Sonderbooks Book Review of

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can -- and Should -- Be Saved

by Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi

Home Stand-outs Blog Knitting About
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can -- and Should -- Be Saved

by Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi

Review posted March 21, 2013.
Berkley Books, New York, 2011. 417 pages.

Here's another valuable resource for women struggling in their relationships. Although I'm already divorced, I read it to gain some perspective; to figure out what went wrong; to process that the divorce has truly happened.

So often, when a marriage breaks down, there are some lies and untruths going on. This book helps you look at your experiences and your feelings and figure out the root issues and what's really going on for you.

The introduction tells you if this book will be helpful for you:

You are holding a book that has been written for women who are going through repeated conflicts, frustrations, and dissatisfactions in their relationships, and are beginning to wonder what the root of the problem might be. You may be asking yourself whether your partner and you are just not a good match, and perhaps considering whether all this struggle is worth it. . . .

This book can help you find out what has gone wrong, and what steps you need to take to get your relationship back on track. We will also guide you in figuring out if your relationship can't be saved -- or shouldn't be -- and how you can move yourself decisively toward a happier life whether you and your partner succeed in staying together or not. . . .

You are going to be okay, whatever happens. In this book, we will guide you in how to give the best possible chance to your relationship while also making sure to take equally good care of yourself. Some days you may feel that your life depends on fixing your current relationship; but it doesn't; if you go through the steps and exercises that we lay out in the pages ahead, you will find yourself able to handle the challenges that lie ahead for you. . . .

The issue we address right away in Chapter 1 -- because we think it will be at the forefront of your mind -- is whether the difficulties you are having are just the typical ones that all relationships go through, or whether they are symptoms of something deeper. We'll ask you to examine your expectations, to answer the question "Do I just expect too much from a relationship?" (We're already guessing that you don't; we meet more women who expect too little than too much.) . . .

Welcome, then, to a process of healing and clarification. We believe you will gain insights that will build your strength, increase your faith in your own thinking, and help you to love yourself. Along the way, you will learn how to give your partner a great gift: the opportunity to experience tremendous growth, and to make his relationship with you a vibrant and satisfying one. If he chooses not to do the work, he will be punishing himself. And whether he does or not, your growth will leap forward, and you will come out feeling in charge of your life and relationships.

That should give you a good idea of whether or not this book will be useful to you. I was not in the target audience, since my marriage was already legally over. But the book still gave me good things to think about and reinforced the healing process. It reminded me of what I deserve in a relationship and made me feel much less of a failure about my ended marriage.