A shameless book plug
September 20, 2012 by

I am an avid reader. I enjoy reading books for enjoyment as well as books related to my clinical practice or the courses that I am enrolled in as a doctoral student. Right now, I am reading a book that, to say it succinctly, is enlightening.

The book is about couple relationships. Some may marvel/shriek at the thought of a book on couple relationships as enlightening to a marriage and family therapist. I do have my master’s degree in marriage and family therapy but I have quickly learned that we as  therapists (and as people in general) are never done learning.

You may be wondering what is so intriguing about this book. Let me explain. The book is entitled What Makes Love Last? and is written by Dr. John Gottman (a world-renowned couples researcher) and Nan Silver.  Over the course of his career, Dr. Gottman has produced a countless number of research articles and books aimed at uncovering the mystery surrounding successful couple relationships.

What grabbed my attention was the following passage which appears in the first chapter of the book:

“Betrayal is the secret that lies at the heart of every failing relationship – it is there even if the couple is unaware of it. If a husband always puts his career ahead of his relationship, that is betrayal. When a wife keeps breaking a promise to start a family, that is also a betrayal. Pervasive coldness, selfishness, unfairness, and other destructive behaviors are also evidence of disloyalty and can lead to consequences as equally devastating as adultery.” 

Say it with me…wow. I have read that passage several times. It is definitely a different way of viewing betrayal. In our world today, the word “betrayal” is mostly reserved for sexual indiscretions. I think that this passage places emphasis on the great responsibility that we carry in our relationships. It is a responsibility to honor our partners in every way, every day.

Dr. Gottman is not naive. He presents research findings that make it clear that we will all mess up and betray our partners on some level. However, as Dr. Gottman points out, what is important is that we recognize the potential for betrayal and adopt strategies in our relationship that will ensure a solid foundation of trust and a sense of trustworthiness in each other.

I am almost finished with the book and so desperately wish that I could devote a half hour or so to finishing it right now. If you are unable to grab a copy of the book yourself, I do hope that you were able to take something away from this post! And…if you do get around to reading it, I would love to hear your thoughts and discuss the book with you.

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