HOW TO AVOID DIVORCE by Jean & Veryl Rosenbaum Rosenbaum


Email this review


A sketchy marriage manual, with repetitive tips and some arguable points of view. The Rosenbaums hit upon one central conceit--that of the ideal couple as ""Personists""--and use it to describe just about everything positive in a marriage partnership, from honesty to fair-fighting to freedom from gender stereotyping. But when they get down to specifics, their point of view is strictly their own. Teasing, for example, is heralded as a ""form of giving playful attention,"" and those who can't take it are advised to buck up; there's no indication that many experts see in some forms of teasing a disguised element of hostility, so the reader might be left with unnecessary guilt for reacting adversely. The Rosenbaums are also more harsh than most on parents who interfere; those ""who do not like your mate,"" they insist, ""should be avoided."" And their attitudes seem to span two generations, probably to the satisfaction of neither: while their Canadian upbringing convinced them, they assert, of the naturalness of androgyny (hence they support the feminist perspective), they are staunch advocates of complete sexual fidelity in marriage (""The other partner always intuitively knows. . .""). Those prescriptions that are on solid ground are also predictable enough to draw yawns, as in the advice to concentrate on more than orgasms in one's sexual relationship. A slapdash effort, lacking any kind of authoritative voice.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row