Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partnerby Phillip C. McGraw
With Life Strategies, Phil McGraw helped hundreds of thousands of people take responsibility for their own actions and break free from self-destructive habits and situations. Now he turns his honest, unflinching eye toward relationshipsdiagnosing them, repairing them, and maintaining them. This hands-on book is for people who realize their relationship is in… See more details below
With Life Strategies, Phil McGraw helped hundreds of thousands of people take responsibility for their own actions and break free from self-destructive habits and situations. Now he turns his honest, unflinching eye toward relationshipsdiagnosing them, repairing them, and maintaining them. This hands-on book is for people who realize their relationship is in trouble, but who dont want to give up on it. In addition, it includes questionnaires, profiles, and checklists that will keep readers focused and aware of their feelings. Phil McGraw has already established himself as someone whom readers can turn to for direct, tell-it-like-it-is help in their own lives. Now he offers readers the chance for further happiness through meaningful, fulfilling relationships that work. Dr. McGraw helps get relationships back on track with a controversial explosion of the myths of conventional relationship thinking and clear action-oriented steps for reconnecting partners.
Are you in a troubled relationship? Worried about the stability of your marriage or your future with your life partner? Have you considered counseling but forgone it for a lack of either time or money? Now you can get help for your floundering relationship and the next-best thing to your own personal counselor with Phillip McGraw's newest self-help book, Relationship Rescue.
At a time when the stability of relationships is at an all-time low and divorce rates still hang above the 50 percent mark, McGraw's book is a welcome addition to the self-help market. Its intensive, hands-on approach sets it apart from all the rest and may offer the best solution for many who are hoping to build (or resurrect) a meaningful and fulfilling relationship.
McGraw's basic premise isn't revolutionary. Like many before him, he preaches that the quality of a relationship depends upon two things: the existence and strength of an underlying friendship and the degree to which the needs of both partners are met. The different between McGraw's approach and that of others in the field is the way he goes about guiding the reader through this process. The program McGraw advocates in Relationship Rescue isn't geared toward figuring out why a relationship is broken but rather toward fixing it. His book is not for the fainthearted: McGraw makes it clear up front that a serious commitment is required, for the process is neither easy nor comfortable.
An intriguing aspect of McGraw's method is that it doesn't require active involvement from the other partner in the relationship, though admittedly the whole process is more likely to succeed if both parties work together. Instead, McGraw puts the onus squarely on the reader's shoulders, advocating a program of self-healing that will identify destructive behaviors, overcome damaging beliefs, and promote realistic goal-setting for the relationship. The process involves an intensive program of self-analysis, brutal honesty, and accountability. McGraw directs readers to accept responsibility for their own happiness, to identify those obstacles that may be preventing it, and to take an aggressive and active approach toward achieving it. According to McGraw, fixing yourself will trigger changes in your partner's behaviors and attitudes, changes that will ultimately salvage the relationship.
If this sounds like a monumental task, it is. However, Relationship Rescue walks readers through the process one step at a time, providing the type of information, guidance, and "sessions" one might experience in a therapist's office. The book contains guidelines to stimulate thought, questionnaires to help the reader identify and deal with any emotional baggage they might be carrying, a provocative look at the types of behaviors that reflect one's "dark side," and even a scripted dialogue for when it's time to approach the partner. It's an ongoing and lengthy process, replete with lots of homework.
McGraw's tone is a refreshing one that brooks no nonsense and gets straight to the heart of the matter. He takes a firm stand on a number of issues, often coming down on the opposite side of the fence from many current relationship counselors. He embraces the differences between men and women and defends certain types of disagreement as necessary evils. He emphasizes the importance of intimacy and vulnerability and dispels some commonly held myths about romance, love, and the nature of relationships. And his ideas on the necessity of conflict resolution may turn some modern-day counselors apoplectic.
This isn't a warm and fuzzy book; in fact, readers who actually go through all of McGraw's activities will find many of them downright uncomfortable. There are no platitudes or cutesy sayings here to provide short-term cover-ups; rather the book reads like an intensive-care manual for saving a floundering relationship or resurrecting a dying one. Following McGraw's plan may not succeed in all cases; in fact, he lists some scenarios that don't, in his opinion, warrant the attempt. But even if his plan fails to save an existing relationship, it is bound to leave the reader more self-aware. Much of McGraw's focus is on breaking old habits so that the same mistakes aren't repeated in future relationships. The resultant improvement in both emotional and mental health (which often equates to better physical health as well, due to lessened stress) can only have a positive effect on other, nonromantic relationships as well as any future romantic ones.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
RELATIONSHIP HEALTH PROFILE
Let's take an overall look at your relationship. The following is a broad questionnaire, a true/false test that includes items relevant to the health of you and your relationship. Again, be honest and go with your first reaction. Do not spend an excessive amount of time debating any one item.
Circle either True or False for each item.
|1. I am satisfied with my sex life.||True||False|
|2. My partner doesn't really listen to me.||True||False|
|3. I trust my partner.||True||False|
|4. I feel picked on and put down.||True||False|
|5. I am hopeful about our future.||True||False|
|6. It is not easy to share my feelings.||True||False|
|7. My partner often says, I love you.||True||False|
|8. Sometimes I feel rage.||True||False|
|9. I feel appreciated.||True||False|
|10. I am out of control.||True||False|
|11. My partner is there for me in hard times.||True||False|
|12. My partner is harsh in his or her criticism.||True||False|
|13. My partner understands me.||True||False|
|14. I fear my partner is bored.||True||False|
|15. My partner doesn't like to share what's on his or her mind.||True||False|
|16. I imagine myself divorced.||True||False|
|17. My relationship is what I always dreamed of.||True||False|
|18. I know I am right.||True||False|
|19. My partner treats me with dignity and respect.||True||False|
|20. My partner is a taker.||True||False|
|21. We often do fun things together.||True||False|
|22. Sometimes I just want to hurt my partner.||True||False|
|23. I feel loved.||True||False|
|24. I would rather lie than deal with a problem.||True||False|
|25. We still have a lot of passion in our relationship.||True||False|
|26. I am trapped with no escape.||True||False|
|27. My partner thinks I am fun to be with.||True||False|
|28. Our relationship has gotten boring.||True||False|
|29. We enjoy going out on dates alone.||True||False|
|30. My partner is ashamed of me.||True||False|
|31. We trust each other a great deal.||True||False|
|32. We have become nothing more than roommates.||True||False|
|33. I know my partner will never leave me.||True||False|
|34. I am no longer proud of my body.||True||False|
|35. My partner respects me.||True||False|
|36. My partner constantly compares me to others.||True||False|
|36. My partner constantly compares me to others.||True||False|
|37. My partner still finds me desirable.||True||False|
|38. We just seem to want different things.||True||False|
|39. I am allowed to think for myself.||True||False|
|40. I feel crowded by my partner.||True||False|
|41. I am honest with my partner.||True||False|
|42. People have no idea what our relationship is really like.||True||False|
|43. My partner is open to suggestions.||True||False|
|44. My partner has shut me out.||True||False|
|45. My partner is my primary source of emotional support.||True||False|
|46. I feel judged and rejected by my partner.||True||False|
|47. My partner cares if I am upset or sad.||True||False|
|48. My partner treats me like a child.||True||False|
|49. My partner puts our relationship ahead of all others.||True||False|
|50. I'll never satisfy my partner.||True||False|
|51. My partner wants to hear my stories.||True||False|
|52. I chose my partner for the wrong reasons.||True||False|
|53. I look forward to our time together.||True||False|
|54. My partner thinks I am boring in bed.||True||False|
|55. My partner is lucky to have me.||True||False|
|56. My partner treats me like an employee.||True||False|
|57. I win my share of disputes.||True||False|
|58. I envy my friends' relationships.||True||False|
|59. My partner would protect me if necessary.||True||False|
|60. I am suspicious of my partner.||True||False|
|61. I feel needed by my partner.||True||False|
|62. My partner is jealous of me.||True||False|
Now go back over your test and count all of the even-numbered questions to which you answered True. Write down the total. Now go back and count all of the odd-numbered items to which you answered False. Add that number to your True total to get your overall score.
Even-numbered "True" responses:
Odd-numbered "False" responses:
This test is designed to give you a quick snapshot of the health of your relationship. If your overall score is above 32, it is likely that your relationship is in extreme danger of failing. If your total score is between 20 and 32, then your relationship is seriously troubled and you may be living an emotional divorce. If your total score is between 12 and 19, then your relationship is probably about average (which is not great) and certainly needs work. If your score is below 11, then your relationship is well above the norm and may have isolated areas in which you can improve.
THE RELATIONSHIP BEHAVIOR PROFILE: YOUR PARTNER
Here are ten questions that will help organize and guide your thinking about why you feel the way you do about your partner. If some of your answers are the same to each question, that's okay. Use your journal, if you wish, to help you better understand your feelings.
- List five instances of your partner's loving behavior toward you during the last month.
- List five instances of unloving or hateful things your spouse has done to you during the last month.
- List and describe your partner's five best qualities.
- List and describe your partner's five worst qualities.
- List five things which you have asked or scolded or nagged your partner to correct or improve, but which your partner has not corrected or improved.
- List five things that made you fall in love with your partner
- List five things that today would make you fall out of love with your partner.
- Describe your partner's sexual relationship with you, paying particular attention to your partner's:
- Pattern of initiation
- Describe your partner's tendency or lack thereof to focus on you, paying particular attention to:
- Desire for being physically close
- Desire to talk with you one-on-one
- Desire to spend time alone with you
- Desire to protect you or comfort you during times of need
- Desire to please you
- Do you look forward to seeing your partner at the end of a day? If not, write in your journal the reasons why. Be as specific as possible. If your partner complains about the way the house looks, write it down. If it's a look on your partner's face, write that down. If it's because you feel you have to invent conversation to make things pleasant between the two of you, write that down too.
THE RELATIONSHIP BEHAVIOR PROFILE: YOU
That was the easy part. Now here are ten similar questions that you absolutely must answer with total honesty and candor to help organize and guide your assessment about the way you think about yourself, and about the way you and your partner relate. These are questions that you might not think to ask yourself, so consider them carefully. Resolve right now that you are not going to lie to yourself. Propel yourself to deal with the truth about yourself, even if it hurts. Prepare your heart and mind to be open rather than defensive. It is cowardly to blame, and it is cowardly and self-destructive to be in denial. Use your journal, if you wish, to help you understand why you feel the way you do.
- List five instances of loving behavior toward your partner during the last month.
- List five instances of unloving or hateful things you have done to your partner during the last month.
- List and describe your five best qualities.
- List and describe your five worst qualities.
- List five things which your partner has asked or scolded or nagged you to correct or improve, but which you have not corrected or improved.
- List five things that made your partner fall in love with you.
- List five things that today would make your partner fall out of love with you.
- Describe your sexual relationship with your partner, paying particular attention to your own:
- Pattern of initiation
- Describe your tendency or lack thereof to focus on your partner, paying particular attention to:
- Desire for being physically close
- Desire to talk with your partner one-on-one
- Desire to spend time alone with your partner
- Desire to protect or comfort your partner during times of need
- Desire to please your partner
- Does your partner look forward to seeing you at the end of a day? If no, write in your journal the reasons why. Be as specific as possible. If you tend to complain to your partner about the day you've had soon after you see your partner, write that down. If you tend to have a stressful look on your face when you see your partner, write that down. If it's because you feel a sense of dread upon the sight of your partner, write that down too.
I hope this test helps you understand that fixing a relationship means a lot more than fixing your partner. In fact, as I will insist over and over throughout this book, there is no need for you to approach this rescue mission from the perspective of straightening your partner out. Trust me, you've got a lot of work to do yourself. This is not about winning out over your partner; this is about winning for the relationship.
You will also hear me frequently say throughout this book that you must approach your relationship with a willingness to own your part of the problem. Whatever your partner repeatedly does in your relationship, he or she does it at least in part because of how you respond. You teach your partner how to treat you--or how to continue treating you--by the way you respond. You either elicit, maintain, or allow the behavior by your own responses. If, for example, your partner takes certain excesses in the relationship or is consistently rude and insensitive, I promise you he or she has learned that such behavior is acceptable because of the way you have responded. You may in fact have actually rewarded your partner for such behavior by giving in, abandoning your position, or by getting so upset that you no longer can express adequately what you feel and believe.
Acknowledging your own problems can be most refreshing when you realize that at last you are getting real about what is going on. I am betting you will find that that willingness to take a non-defensive look at yourself can and will be inspiring to your partner.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >