We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Women and Men
"We Have to Talk." For many men, these are the four worst words in the English language, especially when they are uttered by a female partner. But it doesn't have to be that way, argue the authors of this pathbreaking and practical new book. 'Male relational dread' -- that all-too-familiar reaction set off by a woman's 'relational yearning' -- can be tamed, and in its place can emerge true satisfaction for men and women.
Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey, a remarkable husband-and-wife team, pose a bold challenge to bestselling books that say men and women must resign themselves to inherent gender differences. Drawing on their extensive clinical experience as psychiatrist and psychologist, and the workshops they've conducted with more than 20,000 people all over the world, Shem and Surrey outline a program of healing dialogues that will help any couple move beyond superficial harmony to genuine connection.
"We Have to Talk" is different from other relationship books. It does not teach one sex how to outwit the other. Instead, the authors acknowledge the differences between men and women, and then show how to use those differences to forge good connections. They key is to make the radical shift from 'I' and 'you' to 'we.'
To demonstrate how it is done, Shem and Surrey take us behind the scenes at their workshops. We hear couples speak intimately about anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and sex. We watch them wrestle collectively with the gender divides in their relationships -- the deep disconnects, or 'impasses' that reflect the vastly different development paths men and women have traveled. We see couples learn to bridge the poles of dread and yearning, to emerge from isolation intomutuality. We witness their moments of sadness, humor, and, ultimately, discovery. With this, we learn that a couple is more than a sum of its parts - indeed, that women and men can best flourish and grow in the shared experience of a relationship.
Filled with moving stories of real people struggling with real problems, "We Have to Talk" shatters the 'rules' and offers dramatic proof that men and women are not from different plants after all. It is certain to be seen as "the" relationship book for the new millennium.
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