People today are trying to make their marriages work over longer lives than ever before—for their children’s health and well-being, and for their own. Indeed, among the college-educated, divorce rates have declined. But staying married isn’t always easy. In the brilliant, transformative, and optimistic The Rough Patch, clinical psychologist Daphne de Marneffe explores the extraordinary pushes and pulls of midlife marriage, where our need to develop as individuals can crash headlong into the demands of our relationships.
The Rough Patch is divided into chapters that address key problems that challenge marriages: money, alcohol and drugs, the stresses of parenthood, sex, extramarital affairs, lovesickness, health, aging, children leaving home, and dealing with elderly parents.
De Marneffe offers readers seasoned wisdom on these difficulties, addressing the psychological, emotional, and relational capacities we must cultivate to overcome them as individuals and as couples. Blending research, interviews, and clinical experience, and writing with uncommon insight into the daily behaviors of men and women, de Marneffe dives deep into the workings of love and the structures of relationships. Every reader will find himself or herself in these pages.
Intimate and sometimes gritty, The Rough Patch is an essential, compassionate resource for people trying to understand “where they are” on the continuum of marriage, giving them a chance to share in other people’s stories and struggles. With humor and deep seriousness, de Marneffe helps men and women understand themselves in order to move in the direction we’re all trying to go: a life lived with integrity, vitality, and love.
Daphne de Marneffe, Ph.D., is a psychologist and the author of Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life. In her clinical practice, she offers psychotherapy to couples and individuals. She teaches and lectures widely on marriage, couple therapy, adult development, and parenthood. Her research and scholarly work has been published in psychoanalytic journals. She and her husband have three children and live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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