Daily Archives: April 5, 2010

The Husbands and Wives Club by Laurie Abraham

The Husbands and Wives Club follows a group of five couples who are unhappily and not very successfully enrolled in a year-long group marriage therapy program. Now I can imagine how group therapy can be useful as an individual, but the idea of hashing out private matters in front of an audience of other couples just strikes me as misguided, perhaps masochistic. But I read on.

And I found a very boring story. At the rate of a weekend a month, the various individuals just take forever to discover that, surprise!, one’s lack of ability to make and keep commitments makes his wife crazy (now who could have foreseen such a thing?), that lying is not a good technique for building trust (again, who knew?), and that pretending never to be angry leads to nasty feelings afterwards. It seems to me that a couple of hours in a private session with the therapist may have surfaced the issues rather effectively. But perhaps that’s not the point. One of the couples is on its tenth year of group therapy. That’s repeat business!

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Filed under Non fiction