MARITAL BRINKMANSHIP by

MARITAL BRINKMANSHIP

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

With a strong criticism of Eric Berne for isolating the concept of games from basic psychiatric interpersonal and communication theory, Chapman -- a disciple of Harry Stack Sullivan -- constructs an expanded proposition of gamesmanship -- predictable patterns of disturbed communication -- as played by the happily married as well as the not so blissfully wedded: Red Light, Green Light, (alternately withholding and expressing affection), Broken Arrow, Blunt Arrow (both having to do with sexual impotence), then advocates several work-through techniques: multiple viewpoints (in the Sullivan canon, consensual validation), exchanging roles (which many psychiatrists consider potentially destructive). As with I'm OK, You're OK, most readers will squirm with recognition -- at least until Chapman proselytizes: in the ideal family each member knows his place, and that's limited to the home; the women's movement should become ""a hobby two afternoons a week rather than a way of life that makes a woman a nonwife and a nonmother."" (Frigidity here becomes ""orgasmic dysfunction,"" only to be identified parenthetically each time with the old appellation.) But for couples who find themselves fighting more and enjoying it less, Chapman's ear is cogently attuned to what the shouting's all about.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1974
Publisher: Putnam