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Is It You or Is It Me?: How We Turn Our Emotions Inside Out and Blame Each Other

Overview

In this provocative new look at romantic relationships, psychologist Scott Wetzler explores the widespread phenomenon of misplaced anger that seems to define couple dynamics in the 1990s. He finds a wary, secretive, and combative atmosphere clouding relationships. Partners are feeling hurt and bruised by the very people with whom they are most vulnerable. In desperation and puzzlement, they are asking, "Who's at fault here? Is It You or Is It Me?

"What seems to be driving this "inside-out" dynamic, says Dr. ...

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Overview

In this provocative new look at romantic relationships, psychologist Scott Wetzler explores the widespread phenomenon of misplaced anger that seems to define couple dynamics in the 1990s. He finds a wary, secretive, and combative atmosphere clouding relationships. Partners are feeling hurt and bruised by the very people with whom they are most vulnerable. In desperation and puzzlement, they are asking, "Who's at fault here? Is It You or Is It Me?

"What seems to be driving this "inside-out" dynamic, says Dr. Wetzler, is our increasing inability to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings that intimacy arouses—anger, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, or self-doubt. We have become utterly cynical about love and find it easier to hold our partners responsible for our psychological frailties than to own up to and work through the confusing emotions that inevitably accompany falling and being in love.

In Is It You or Is It Me? Dr. Wetzler and Diane Cole explain that the key to better relationships is the ability to look inward rather than outward to understand why we feel the way we do. We need to acknowledge our own insecurities if we are ever to distinguish when blame really does exist "out there" and when responsibility resides within.

Written in a strong narrative style with illuminating case examples throughout, here is a book of relationship advice for grownups. Reading it will give couples the tools they need to sort through confusion, let go of anger, tolerate feelings of vulnerability, and learn to forgive. Only by truly understanding the ways in which we contribute to the problems in our relationships can we become the true masters of our fate and nurture the love we seek.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
It's all too easy for couples to get into the Blame Game, but once in the game, how do you get out of it? In the wonderfully written IS IT YOU OR IS IT ME? authors Scott Wetzler, PH.D., and Diane Cole have some surprising and remarkably helpful answers to offer.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Romantic relationships always have and always will entail opening ourselves up," begin psychotherapist Wetzler and coauthor Cole. Wetzler Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man and Cole contend, however, that the 1990s are characterized by a fear of making ourselves vulnerable, resulting in "the emergence of a special pathology" in romantic relationships. Working with individual adults and couples, Wetzler sees an increasingly common inability to tolerate uncomfortable emotions and projection of those emotions onto the partner. The answer to the question posed by the title, according to the authors, is always "me." For example, even if someone is behaving abusively toward another person, the abused person may accept and rationalize the abuse owing to a lack of self-worth and other painful feelings. This "inside-out dynamic" is played out repeatedly until the patient uncovers his or her own inner demons and achieves "insight" into who is really doing what in the relationship, "mastery" of their own emotions and behavior and "tolerance" for uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, anger, ambivalence or disappointment. Through many case studies, the authors illustrate common "mutual projections" in romantic relationships, offer insight into typical differences between male and female concerns and provide practical advice for disagreeing and setting boundaries. The result is an unusually clear and useful guide to healthy adult relationships. June
Library Journal
Psychologist Wetzler writes here about relationships and how to improve them, stating that most of us blame our partners for problems in our relationships when the fault really lies on our own shoulders. Using case studies, Wetzler describes many types of problems that couples encounter and shows the methods he has used in therapy to try to solve them. Most of the solutions deal with coming to terms with our own faults and insecurities and not projecting them onto our partner. The couples he depicts are realistically drawn, and most readers will find themselves somewhere in the text. Wetzler also includes chapters on divorce and moving beyond a bad relationship. His premise, that we are responsible for our own happiness, is well presented. A very good book for self-help collections.--Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Holland, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060187439
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/17/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Wetzler, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, is the author of Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man.

Scott Wetzler, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, is the author of Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man.

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