The Worst Relationship Book Ever
Author and Certified Relationship Coach
Those of you who read this post do so because you’re interested in conscious loving relationships. Your interest in this topic leads you to not only read posts like this one, but you probably often read the latest best-selling relationship books as well. Therefore, this Examiner feels compelled to examine such books when then come to national attention so that you, the reader, can make positive choices in regards to your love life.
One such book is For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, written by Tara Parker-Pope. Your Conscious Relationship Examiner has never been so thoroughly disappointed and disgusted by a book as he is in this one. This book claims to point its readers toward creating a good marriage, when, in fact, it points them toward an absolutely dysfunctional, sure-to-fail relationship.
For example, on page 59, the author presents a series of questions designed to help the reader determine how passionately they love their partner. She presents a self-scoring scale: One (1) if you never feel this way, and ten (10) if you strongly feel this way. She says, “…add up your scores and check the scale below to see how hot your love fires burn.” Her obvious point is that the higher your score, the more that each question is true for you, the more passionate and the more healthy your relationship is.
Here are about half of the questions she lists:
• I would feel despair if my parnter left me.
• Sometimes I can’t control my thoughts; they are obsessively on my partner.
• I have an endless appetite for affection from my partner.
• My partner always seems to be on my mind.
• I eagerly look for signs indicating my partner’s desire for me.
Friends, I can tell you that if you resonate with any of these even a little bit, it’s not a sign that you’re passionately in love with your partner, it’s a sign that you’re addicted to them! These questions are symptoms of love/relationship addiction. They are evidence of the “you complete me” mindset that the movie Jerry Maguire made famous back in the mid-90’s.
If you would answer any of these questions with a number higher than five, you’re in big, big trouble. It indicates that you’re looking to your partner for a sense of self, to alleviate your loneliness, to make you feel alive, special and whole. And they can’t do that, even if they wanted to (which they won’t by the way). That’s your job.
This is not to say that passion is bad. Heavens NO! Passion, love, sex and intimacy are wonderful. We all want it. But what this book describes isnt’ passion but obsession. It’s not love she identifying but addiction.
The pop artist Kesha captures this destructive mentality in her song, “Your Love Is My Drug.” While the song is catchy and fun, it declares an absolutely dysfunctional kind of “love.” In fact, it’s not love; it’s dependence and addiction.
The problem with looking to your partner to make you feel happy, alive and whole is that he or she isn’t capable of meeting those emotional needs with any degree of consistency or completeness. They will fail to meet your needs and when they do, drama will be the result. If they aren’t devoted to giving you the affection and attention you require to feel safe and alive, you’ll feel that they’re “not there for you,” that they don’t love you.
The root source of all drama in any intimate relationship is when one partner is relying on the other to make them feel worthy, special and secure.
So to read Ms. Parker-Pope’s book, and see her actually promoting addiction as healthy, makes this writer and relationship coach want to puke. Stay away from this book. And if you feel you might have a bit of the “you complete me” mindset hindering your love life, read instead, A Drink with Legs: From Being Hooked to Being Happy–A Spiritual Path to Relationship Bliss. It’s by yours truly and it can be found at www.coachingwithroy.com.