Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: How Couples Really Work
Wyn Bramley provides no simple solutions to disharmony or impending break-up, but she does offer a clear model for understanding how couple partnerships operate, thus creating opportunities for change. Without blame or judgment, she sets out to help you discover the truth of why you and your partner are really together at all, and what unacknowledged forces keep you together, or threaten to tear you apart.Illustrative material from therapy sessions admits the reader to the pain and joy occurring in every stage of coupledom, from the selection--conscious and unconscious--of one's other half, to the agony and ecstasy of the early years, right through to old age and the facing of a partner's death. Many imagine a shared life to be a refuge or cure for emotional pain. In fact, mature loving is hard work, but when achieved, perhaps years later, the rewards are great and lasting. In this book, we meet people of all ages in enormous distress, on the edge of splitting up, enduring illness, affairs, children or in-law issues, redundancy or competing life styles; or suffering unutterable loneliness within the relationship, unable to understand the loss of former closeness. Making sense of what has been, and is, happening beneath the surface often needs a third party to unravel unspoken issues which have previously been oblivious to the couple. Therapeutic intervention is not always a success (and the author explains why), but many couples do come through to a better and truer understanding of their own and their partner's make-up, resulting in a more authentic and realistic way of dealing with their shared concerns. Not all couples require therapy, of course. A careful reading of this book could be sufficient to start off a change in a couple's way of thinking, such that impending problems are prevented or better managed. The attitudes and psychological capacities required by those who do approach a couple therapist, as well as a summary of who might and might not need help, are addressed in the concluding section of the book.
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