Should I Stay or Should I Go

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? A review of the ten-step reality test for your marriage.

Seems like every marriage, no matter how good it seems, no matter what stage of life you’re in, goes through a period of “did I make the right decision?” “Do I want to stay with him?” and other questions. I know I have.

should_i_stay_or_goTurns out, we’re not alone. Married people all over have this same thought; it was so common in fact, that Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman – he a psychoanalyst, she a conflict resolution specialist, now married to each other – have written a book called “How To Know If It’s Time To Go, A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage”.

The book is well written overall, and asks some of the hard questions that people unsure of their place or footing in their marriage need to face.

With questions in every chapter, and 100-question ‘Marriage Test’ at the end of the book, this is a brutally honest, yet surprisingly gentle, look at what makes a marriage work.

With a full 50-plus pages dealing entirely with the myths about divorce, this book aims to open your eyes about the realities and eventualities about divorce. With ratings from “completely and absolutely false” through to “partially true”, the book debunks ten of the most common myths about divorce.

The one that stuck out to me the most was number one: “We’re just going through a rough patch. If I hang in there, things will get better.” I know I’ve said that, have you?

I never know if my rough patch is just that, or if it’s a sign to just go. The doctors tell us that sometimes things do get better (and I’m sure many of you have brought your marriage back from what you considered a brink), some things are time-related and well, some things you have no control over. They’re right, but that doesn’t stop the thoughts running around my, or your, mind. When it feels like you’re in the middle of a rough patch, it’s hard to know where to turn.

One of the first things this book does deal with well is the ‘Marriage Bill of Rights’. They spend a lot of time talking about the things we should do. The Bill of Rights provides us with:

1. the right to expect loyalty,

2. expect protection

3. expect affection

4. expect your mate to be your partner

5. expect your mate to be your caregiver

6. expect your mate to be supportive

7. expect companionship from your partner

8. expect to live a life that affords you some freedom

9. expect to have honest communication

10. expect to be treated with respect

I’m not 100% sure this is the book for everyone who is wondering if their marriage is worth sticking with. It does have some questions that don’t necessarily pertain to anyone or everyone – this book has a pretty specific slant. They’re not trying to encourage divorce; they just want anyone who is wondering if their marriage might work or if it’s done, to look at the options. Don’t we all, when the chips are down, another looks in our window or we’ve dared to look at anyone outside of our world.

Yeah, in the meantime, it’s harmless. Will it catch up with you? In 2010? Probably.

Author: Colleen Coplick


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