Imagine if you and your partner had a road map to navigate the ups and downs of your relationship. Here it is! In a new book, Julia Meyer and Barry Jacobs give you the tools you need to do just that. Love and Meaning After 50: The Ten Challenges to Great Relationships – and How To Overcome Them delivers the goods. The authors draw on a combined fifty years of clinical psychology practice to empower the reader. The book has five key strengths.
Firstly, it provides tips for talking and listening. Make an appointment in advance to talk with each other. Choose a quite place. Turn off the devices. Most important, make yourself vulnerable.
Secondly, the authors examine ten challenging situations. For example, how do you and your partner cope with the empty nest? Can your relationship recover from infidelity by one partner? What do you need from each other with the loss of a loved one? As a 70-year-old married, straight white male who recently ended full-time employment, I gravitated toward topics like Downsizing/Relocating and Caregiving Concerns.
Thirdly, the reader learns a healthy communication process. Each partner reads a chapter and independently answers the trigger questions at the end. Then the couple jointly compares and discusses views on the topic. This method offers an effective way to talk about issues that can be sensitive or touchy.
Fourthly, the authors weave in case examples from their therapy practices. And these give added color and depth to the review of each challenge.
Lastly, the book – one in a series by AARP under the Go Hachette imprint – contains an extensive bibliography, a rich resource for learning about challenges and solutions in more depth.
No matter your situation or phase of later life, you will find practical help here. A rare book, both profound and practical, Love and Meaning After 50, deserves a place on your nightstand. Keep it close-at-hand as a living tool to nurture a healthy relationship. My hope is that Meyer and Jacobs’ book will gain wide acceptance, thereby warranting a second edition in which they can address the particular concerns of same sex and other-gender couples. The addition of this dimension will further polish this gem of a book.
CaregiversWork Rating: ✮✮✮✮ ✮