional reactions and learned responses. Now, in Intimate Partners, bestselling author Maggie Scarf gives us the classic book on marriage–on how love relationships are formed and how they change over the course of the marital cycle. Here you’ll discover

• how to understand one’s inherited emotional history–and how fits with a partner’s
• the fascinating ways in which power and control, and intimacy and autonomy exert strong effects upon the kind of partnership two people create
• surprising observations on the role of sex and the impact of children on marriage
• why change can be experienced as a form of betrayal–and how to ensure that a relationship matures with, and is not impeded by, each individual’s growth
• simple exercises that couples can do to resolve tensions and change the nature of the world they share

• verbal and physical techniques to cope with sexual difficulties and enliven a couple’s connection during sex
• straightforward methods for how to engage in healthy–not dysfunctional–quarrels

Intimate Partners is a book that changes not only how we view love relationships, but also how we live them.

“Every marriage contains a story, and it begins long before the wedding, Maggie Scarf tells us in her ambitious, thought-provoking . . . ultimately compelling study. . . . Read it and feel consoled.”
–USA Today

“Listen to Maggie Scarf . . . and you’ll come away thinking that yes, marriage can be tough, living long-term with another person is one of the greatest challenges there is, but it’s well worth the effort.”
–Chicago Tribune

“Provocative . . . Scarf writes lucidly and convincingly.”
–The Washington Post Book World

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this probing, widely researched and literate study on the nature of intimacy, Scarf (Unfinished Business, etc.) explores the reasons for the selection of mates and for the success or failure of contemporary marriages. She stresses the importance of family and other past influences, which she traces by means of a genogram, a kind of ``emotional family tree.'' She identifies phases of marriage from idealization and disenchantment through those dominated by career-building and child-rearing to the rediscovery of each other in mature years. These phases require adaptive change on the part of both partners, however most pairs, Scarf maintains, are not aware of the nature of the power struggle for emotional dominance in the fields of sex, career, finances, child-rearing, etc., and the intimacy/autonomy conflict over which many relationships founder. The author's clear-headed, constructive advice about marital problems, including guidance on sexual adjustments, should be of help to couples at all stages. 75,000 first printing; major ad/promo; first serial to Atlantic Monthly; BOMC alternate; author tour. (February 12)
Library Journal
Though not a trained therapist, Scarf is remarkably skilled at inducing couples to reveal in fascinating detail their problems with intimacy. As she talked wtih articulate couples undergoing training in intimacy, she found patterns of unconscious collusion referring back to problems in each partner's earlier relationships. To counteract such patterns, she advises enlarging the familial context to unacknowledged issues and legacies and offers highly relevant tasks honoring self-differentiation while encouraging collaboration. Her book as a whole is an excellent introduction to the important concept of interpersonal projective identification (the use of another as a container for one's dissociated or disavowed contents). Highly recommended for popular collections. William Abrams, Portland State Univ. Lib., Ore.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345418203
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/02/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
641,976
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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