This is one of those highly schematic programs of self-improvement which one either dotes on or despises: lots of quizzes...

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MARITAL CHOICES: Forecasting, Assessing, and Improving a Relationship

This is one of those highly schematic programs of self-improvement which one either dotes on or despises: lots of quizzes and exercises as part of a five-week program to resuscitate flagging marriages. Lederer (coauthor of The Mirages of Marriage, 1968) is adamant in the conviction that whatever the ""frequently repeated behavioral exchanges,"" both partners consent to the activity (even when one is essentially picking on the other). Dividing behavior into three categories (the ""molecular"" exchanges of a look or a touch; ""performance behaviors"" that include shared activities; and ""major"" or large-decision behaviors), he works on each in turn, via graduated exercises in ""cherishing."" For example, spouses are urged to give each other red and white beans--red for behavior perceived as negative, white for the opposite. They are instructed to make written requests of each other where they desire a specific performance, service, or behavior. And in a final, somewhat questionable section, they are advised to check out possible physiological causes for their negative approach to marriage (the listing of ""menstrual discomfort"" probably will not endear Lederer to many women; but at least he acknowledges that ""males also have 'bad day' cycles""). Although some of the language is excessively formal (""elevating their levels of relationship gratification""), couples receptive to the practical approach might want to give this a whirl.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980