Synopses & Reviews
A startling new approach to marriage by a psychiatrist/marriage therapist.
In All You Need Is Love And Other Lies About Marriage, psychotherapist John Jacobs addresses the fragility of marriage and explains that most people are in denial about the immense capacity of forces outside their relationship to cause severe interpersonal disruption and unhappiness. He believes that only by understanding and recognizing the cultural and individual pitfalls inherent in longandndash;lasting partnerships can we ever hope to reap the benefits of this challenging but potentially rewarding institution. If you want a better marriage, he explains, you have to recognize how vulnerable today's marriages really are to powerful social and historical changes in our culture and you must reject the many powerful lies about marriage andndash; misunderstandings, myths, and fairy tales andndash; that have become so deeply entrenched in our minds that we rarely approach marriage with reasonable expectations. Identifying these lies, strewn like minefields along the matrimonial journey, is the first step towards disarmament.
Dr. Jacobs believes that virtually everyone has significant problems at some time in their marriage. The sustained, successful marriage requires consciously implemented strategies over a long haul that assume each partner will share a realistic and reasonable view of the structure and intricacies of the marital bond. To his patients, Dr. Jacobs is known for taking a direct, honest, and clear approach. When it comes to marriage, he believes that what you don't know will ultimately hurt you. We tend to wait too long to address marital problems and then it's really too late. The awareness that comes through the riveting cases in this book provides a muchandndash;needed wakeandndash;up call and a hopeful way to conceptualize the realities of marriage in the 21st century. Fresh, moving, provocative, Dr. Jacobs offers the truth about real marriage for real people.
“This particularly thoughtful and articulate volume marks the arrival of a major new voice in couples psychology.” Publishers Weekly
“Enlightening…puts the conflicts of modern married couples into historical and cultural perspective. Astute [and] authentic.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
Why is it so difficult to remain married in thetwenty-first century, and what can you do about it?
We all know that half of today's marriages end in divorce, but we tend to believe that our own marriages are safe. As psychiatrist John Jacobs explains in this fresh and impassioned book, marriages today are incredibly fragile, and unless a couple understands what is making contemporary marriage so vulnerable to dissolution, the marriage is at risk.
Part of the problem is that people refuse to see how social and historical forces have changed the very meaning of marriage, causing serious interpersonal unhappiness. Because of increased longevity, married people live together longer than at any time in history. There's been an erosion of the social and cultural forces that traditionally kept marriages together. Confusion over gender-role responsibilities, increased expectations of sexual satisfaction, and intense time pressures on couples to work and be successful all create marital stress.
And yet, most people don't acknowledge the problems in their marriage until it is too late. We tend to believe in the "lies of marriage" -- such concepts as soul mates, unconditional love, that children improve a relationship, that the sexual revolution has made marital sex more pleasurable, or that egalitarian marriage offers couples easy solutions -- and forget to engage in the constant hardwork required to keep our marriages alive.
Dr. Jacobs believes that most marriages have significant problems at some time, but until we recognize the new realities of marriage and develop the skills required to sustain a loving, intimate relationship, marriages are at risk.
Of course marriage is about love. But that's just the beginning.
As psychiatrist John Jacobs explains in this fresh and impassioned book, marriages today are incredibly fragile. Once we recognize the new realities of marriage and confront the seven lies, we can reverse marital problems before it's too late.
Part of the problem is that we refuse to see how social and historical forces have changed the very meaning of marriage, causing serious unhappiness. We tend to believe in the "lies of marriage" and forget to engage in the constant hard work required to keep our marriages alive.
The Seven Lies (And Truths) Of Marriage
LIE: All you need is love.
TRUTH: Marital love is conditional.
LIE: Talking things out always works.
TRUTH: Marital communication is more than honest speech.
LIE: People don't change.
TRUTH: Change is always possible and little changes can produce big results.
LIE: When you marry, you create your own family.
TRUTH: You bring your upbringing along no matter how hard you fight to keep it out.
LIE: Egalitarian marriage is easier than traditional marriage.
TRUTH: You'll be whipsawed between the old and the new marital paradigms.
LIE: Children solidify a marriage.
TRUTH: Children are a serious threat to your marriage.
LIE: In bed, you're safe from outside influences.
TRUTH: There's a media circus in bed with you.
About the Author
John W. Jacobs, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Manhattan. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine where he teaches couples and family therapy to psychiatric residents. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.