I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, which is written really solidly by someone who clearly has a lot of experience in working with people in relationships which are breaking - or have broken - down.
Like most people, I turned to this book at the end of what is to date the most significant relationship in my life, and I think there are two key reasons why it is useful in that situation:
- It is really readable - I find it hard to read non-fiction at the best of times, which this wasn't. But the chapters are short and manageable, structured in a way which feels like it makes perfect sense, and the writing is really easy: to the point and not too wordy.
- It is positive and practical - whilst I didn't feel like this book told me much that I would consider ground-breaking, its viewpoint is sound, solid and reassuring. There wasn't too much in here that was totally painful, making me revisit and rehash pain from the relationship. Instead, it is - as the title suggests - about finding ways to move on in a positive and helpful way.
There are aspects that aren't for everyone - the sections about dealing with children - but I read them anyway, as for me the ending of my relationship became a lot about trying to be more prepared for the challenges relationships throw your way.
To give you an idea about what the content is, I thought it might be useful to see the chapter headings: 1) Facing up to endings, 2) Can you mend it?, 3) If it's over, 4) A fresh start?, 5) What do you tell the children?, 6) Blueprint for a breakup, 7) If it turns ugly, 8) Shared parenting when a relationship ends, 9) Family members, 10) Life after separation.
The only reason I don't give it five stars is that - for me - I didn't feel like it taught me a huge amount. It did teach me things - particularly some things to do with endings, ironically perhaps in the first chapter - and it gave me massive reassurance, but I seem to be a person who wants new depths.
The caveat to that, though, is that I read it after a relationship had ended, after I had thought about that a lot, and after I had been - as part of the breakup - to some therapy sessions with Relate. So part of the reason it probably didn't teach me that much is that I came to it quite late in process: I would really recommend these sorts of books to everyone, whether they are in a relationship or not, and whether their relationship is in trouble or not. While it may be hard to understand that, I really feel that the wisdom contained in books like this - which are easy and quick to read - could be really valuable to people in either coping with breakups better, or avoiding them all together.
on 28 January 2006
Jargon free, logical and totally on the money, this is one of the best relationship self help books I've read. It was refershing to find something written for a British audience with familiar cultural points-of-reference that the American books lack, and the common sense analysis will help you focus on what you already know is going wrong, and what you already know you have to do.
on 6 January 2005
I agree with the other review shown but thought I'd add another as that one was written a few years ago.
I found that this book mainly told me what I already knew, but I still found it very useful. Reading through it chapter by chapter helped me to clarify my thoughts and feelings, and to think about the various options open to me and their likely outcomes.
I found the book reassuring, and would recommend it to anyone who thinks that their relationship may be nearing an end.
on 28 November 2001
Excellent! It has changed my outlook on life to a more realistic and enjoyable one!
Suzie Hayman writes this book with clarity and practical advice, backed up with factual research.
I would recommend this book to anyone considering a relationship, or in a relationship (practically everyone). It's essential reading for anyone wishing to adopt a healthy, open-minded, 'preventative' coping mechanism to enjoy life in the happiest of ways. Making the most of relationships is what this book is all about, and moving on when the time is right (a healthy trend in society at large)!
The content is an all-encompassing view of everyone involved in relationships: mums, dads, children, step-parents, step-children and everyone else's views and opinions (friends and further relatives); and the likely effect of their views in a rapidly changing society with increasingly complicated family structures.
on 26 January 2014
After a traumatic divorce 11 years ago, I wish I'd found this book then, instead of beating myself up over the years about being the one to leave an abusive marriage, but maybe I wouldn't have been ready for it then. Full of unsentimental, practical advice put across in a kind way, I feel I can deal with any 'demons' that are left from a stronger perspective.