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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2009
I bought this book for a friend who has been trying to decide whether to leave her marriage for several years now. But I had a browse through it, and found it hugely interesting and easy to read.

I disagree with some of the other reviewers who suggest that the book encourages you to leave on the basis of a single negative response. On the contrary, the book is full of shades of grey (as in real life). The author is clear when an answer means:
- you should stay and work on the issue;
- most people who left were happy with their decision;
- etc.
but I did find that she always left open the possibility of exceptions to every rule.

It is not as cut and dried as "you've answered no and therefore you should leave", but it does make the reader examine types of behaviour that perhaps the reader wouldn't have considered or categorised before, and it explains what those behaviours mean, why they might be happening, and whether they are fatal for the marriage.

I found it very balanced between 'stay' and 'go' (it certainly isn't a marriage break-up book) and it was full of useful anecdotes. I sincerely hope my friend will find the courage to read it, and that it will help her with her choice.

One very useful thing that the author points out throughout, is that an ambivalence about whether to stay in the marriage is the worst of all worlds. If you are going to stay - then do so, and work on the problems. If you are going to leave - then do so, and get on with your life. But drifting on, in ambivalence, for years and years and years is simply a waste of both your and your spouse's lives.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 1998
This text provides a clear question and answer format allowing the reader to "score" their current relationship.
Unlike other reviewers, I did not find it 'too wordy'. I believe understanding our personal relationships deserve more than a soundbite editorial. The Author manages to be pragmatic while taking into account the complexity of the inner struggles the being dealt with by the reader. I have recommended it to many friends in need. Staying & leaving equally distributed among those who used the book, but all felt more capable of understanding & explaining the reasons for their decisions.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 1998
The information in this book was very informative and will apply to anyone in an ill fated marriage or not. Did not like the way she kept referring to "She". Sometimes it was distracting. It covered most everything anyone wants to know that may be confused looking for some kind of an answer but yet informative enough to be read by a marriage that looks good. I read the whole book in about 10.5 hrs and will read it again, after I pass it to my soon to be ex-wife. Not that this book made my decision but helped me answer a few lost questions.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 1998
Although I am in the throes of considering a breakup, this book is interesting for anyone who is trying to figure out what they want, what others may want, in an intimate relationship. Not something you can hand to a teenager in love, but good for any one who wonders what they ought to be looking for to be happy. The verbosity -- well, I skimmed in places, but I think the extra words were good padding for some very painful realizations. I liked the balance of gender pronouns and the gentleness with which the author approached male and female tendencies and stereotypes. My male friend in a different but equally horrible place found the book as helpful as I did. I recommend this to therapists hoping to help people put their needs into words -- although not dumb, the writing is pretty simple and accessible, not rhetorical or jargonated.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
If you are a romantic person and don't suffer from feeling quilty about people you leaving behind, this book will work fine for you. I got the book thinking it will give me some answers for a dilemma - stay or leave? Love life vs happiness and stability for your children? You will not find an answer in the book. If you think just about yourself - it is a good book. Once you start thinkinig about your children - sorry, noone can help you.
I am still in agony over my relationship with man I love and family I feel I have to serve. No easy answers, I am afraid.
Give it a go but dont hope for a magical answer.
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85 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 1999
Should I stay or should I leave is a difficult question to answer, especially if you've been married for a long time, over 20 years in my case. I answered the questions in the book with as much honesty as I could, as someone who felt they existed in marriage hell is able to that is. The benefit of the book for me was that it helped me clarify the things in my own mind that were wrong and what the real issues were. However this is where I part company with the author, the book advocates that if there is a negative response for any question then its better to leave - I had several genuine negative responses. No question according to the book I should leave, which as it turned out confirmed that the action I had taken one week previously was correct. Leaving my wife, as far as I was concerned, was an action that needed much courage and was a necessary move in order for me to reclaim and build a decent life again. However what I did not anticipate was that my wife who had previously failed to recognise my unhappiness and chose to avoid any discussion completely repented her behaviour. She told me that my leaving was a shock and she accepted that she was to blame and desperately wanted to put things right, we suddenly started talking. At this point I am optimistic that reconciliation is possible and will work as best we can to make it possible. And this is my criticism of the book, no where does the book offer the possibility of change and appears not to offer any other solution apart from stay or leave. In which case this is a book that could finish a viable marriage - so be careful!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2013
This book contains some very valid points. It is an easy to read step by step guide that addresses the different problems in relationships, including physical issues, concerns with differences in lifestyles and other polarities that you and your partner have that may suggest ending the relationship. It certainly tries and gets you, as the reader, to work very hard in understanding your issues. It is helpful in taking you through many different questions that may lead to clarity, and also provides a very useful section at the back, which comforts you in which ever decision you make.

However, I was still unable to draw any conclusions from this book. Whilst the questions appeared open ended and had a thorough explanation of what the question meant, with the support of examples, for some reason I just could not understand some terms and how they were being used. The last question was problematic too, as mentioned in other reviews about the book, it identifies the word 'problems' without really underpinning what this loaded term means. Does it mean a problem with you as an individual, a problem with your partner, and what about problems that you find are insolvable, but may actually be rectified. I think this last question needed more detail, given it was the last point at which you could evaluate your relationship and the last point in which to get some kind of clarity.

I was slightly disappointed when, for each question the author demands a yes, or no answer and then explains the implications of a yes, or a no; although I understand that a simple yes or no can help alleviate relationship ambivalence, I feel there should have been a section explaining what it meant if you were unsure to an answer. For some questions this yes, or no format was easy but for most questions I found myself answering 'yes, if x is the case, but no if y is taken into account', so in this sense it generated more confusion and frustration as I was not able to answer the questions as directly as I wanted. I just found myself wanting to ask the author directly about my specific situation. This may be a problem with me over analysing the questions, or perhaps not fully understanding their significance, maybe in my relationship there have not been any dramatic examples, only more subtle issues.

But overall, I would say this book is a great read, although it did not help me find any concrete answers, it raised some very good and interesting questions and it certainly did get me to look more thoroughly and honestly at my relationship. I would recommend it to those struggling with relationship ambiguity as I am confident that it helps most people. However, do not necessarily expect all your answers to magically appear.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2009
This is the best book I have come across in helping you decide whether a relationship is worth saving. It takes you through the issues step by step, asking you a series of questions. If you have been in a bad relationship, sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees and its difficult to be objective as to whether your relationship is worth saving, or whether you will be happier in the long run by letting go. Very higly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2010
A really excellent book - can't recommend it highly enough as it has turned my life around. Read it!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 1999
This book takes a diagnostic approach to helping me make the most difficult decision of my life. I was trying to decide if divorce was the right choice and it really helped where friends and family could not. It was a plain spoken book that spoke directly to me and really helped. I recommend the book for anyone contiplating this choice.
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