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Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships [Paperback]

Diane Vaughan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.95
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Book Description

Sept. 5 1990 Vintage
Now in trade paperback, the ground-breaking and carefully documented book that shows how couples come apart.

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Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships + Important Artifacts And Personal Property From Collection + All About Love
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Vaughan's examination of the breakup of relationships from a sociological and psychological perspective identifies the key steps in uncoupling from both partners' points of view. This schema is supported by 103 in-depth interviews and solid documentation from the professional literature. Useful to professionals, this work is also invaluable to lay people both because it normalizes a universal experience often seen as idiosyn cratic and because it will help those in the early stages of uncoupling to identify what is happening, enabling them to take the steps necessary to avoid the ultimate breakdown. Given the current divorce rate of approximately 40 percent, Uncoupling will have a wide readership and is recommended for general collections. John M. Haynes, Mediation Associates, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Diane Vaughan is at Boston College. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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WE ALL are secret-keepers in our intimate relationships. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Demystifying breakups July 4 2004
What can one say about breakups? When you go through the first one, you think you've literally invented this level of pain, that no one else understands what you've been through, that this is a whole new (and extremely horrible) world you've managed to spiral into. Well, guess what, it's not.
I started reading this book going through my first real breakup, and it was almost uncanny how well it demonstrated each of the steps I had gone through, and what I had done to get there, and where I was heading. Indeed, there is something almost pre-programmed about the way we deal with these things, and Vaughn's book proves this quite beautifully.
When I first started burning through these self-help books, I was after something a bit more solid and based on real research. "Uncoupling" definitely fit the bill, and if you are more technically-minded, then this is the book for you.
Sadly, as one other reviewer pointed out, you never get to this book in time. If you're interested in reading it, you're probably on the verge of ending something, or have been the victim of such an end. But if misery loves company, at least you know you're on the -very- trodden path.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts June 17 2004
By A Customer
First, although you will probably find this book in the "Self help -- Relationships" section, it is important to be aware that it is not a self help book. It is a sociological study of how relationships break down. It is quite academic but extremely readable. More importantly, it is quite brilliant. Diane Vaughan is so insightful that you will wish she was less so. That's because, whether you are "the initiator" or "the partner" -- the book's idealized protagonists -- you will find out some very uncomfortable things about yourself. For instance, suppose you're the initiator and you've pumped yourself all up to leave with some standard self-help fare about "responsibility to yourself" and "personal development" and all that stuff. This book will rip the carpet right out from under your feet, as you realize that your carefully crafted justifications are just that -- justifications. The initiator wants out of the relationship, and constructs an ideology which will facilitate this. This book is a masterpiece, and so it has flaws. The most obvious is a relentless pessimism which has been commented on by several other reviewers. This is clearly an artifact of the methodology: the author conducted interviews with people whose relationships had ended, thus we don't get even a glimpse of people whose relationships somehow escaped the seemingly inexorable patterns described. Do such relationships exist? I hope so. I don't know whether or not Vaughan comments on this limitation, because not being a sociologist, I skipped the methodology chapter. Although this is not a self help book, I feel that it did benefit me in understanding my own troubled relationship. Trust me, when you see "the initiator" and "the partner", you are going to work to make yourself less like them! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious and wants to understand their situation better. But, if you want self-validation, keep well clear!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sociology, not self-help Nov. 7 2000
By Sabreur
This book is a sociological study--it discusses processes and patterns that typically occur as relationships fall apart.
As such, it does not provide solutions, fingers to put in the dike, compresses to stop the bleeding--in fact, it makes clear that most such measures are, finally, ineffectual.
At the same time, every relationship is singular--statistics portray the behavior of groups, without necessarily predicting individual outcomes.
If you are looking for a book that forces you to consider the individual and personal perspective in a damaged relationship, I strongly recommend "Should you leave?" by Peter Kramer.
Nonetheless, it is both enlightening and depressing to recognize "Damn, we've done that" as you read this book.
One final note: Ms. Vaughan's writing style is academic and often less than felicitous. The comparison between the liveliness and complexity of life shown in the quotations and her own dry, sometimes reductive commentary frequently annoyed me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compassion, understanding & nationality! Aug. 12 2000
As a divorce author and presenter myself, I heartily salute Vaughan's book! How very well she understands all those human aspects of coming apart, such as "going public" - her Chapter 8. We're social beings, and are a part of many communities -- family, church, work, cultural, social, geographical -- and much of our identity revolves upon our identities in those groups. Few other authors have addressed the far-reaching identity crisis experienced by those who divorce. She understands and emphasizes that the Leaver (or initiator, as she calls him/her) first knows pain; later makes the difficult decision to end the marriage; then agonizes over the pain caused to so many people. Everyone who's ending a long term relationship or a marriage should read this book. In my book "Your Pocket Divorce Guide," I recommend this as an invaluable resource for anyone who needs both the compassion and depth of understanding this author offers. Read it, and consider giving your soon-to-be-ex a copy!
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Regrettably, chances are that you will look for and find this book far too late in the process of uncoupling to save your own relationship. For the "initiator" has all the power to end or save a relationship and put the "partner" through hell in the process.
If you're the initiator, stop what you are doing, read this book and carefully consider the spiraling path to relationship destruction you are on.
Either way, I believe that you will learn more from reading this book than a dozen others. Much more than from marriage counselors or even Psychologists.
But the truth may be hard to take. It was for me as I was looking for help in saving my relationship from my wife's affair. Alas, she had long since started a transition out of our relationship and redefining me in negative terms.
This book will help you understand why the person you love can turn on you like a rabid dog, rip your beating heart from your chest, throw it in a blender and hit frappe!
Eventually you will want answers whatever the emotional cost and this book is filled with them.
However, if you are one of the fortuitous or lucky ones fortunate enough to find this before it is too late, then read, learn and act now before your life is sucked through a crushing black hole of change very few are ready for.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncoupling:
A very real account the signs of a dying relationship. It forces one to look at oneself, even when you weren't the one to end the marriage.
Published 8 months ago by Laura Heale
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncoupling explains so much
Uncoupling is NOT self-help, popular press mush. It doesn't tell the reader what to do, doesn't contain quizzes and exercises, and it doesn't imply that people are pathological if... Read more
Published on June 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars I could see mirrored what I went through!
Eccellent Book! It is not a self-help book and NOT pessimistic at all!
It showed me clearly the process I went through when I finally left my husband! Read more
Published on May 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book to help understand process of "uncoupling"
I have read this book several times since it was first published in the early 90's and found it to be very informative and helpful in understanding what was going on during my... Read more
Published on March 6 2003 by P. Pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book to help understand process of "uncoupling"
I have read this book several times since it was first published in the early 90's and found it to be very informative and helpful in understanding what was going on during my... Read more
Published on March 6 2003 by P. Pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Some reviewers missed the point.
...This was not intended to be a self help book for people to use in order to feel better about themselves and their relationships. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs to be more balanced -- too pessimistic
I found the book a too pessimistic and to formulaic. The author paints a fascinating picture of a general breakdown of a relationship with Initiators, etc, but leaves the reader... Read more
Published on March 7 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars When its over, its over.
I too found this book very helpfull in understanding my divorce. I don't agree with the other reviews that the book in doom and gloom. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2001 by G Seath
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough review of two lives in chaos
This book is an excellent study, and its chief value is in letting you and your mate know that you are traveling a well-worn path and that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2001 by George Garrigues
1.0 out of 5 stars dismal and destructive
This book claims to be for all couples and claims to be a way to strengthen a relationship, but the author is very negative. Read more
Published on June 25 2001 by "shahanezz"
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