If you are in a relationship or want to be in a relationship—which is pretty much everybody!—you owe it to yourself to read The Romantic Love Question & Answer Book, written by psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden.
The book addresses every conceivable aspect of romantic relationships and offers a wealth of insights and examples that can help people create a healthier, more intimate relationship. If you are not currently in a relationship, this book can help you make your next relationship a successful one.
The book was published in 1982. I suspect that if it had been published in 2010, it would have been a runaway bestseller.
Branden writes with great clarity and precision. I found myself repeatedly impressed with how he expressed complicated subjects so concisely and powerfully. Reading something that makes me think, “Wow, I couldn’t write this better myself,” is my litmus test for quality.
I had read Branden’s book, The Psychology of Romantic Love, years ago and enjoyed it greatly. (Originally published in 1980, Branden updated it in 2008.) In both books, he shares a sentence-completion exercise that is remarkably effective at helping people express their true feelings about a topic. For example, here is a humorous albeit quite revealing excerpt:
Q: My husband is in favor of my working, so long as it doesn’t interfere with all my duties at home. In effect, my emancipation consists of having two jobs. How do I get my husband to understand that I need help in running the house?
A: We once presented this problem at an Intensive to a group of men whose wives or girlfriends held jobs ranging from the secretarial to the executive. Most of them acknowledged feeling that regardless of any work a woman did outside, the home was her first responsibility.
We invited them to experiment with the sentence stem “If I were expected to be a homemaker in addition to holding down a full-time job——.” Amidst a good deal of laughter and embarrassment, their endings included:
I’d say, “Are you kidding?”
I’d feel angry and exploited.
I’d feel overworked.
I’d probably be too tired for anything else.
I’d wonder how come my partner only does one job while I do two.
I’d sure as hell understand the feminists better.
I’d start yelling for help.
I don’t know what I’d do about it, but I’d be unhappy.
I’d wonder who made up the rules.
I’d say, “We’ve got to get a maid.”
I’d say, “My partner has to share some of the burdens at home.”
I’d say, ‘What kind of racket is this?”
This sentence-completion exercise can be an interesting place to begin for a husband who does not see that he ought to help. If he comes to appreciate the inequity involved, the next natural question is: “What do you think we should do?”
It was a great pleasure for me to video-interview Nathaniel Branden recently. Click here to watch that interview.
Click here to visit Branden’s website.
As a special bonus, click here to read the spellbinding account of how Devers Branden, Nathaniel’s co-author and wife at the time, met novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand, who had a long and fascinating relationship with Nathaniel. Knowing as much as I do about the relationship between Nathaniel and Rand, I was literally holding my breath while reading it. Devers has more guts and moxie than I could summon in ten lifetimes!
This story was part of a section from Nathaniel’s memoir, Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand, that was cut prior to publication. That 1989 book was later updated and published in 1999 as My Years with Ayn Rand.
Click here to view all my posts about Nathaniel Branden.
Click here to view all my posts about romantic relationships.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.