Why is love between men and women so difficult? In this groundbreaking new book, best selling author Terrence Real analyzes the crisis in intimate relations, a crisis that has lasted more than a generation, yielding divorce rates of 40 to 50 percent. Our culture prepares us to fall in love, but it does not give us the skills we need to stay in love. Here Real offers a radical new vision of love and the practical tools with which to achieve it.
The current crisis is a product of changing gender roles, Real explains. In the past 30 years, women's roles have changed radically and men's have not. For the first time, adult women are asking their partners to access the very skills - emotional sensitivity, expressiveness, responsibility - that most men have had stamped out of them as boys. Patriarchal culture does not raise boys to be intimate; it raises them to be competitive performers. At the same time, girls are taught to be compliant and accommodating. The result is that men feel bewildered and unappreciated while women feel unheard and resentful. Conventional therapy, which reinforces "traditional" male roles, has failed. The demand for intimacy in marriage must be met with new skills.
Real draws on myth, literature, film, and heartrending stories of the men and women he treats to illustrate his compelling analysis. Breaking taboos about love, marriage, and passion, Real not only reconstructs gender roles but also shows that patriarchy's idealized model of love is impossibly flawed. He teaches partners to replace it with a love that acknowledges imperfections, and he then provides five Core Relational Skills designed to help every couple reach their full potential. Innovative, powerful, and eminently helpful, How Can I Get Through to You? is the book that every couple has been waiting for - and our culture needs.
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