The author thought that an awful lot had been studied and written about
dysfunctional relationships and that it was high time that someone made
a good study of successful, long-lived relationships to see what makes
them work. Based on in-depth interviews with fifty couples, she
identifies a number of key elements and styles of successful
partnerships. Besides being a refreshing change from looking at the
dark side, the book offers hope that real, excellent, long-lasting
relationship is definitely possible.
One of the most valuable discoveries of this study, in my opinion, is
the fact that successful couples tend to treat their relationship as a
living entity in its own right, to pay attention to how it is doing, and
to nurture it.
Chapters 10 and 12 could constitute a little handbook for having a
relationship that is not co-dependant. Chapter 10 deals with how people
in successful marriages deal with crisis that arises from outside the
family, while Chapter 12 talks about how these people handle conflict
within the relationship.