Psychotherapists Barbach (For Each Other, 1982, etc.) and Geisinger team up here to write in praise of monogamy—ever-more appealing as the sexual revolution turns nasty. The authors' premises are that we all bring the scars of old psychic wounds to any new relationship, that a good relationship is a healing one, and that even people with prior negative experiences can learn the skills necessary for a healthy bond. According to Barbach and Geisinger, what counts is chemistry, companionship, trust, respect, acceptance, and shared values. No surprises there—in fact, whether any secrets to a successful relationship are revealed in this book is debatable. However, although the authors plow familiar ground in their discussions of making relationships work and of negotiating and conflict resolution, their material is well organized, clear, and occasionally humorous, and the case histories they include illustrate their points effectively. The text seems to be aimed at the fairly sophisticated adult, but it's appended by a simplistic 50-question ``Compatibility Index,'' ostensibly designed to help couples assess their prospects for an enduring relationship. Slick repackaging of standard advice.
Read full book review >