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Relationships

The following resources may be helpful when thinking about any challenges that you may be facing and what you can do to address these.

 The resources listed within this section are not intended to be used as a reading list and are by no means definitive. Some resources may be more helpful than others as different resources suit different individuals. The University is not responsible for the content displayed on external links. 

Relationships and sex

Useful books 

Stop Arguing, Start Talking: The 10 Point Plan for Couples in Conflict
Susan Quilliam: Vermillion (2001)
A Relate Guide. This book argues that often, what couples argue about is a mere cover for more deep-rooted, fundamental issues and unresolved problems, often stemming from as far back as early childhood. It encourages reflection on the real underlying relationship problems. Attention is given not only to why couples fight but also how they fight, with different approaches to argument ‘tactics’. In the section ‘anatomy of an argument’, understand how an argument can develop, but also how to divert or ‘steer’ it to a more fruitful and peaceful conclusion. 

Loving Yourself, Loving Another: The Importance of Self-Esteem for Successful Relationships
Julia Cole and Relate: Vermillion (2001)
How low self-esteem can impact negatively on relationships. Offers guidance and exercises to build emotional well-being. 

Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Programme for Women
Julia Heiman, Joseph LoPiccolo and Leslie LoPiccolo: Platkus (2009)
To help women feel comfortable with their bodies and their ideas about sex. Encourages reflection about sex in the modern world—social expectations, personal values and choosing partners. 

What Men with Asperger’s Syndrome Want to Know About Women, Dating and Relationships
Maxine Aston: Jessica Kingsley Publishers: (2012)
A well written and well organised book about dating for men who may be on the autistic spectrum. It answers many important questions in a structured manner. 

Family issues and pressures 

Useful link

Useful books 

Families and How to Survive Them 
Robin Skynner and John Cleese: Vermilion (1993)
What is meant by therapy and psychotherapy, and why so many people need it. Written as a conversation, it describes how and why we fall in love, how we develop from babies to adolescents to adults, and how during this development we so often become “stuck” repeating patterns established in childhood. 

The Normal One: Life with a Difficult or Damaged Sibling 
Jeanne Safer: Delta (2003) 
New York Times review: ‘A persuasive examination of the considerable effect that… impaired brothers and sisters have upon their ‘normal’ siblings throughout life.’ 

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child 
Nancy Verrier: Verrier Publishing (1993)
Explores the emotional impacts of adoption, validates the experiences and feelings of many adopted people, which may include a sense of abandonment and loss, feelings of anger, hurt and confusion, and a search for identity and a sense of belonging. 

If You Don’t Know Me By Now (Memoir)  
Satnam Sanghera: Viking (2008)
Memoir of a young man who grew up in a Punjabi Sikh family in Wolverhampton, struggling to tell his mother that he will never accept an arranged marriage. The letter he writes to his mother, which appears in the last chapter, is a tour de force, an inspiration to anyone who needs to deliver a painful truth in an honest and loving way. 

Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries and Self-Esteem 
Kimberlee Roth and Freda Friedman: New Harbinger Publications (2005)
Has had mixed reviews, but worth a look. 

Progressive Muslims 
Omid Safi (ed.): One World Publications (2003)
Rigorous exploration of how Islam views issues like women’s rights, homosexuality, etc. and argues that there is more scope for progressive interpretation of traditional texts than is commonly believed. Thought-provoking but also respectful. 

Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal 
Jeanette Winterson: Jonathan Cape 2011
Thought-provoking but may be of special interest to adopted children and to gay children of fundamentalist religious families. 

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder 
Paul Mason and Randi Kreger: New Harbinger (2010)
Approaches to setting boundaries and communicating more effectively. Answers common questions about symptoms and treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Toxic Parents; Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
Susan Forward & Craig Buck: Bantam (2002)
Part 1 of the book gives a description of different types of parents and parenting styles. Part 2 gives information and advice on how to build on relationships, assert yourself and move things forward. Very helpful book.

The Drama of Being a Child: The Search for the True Self
Alice Miller: Virago (2008)
A poignant and helpful book about finding yourself. It’s written from a developmental perspective.

Losing someone close to you: grief and bereavement

Useful links

Further reading 

Facing Grief: Bereavement and The Young Adult 
Susan Wallbank: Lutterworth Press (1991)
For young people between 18 and 28 years. Grief connected with the death of specific family members (grandparents, parents, siblings) or with the loss of a partner. 

When Parents Die
Rebecca Abrams: Delta (1999)
The experience of losing a parent as a child or adolescent. Explains the significance of how and when a parent dies; the importance of the relationship that existed between parent and child prior to death; the role played by the remaining parent; the difficulties faced by adolescents and young adults; the impact of earlier and subsequent life events, for example illness and divorce, etc. 

Living with Grief 
Tony Lake: Sheldon Press (1984)
Five tasks to be worked through in order to come to terms with grief: three acceptance tasks (accept the full reality of what has happened; accept the need for an increased commitment to life; and accept the need for help) and two resistance tasks (resist isolation; and resist dependence). Specific help for those suffering from grief after sudden loss, suicide, or the death of a child or a parent. Also offers help for those who know they are dying, both adults and children. 

Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide 
Christopher Lukas and Henry Seiden: Jessica Kingley Publishers (2007)
Recounts Christopher Lukas’ own experiences and those of other suicide survivors. Personal testimonies are combined with the expertise of Henry M. Seiden, a psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Information on common experiences of bereavement, grief reactions and various ways of coping. 

A Special Scar: The Experience of People Bereaved by Suicide 
Alison Wertheimer: Routledge (2001)
For relatives and friends of those who have taken their own life. Can help reduce feelings of isolation and confusion, and help the bereaved person come to terms with the enormity of the situation.