Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay in or Get Out of Your Relationship

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Overview

To make up or break up? Whether you’re just getting serious or have a long-term commitment, no other question causes so much heartache and self-doubt. Many other books tell you how to fix your relationship. This groundbreaking bestseller is the first one to help you choose whether you should try—or you need to go.

Psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum draws on years of research and her work with real-life couples to help you make the right decision. She shows you how to diagnose your...

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Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

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Overview

To make up or break up? Whether you’re just getting serious or have a long-term commitment, no other question causes so much heartache and self-doubt. Many other books tell you how to fix your relationship. This groundbreaking bestseller is the first one to help you choose whether you should try—or you need to go.

Psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum draws on years of research and her work with real-life couples to help you make the right decision. She shows you how to diagnose your unique situation with self-analysis and questions like these, which get to the very heart of your problems:

• What sins are forgivable and which ones unpardonable?
• Is your partner questioning your opinions to the point where you doubt yourself?
• What is your sex life really like, and how important is it?
• Is there real love left between you, and how does it stack up against all that you find unlovable?

Mira Kirshenbaum provides expert guidelines that are the key to making all your choices, concrete steps that you can implement right now, and the ultimate way to determine your personal bottom line—what you need to be happy. This remarkably insightful and probing guide offers advice that lets you see the truth about your relationship—and with wisdom and compassion, it helps you act with the confidence of knowing that whether you decide to go or stay, you are doing the very best thing.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A psychotherapist's guidelines for evaluating relationships. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441824288
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 2/9/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 7 CDs, 8 hours
  • Sales rank: 1,440,775
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mira Kirshenbaum is clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute, a center for therapy and research in Boston, and has been treating patients in individual and couples therapy for more than thirty years. She is the author of ten other books, including Our Love is Too Good, To Feel So Bad, Everything Happens for a Reason, and When Good People Have Affairs.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2008

    Break Free of Ambivalence

    Too Good to Leave / Too Bad to Stay spoke to me in a way no other self-help book ever has. Mira Kirshenbaum clearly understands those of us stuck in a cycle of thinking that keeps us confused and that prevents us from acknowledging the truth of our relationships and making a decision in one direction or another. In a gentle, yet frank and straightforward manner, she guides her readers through a series of questions, purposefully designed and ordered, which if answered honestly, can help break the cycle of ambivalence. She anticipates the reactions and emotions ambivalent thinkers might have and the comments they might make which would cause them to focus on less important, or unimportant, details and redirects their thinking away from the cycle of ambivalence. She offers plenty of examples to illustrate and clarify her questions, again directing the reader away from ambivalent thinking. And with each question, once answered, she offers a response to the unasked "But how do I know it's the right decision?" thought by relating the probability of happiness and satisfaction based on the numbers of people who have made the same choice. She never tells her readers what choice to make - only that they should be true to their own feelings and desires and willing to act on the truths that make sense to them. She offers hope for the future. This is, without a doubt, a book written with the purpose of helping those who have been unable to see their way clear to helping themselves, and Mira Kirshenbaum's desire to do that is evident on every page.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    Irresponsible

    This book contains lots of food for thought, but the objective, empirical presentation is irresponsible, as is the author's failure to hold the reader accountable for his or her own part in the marital discord. By the time most people pick up a book like this one, they are so angry and unhappy that it is hard for them to see their own contribution to the problem. That self-focused examination is essential if you don't want to repeat in your next marriage the exact same problems you have in this one. If you want out because you are too hard-headed to see your part in it, then this book will open the door for you to go. There is little discussion of the need for both partners to grow up - if not for themselves and their own happiness, then for the sake of their kids.

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2000

    DANGER!!

    This book ALMOST ended our marriage... If a person is unhappy and looking for someone to support them in NOT looking at themselves but blaming the partner for everything this is the book. If you want to save your marriage look elsewhere. If you are set on ending your marriage, then no need to read this unless you are looking for someone to tell you it's 'ok'.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2007

    A good 'sanity' check

    I thought it was an excellent book. It helped me through a very difficult time of trying to decide whether to stay in a marriage or not. I finally decided that it was too broken to attempt to fix it and left. I am a happier person, and I think my ex is too. I really liked the approach of 'symptoms' as opposed to pros vs cons. If you are not sure about your relationship, if you are doubting yourself -this book is a good sanity check.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    Helped me tremendously!

    If you are looking for someone to make the decision for you, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for something to help you really examine your relationship with someone because you feel you have done your very best and need a more clear view, this is the book for you. It asks leading questions that make you actually think about the dynamics of your relationship and whether it is not as bad as you thought or worse (as was my case) than you thought.
    When I went looking through the books in the store and I was thumbing through it, this one hit home so hard and so accurately that I actually cried in the store.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Need help deciding your future

    Sometimes we are so immersed in a situation, we cannot see clearly.<BR/>Twelve years ago, this book and it's commonsense advice helped me <BR/>come to a final decision about leaving my marriage of 25 years. It <BR/>gave situations people might be involved in - and gave clear cut <BR/>comments on these situations--Eg: "Most people in this situation found <BR/>they were happier if they stayed, or if they left the relationship"<BR/>It helped me see more clearly during a time when my self confidence and self esteem were nil. Thank you Mira.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2006

    What an eye opener

    This book opened my eyes to the basic fundementals of a good relationship. It allows you to walk through your relationship and answers questions on your own. It also helps to encourage you through the process with very positive remarks here and there. I would recommend as you read this book to not only look at what is offered to you in your current relationship, but to also read this and examine yourself. There are certainly enough subjects approached to help correct either your current relationship or help you examine yourself when starting a new one.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    Very helpful

    I was going thru a time when I just wasn't sure if I wanted to stay or go. This book made me realize what I have, and how sometimes even when we say we don't expect perfection, a lot of times we still do. Not to say that everything is roses all the time now, but I have a better way of looking at things. This book really helped me, and I was able to work on my relationship because of that.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    SAVED MY MARRIAGE!

    I actually bought this book in the hopes that my husband who was waffling about leaving, putting me on an emotional roller coaster, would read it. I just brought it home, matter of factly, with some others that I was going to read. He picked it up, read it, showed up at my office the next day with flowers, saying that he wants to work it out! I asked him what changed since he was so sure he wanted to leave the day before, and he said 'the book'....

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    YES...***DANGER*** Do the math. The author states that if even

    YES...***DANGER***
    Do the math.
    The author states that if even 1 answer out of 35 questions points to leaving, then the reader should leave and say good-bye.
    That gives the reader who is probably hurting to some degree a 1 in 34,359,738,368 chance of coming to the conclusion that working on the relationship may in fact be rewarding.
    That's 1 in over 34 BILLION.
    The questions are thought provoking, but the process of evaluation and coming to a decision is OVERWHELMINGLY biased toward leaving.
    Now, is that really objective? I don't think so.
    Again, it's not so much about issues that need a looking at, it's the logic behind making the decision that is the PROBLEM and that reveals DANGER in the form of MANIPULATION and COERCION.
    The author stands on grounds that she has empirically sampled a large enough population to come to her conclusions.
    Her thoughts are along the lines of (paraphrasing in my words), &quot;People who have answered yes to this question, were happy they left.&quot;
    Follow me...There are 35 questions to answer (and she did deliberately place them in an order)...
    If you answer 'L' to ANY question then you can feel CONFIDENT you should LEAVE.
    If you answer 'S' to a question, then you can &quot;STAY&quot; which simply means proceed to the next question.
    If by some miraculous chance you make it to the end without a single 'L' you can feel confident in STAYING in your relationship.
    Giving credibility to the rational behind the questions she poses the reader, one must agree that there is an equal chance of answering each question one way or the other.
    In other words the possible outcome of each question is 50/50 or 1 in 2.
    After 2 questions the population of readers &quot;staying&quot; would be 1 in 4.
    After 3 questions the population of readers &quot;staying&quot; would be 1 in 8.
    After 10 questions the population of readers &quot;staying&quot; would be only 1 in 1024.
    After 15 questions the number of leavers would be 32767 and with only 1 stayer.
    After 20 questions there would be over 1 million leavers.
    All the way to 35 questions which would be over 34 billion leavers to a single stayer.
    The world does not even have 34 billion people.
    The author has not interviewed before and afters of 34 billion people and claims to be the authority on the subject.
    Also...the following question is the LAST (#35) question...
    35. If all the problems in your relationship were magically solved today, would you still feel ambivalent about whether to stay or leave?
    Why did she not ask this question first?
    It's downright evil (M.Scott Peck) to suggest a person in emotional turmoil base his/her life long changing decisions with that kind of logic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Really?! A Sad Excuse for a Self-Help Book

    You simply can't reduce a decision about whether to get a divorce to an objective test of what the other person brings to the relationship. If you are looking for a justification to leave your marriage and are unwilling to consider your patterns or contribution, then this book is for you. If you are interested in understanding or personal growth, then don't waste your time or money.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Fantastic approach to solving relationship ambivalence

    The title said it all to me- I was in a relationship that was "Too good to leave [and] too bad to stay". Kirshenbaum lead me through stages of trying to solve which one was really true. Based on her experieces counseling real couples (and their happiness with their decisions to stay in or get out of relationships) this book takes a new approach to "weighing" the situation.

    Essentially, the book asks a series of questions that try to get to the bottom of your relationship- if it is really too broken to fix or if it has too much potential to abandon. It was very helpful to have a book that encouraged action; when you're in relationship ambivalence you put all your energy into trying to decide instead of trying to fix the situation or trying to get out and over it. By examining everything through Kirshenbaum's questions, you can hopefully decide what is best for you and act on it.

    I'd highly recommend this book to anyone stuck in the relationship grey area the title describes.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    Great Tool

    This book is a great tool to help you evaluate your relationship (I was married for 11 years) I read this book and felt right about my choice to leave (abuse....physical and mental), it was a destructive relationship and I am glad I found this book!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2002

    Seriously?

    This book generates the mind, but confuses the spirit. I read with the idea that a solid truth would emerge by the end of the book. But, is life this black and white? I doubt that. This book lists 'diagnostic criteria' to tell you to leave or stay, and then in the last chapter, it states if you answered 'yes' to any single 'diagnostic criteria' then you would be better off leaving. If only life were that simple, none of us would need self help books. On the other hand, this book did enlighten the spark of decision making in my brain. It gave concrete examples of couples that made choices that affected their life. Certainly can be used as a tool, but not as a checklist.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2000

    The Last Resort

    I think this book is very helpful to someone who has tried everything possible to make their relationship work including taking responsibility for their own actions in the relationship but still is stuck in ambivalence. This book gives the clarity to see the situation as it is, not as it could be or should be. Reading this book gave me alot of clarity to my 8-year, yo-yo relationship. The book does not tell you what to do, but gives you the information to make a decision that would be beneficial for everyone involved, and helps you to see that being stuck in a state of confusion is not helping your relationship one way or the other. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has tried everything and is still confused as to what to do about their relationship.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2006

    Invaluable

    I found this book at a time when I was evaluating whether to stay with my husband. It helped me to focus on what was really important to me. I've shared it with a few friends whose relationships were troubled.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    Thought provoking

    This book is very helpful if you are struggling with the decision to go or stay. I would recommend this book for people who are comtemplating marriage, as it will help to clarify your situation so you can be sure you are not making a mistake.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    A Must have

    Best book I have ever read in this category. I have referred it to a handful of friends. Even if your relationship isnt troubled currently it is a great book to get under your belt to help you should trouble arise. Gave me clarity

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    LAWYER BOYFRIEND'S CPA GAVE ME THIS BOOK!

    When I found myself torn about staying with or leaving my relationship of 4 years, I was both shocked and validated in my frustration when my lawyer-boyfriend's Accountant and CPA told me to read this book. The CPA told me he had also gave my lawyer-boyfriend's ex-wife (they were married 20 years and divorced)this same book to read because their marriage was so destructive to themselves, their 2 kids, and everyone else around them! It was a living hell 24/7 being around this man, his ex, his kids, his friends, his clients. Thank God his CPA gave me this book!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2001

    My Guide For A Relationship.

    Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay is a really good book. I like the idea of putting many different stories about good and bad relationships in a book. Readers can find one of the stories and relate to them. Some readers will make a better decision after they read this book and some might have to end theirs. I'm a teenager, and i think this is a really good value. I haven't experience any kind of 'too good' or 'too bad' relationships, but i would say this is a perfect book for teenagers because it will help us to know what is a right relationship and what is not before we start one.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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