Harmony Books/imprint of Crown Publishing Co/Division of Random House Inc, New York, 2005. ISBN 1400080983.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 11/07/2005
Mira Kirshenbaum is an award winning, bestselling author of several books on relationships including Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship, The Gift of a Year: How to Give Yourself the Most Meaningful, Pleasurable, and Satisfying Year of Your Life, Women & Love: The Eight Make-or-Break Experiences of Love in Women's Lives, Parent/Teen Breakthrough: The Relationship Approach, and Our Love Is Too Good to Feel So Bad: The 10 Prescriptions to Heal Your Relationship. The author is married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Charles Foster, who has co-authored at least one of her books. Her career accomplishments include thirty years as a couples' therapist, being a two-time finalist for the national "Books for a Better Life Award", and serving as director of The Chestnut Hill Institute in Boston, MA.
I didn't set out to read a book on relationships. I was merely browsing the shelves of "New Arrivals" at the local library. But the title of this book just reached out and grabbed me. Being married to an adorable but self-professed workaholic husband, the title spoke to me. Never being one to check out a book without first reading a few pages to be sure it is something I will want to take home, I read first one page and then another. Before I knew it, I was halfway done with the book and had not made it to the checkout line! Kirshenbaum hooked me from the introduction and didn't let me go until the final word. The following is excerpted from that Introduction:
"This is the weekend marriage. It's the marriage most of us have these days: during a typical week you have only minutes, not hours, to spend feeling like a couple -- getting close, having fun together, feeling intimate." "Few of us are exempt. Whoever is the busiest or most drained determines how much time the two of you have together. If he or she has only a few minutes a day for the relationship, that's all the relationship gets."
With her own personal insights as well as lessons learned from her many years as a therapist, she brings a fresh perspective to the whole issue of how couples spend their limited time together. In her rather short but richly detailed book, readers can:
- Take the No-Time-For-Love-Test to "determine whether your problems come mostly from the fact that you have no time for love or mostly from how you fit together as individuals."
- Discover secrets of successful weekend marriage couples.
- Determine whether you are a "dog" or a "duck" (her terminology), and whether you are in a "dog-dog," dog-duck" or "duck-duck" relationship. Sorry folks, you'll have to read the book to learn exactly what is behind this cryptic message!
- Consider her "insights for action" and many more insights that likely hit a chord in not just weekend marriages but any and every relationship.
Kirshebaum says that when too much time goes by "...You forget how well suited to each other you are." She encourages readers to take heart in the fact that even in a time-starved world, there is hope for a satisfying relationship. Her insights for action offer reasonable, practical suggestions for those who have no idea where to start in trying to work on the task of spending quality time together, doing those things that allow you as individuals to remember and nurture the reasons why you were so well matched. You were and still are—if only you had the time!
This should be required reading for anyone entering into a relationship. After this insightful reading experience, I plan to see what other pearls of wisdom Kirshenbaum has to offer in her other works.
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