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Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

Mira Kirshenbaum (I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You), an international bestselling author and world-renowned therapist, draws on years of counseling experience to lead readers through relationship ambivalence. A careful line of 36 questions and self-analysis techniques designed to get to the heart of relationship and marriage problems.  This straightforward and practical advice is designed for newer and older relationships, and presents a plethora of information and experience in a clear, conc

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3 Responses to “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship”

  1. peacemaker18@hotmail.com says:
    716 of 740 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This Book Gave Me Back My Life!, September 2, 1999
    By 
    peacemaker18@hotmail.com (Santa Monica, CA) –

    This review is from: Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship (Paperback)
    After a 20+ year marriage to a decent guy who was a good provider but not in any way my true friend, lover or life’s partner, I had tried everything imaginable to make sense of my commitment — especially because we had two children. I sought years of psychotherapy, read a library’s worth of self-help books, listened to every “relationship expert” from Tony Grant to Barbara DeAngelis to Dr. Laura, always searching, concentrating to the point of exhaustion, to glean that essential kernel of truth that would illuminate the path I should take to find acceptance and happiness. But I could find no peace, no resolution, no answers.
    FINALLY, this book gave me the tools I needed to understand the many issues and problems that weighed so heavily in my marraige. Mira Kirshenbaum provided the template I needed to lay over my decades of ambivalence. Her direct, snappy writing style was a breeze to read. Her observations cogent and concise. She makes no bones about taking a clear stand and expressing a firm opinion about whether people where happier that they stayed or left a relationship when the issues she explored were identifed as problems.
    She gave me the language to articulate and define my marital problems. It became undeniably clear to me that I would be happier if I left. With tremendous relief and some real trepidation, I gave myself the freedom to leave for my 46th birthday present. Fast forward two years — I have never been happier!
    I recently reread the book and my second thorough reading reinforced my initial interpretations. I am now using Kirshenbaum’s criteria to judge whether my current relationship meets my needs in the categories that are most important to me. YEAH! Success! This book has even helped me explain the complexities of relationships to my own daughters and what makes for a quality relationship with a long term chance for success.
    For the first time as an adult I am living an authentic life that I am proud to model for my children. I am absolutely sure that this book saved my life! I am grateful beyond words for the clarity that this book provided. You will be too!

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  2. Diana says:
    332 of 341 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    For Late Bloomers, THIS Is The Book, November 24, 2000
    By 
    Diana (Virginia, USA) –

    This review is from: Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship (Paperback)
    I first needed this book — okay, I needed it before I married. I recognize now that I needed it in 1988, when the pain and confusion were enormous, and the counseling I received was, to put it generously, ridiculous. But Kirshenbaum hadn’t yet written the book. Then I needed it in 1995, when totally on the fence. But Kirshenbaum hadn’t yet published. Finally she did, in 1996 (hardcover), and even though I’d already made the decision to leave, and knew somehow it was right, I bought the book.
    Gosh, how come I wasn’t taught all this stuff before?!?
    Too Good To Leave is not only the book you pick up when you’re on the fence. It’s not just the book you turn to to make sure you made the best choice under the circumstances. It’s the book you refer to again and again and again to help you learn what IS a healthy relationship, what IS love. Because in showing us what ill-health can look like, Kirshenbaum also teaches those of us who just didn’t get it what we can look for in the future, when our hearts decide to risk again.
    This is an easy read: each chapter is structured the same way, with the issue, circumstances, diagnostic questions, couples examples from Kirshenbaum’s practice (she provides therapy in the Boston area), and guidelines…are most people in this particular situation happier if they leave or if they stay? She begins with the incredibly painful (are you being beaten?) and moves through the book toward less and less clearcut circumstances.
    Take Chapter 8, for example: “What Is This Thing Called Love?” The issue: is there any real love left? Kirshenbaum reviews what people know of love (not a whole lot, it develops), discusses feeling and perceptions, and hits a diagnostic question: “In spite of admirable qualities, and stepping back from any temporary anger or disappointment, do you genuinely LIKE your partner, and does your partner seem to like you?” A poser, right? So Kirshenbaum walks you through her experience with Ann (married to Dave) who has had to work through this question. Does she really like Dave? Or does she merely like what Dave likes?
    Painful. Very painful. But healthy, because the guideline Ann must confront is, “If it’s clear to you that basically and overall you just don’t like your partner, then your love is a ghost… Quick take: In the long run — no like, no love.” (The quick takes, available with each guideline,are wonderfully useful as memorizable, immediate reminders.) Kirshenbaum continues through the chapter with different examples of couples wondering if love is present, with more guidelines and suggestions for unraveling the knots.
    This is powerful healing, because it names the problem. In medicine, the terror that comes with extraordinary pain can be eased by words: “Sounds like a kidney stone.” Definition removes confusion removes fear. Just so does Kirshenbaum, in defining what we know is present, ease our hearts. We’re not crazy. There is something odd here. And we are not alone in our perceptions.
    By showing us what is unhealthy in relationships, then, Kirshenbaum also teaches what is healthy. You’ve got to have like, to have love. Quick take #7: “Power people poison passion.” Okay…so passion flowers where neither partner is into power. Quick take #28: “Time heals all healable wounds.” But some wounds are so severe, and some partners so unwilling to act in healing ways, that the relationship is not a healing one. Okay…look not for partners who seem perfect, but for partners who are both unwilling to harm, and willing to heal.
    Where was Kirshenbaum when I was 12?
    I’ve grown so much from this book. Buy it, borrow it, somehow READ it before 2001 arrives. Bring your new learning with you into the new year.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    176 of 190 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    No more relationship ambivalence!, September 8, 1999
    By A Customer
    This review is from: Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship (Paperback)
    Believe it or not – I picked this book up on a marriage retreat weekend! I had been going back and forth in my head for years over the issue of leaving or staying. We spent thousands of dollars on counseling and retreats yet I was on the verge of making myself crazy with no clear decision ever coming from the incredible amount of thought I put into the question of whether I should leave or not. I could always come up with a long Pros list of why I should with an equally long Cons list of why I shouldn’t. I read this book in two hours and knew that I was incredibly unhappy in my marriage and had to get out. Kirschenbaum helps the reader to assess their relationship through a series of guidelines and come to the decision on their own. No more pros and cons lists, just a step-by-step guide on how to make the decision that’s right for you. I am in the process of a divorce now but know that this is the right decision. On difficult days, I sit down with this book and review some of the questions that she asks in such a no-nonsense way and remember that yes- I am happier being out of my relationship.

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