Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The First Line of It Takes One to Tango by Winifred M. Reilly + Giveaway (US/Can)

It Takes One to Tango
Winifred M. Reilly
from Touchstone // Simon & Schuster

With a focus on self-empowerment and resilience, this refreshing and witty relationship guide has a reassuring counterintuitive message for unhappy spouses: you only need one partner to initiate far-reaching positive change in a marriage.

Conventional wisdom says that “it takes two” to turn a troubled marriage around and that both partners must have a shared commitment to change. So when couples can’t agree on how—or whether—to make their marriage better, many give up or settle for a less-than-satisfying marriage (or think the only way out is divorce).

Fortunately, there is an alternative.

It Takes One to Tango is a groundbreaking guide that shows how one determined partner—acting alone—can spark lasting, significant change in a marriage, often accomplishing change that cannot be made any other way. It doesn’t matter how short-fused, argumentative, or seemingly impossible your partner can be—or how long you’ve been stuck.

Marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly has this message for struggling partners: Take the lead. Doing so is effective—and powerful. Through Reilly’s own story of reclaiming her now nearly forty-year marriage, along with anecdotes from many clients she’s worked with, you’ll learn how to:
  • Focus on your own behaviors and change them in ways that make you feel good about yourself and your marriage
  • Take a firm stand for what truly matters to you without arguing, cajoling, or resorting to threats
  • Identify the “big picture” issues at the basis of your repetitive fights—and learn how to unhook from them
  • Be less reactive, especially in the face of your spouse’s provocations
  • Develop the strength and stamina to be the sole agent of change

Combining psychological theory, practical advice, and personal narrative, It Takes One to Tango is a fresh and engaging guide that will empower those who choose to take a bold, proactive approach to creating a loving and lasting marriage.

How I Got to the First Line of It Takes One to Tango

“Imagine your ideal reader,” my editor said, “and then speak to her. What does she want? What’s her burning concern? Is she on the brink of divorce,” she asked, “or just worried she’s headed there? Maybe it’s a man, and his marriage is kind of okay, but he wouldn’t say that it’s good. Maybe your book is his last effort before he gives up.”

I’d spent days staring at a mostly blank page with the word Introduction in bold at the top— well aware that I needed to write something powerful enough on page one that the person holding my book would turn to page two.

At first, I imagined a woman, mid-forties, balancing her latte on the edge of the bookshelf, her attention caught by the subtitle, How I Rescued My Marriage... wondering if my book might help rescue hers.

Next, a thirty-five year old guy with a nicely-trimmed beard, dark wavy hair, Warby Parker eyeglasses, Googling “relationship self-help” on his lunch break. After reading the back cover he downloads the sample on iBooks. His wife, I imagined, had had an affair with a co-worker and is on the fence about whether their marriage is worth saving. Their daughter is four, the exact age he was when his parents divorced.

Then, a woman with the look of someone who’d been up most of the night: rumpled tee-shirt, sunglasses, hair hastily pulled back with a clip. Maybe her spouse had come home drunk. Maybe he hadn’t come home at all. She’s tired of arguing, tired of the defensiveness and the silent treatment, tired of feeling that there’s nothing she can do.

What can I say to you, and you, and you? I asked them. How can I help?

Then it came to me. What they wanted was hope. That’s what we all want when we’re struggling, isn’t it? Hope is what gives people a reason to keep going. Hope fuels the faith that there’s still someplace worth going to. And, sadly, hope is one of the first things to go when a marriage hits rough terrain.

Back in the early, trouble-filled years of my own marriage, I, too, wandering the aisles of my local bookstore, thinking surely there had to be some good advice out there, someone who knew more than I did about how to make marriage work.

Unfortunately, much of what I found left me all the more hopeless about myself and my prospects for success. Just perusing the book titles made me fear that my husband and I were already too far gone: Embracing the Beloved. Loving Each Other. Getting the Love You Want. In the midst of one of our typical blowups, love was not exactly how I’d describe what I felt.

Standing there in the relationship aisle, I was immediately sad, longing for the time when our feelings of tenderness had been closer at hand. The love that we felt was so often overshadowed by anger and frustration that we were opting to keep our hearts out of reach. If we had to access our love before things could get better, we were definitely sunk.

Where was the book called How to Keep from Killing Your Partner While You Figure Out Why He Drives You Nuts? That was the one I needed.

Twenty-five years later, I wrote that book myself, only I called it, It Takes One to Tango. The book’s message: One partner can take the lead in creating far-reaching positive change. If you want to have a better relationship, you can, regardless of your past, or your parents, or the challenging partner you picked.

Striking a note of empowerment and hope, I began with the following words:
There’s a Turkish proverb that says, “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.”
I find this notion deeply comforting: that things can change, that people can turn their lives around, that it’s never too late to try. Even if the clock is about to strike midnight. Even if their car’s in a ditch and they’re almost out of gas.

Keep reading, I tell my imagined readers. Don't give up.

About the Author

In her thirty-six years of clinical practice she has treated many hundreds of couples — some seeking guidance for an essentially sound relationship that is encountering difficulty and many who were convinced they were headed for divorce.

Ms. Reilly has been a guest lecturer on marriage and sexuality, has made numerous radio appearances, and has been interviewed as a relationship expert by Web MD, Real Simple, HuffPost Live, and The New York Times. Her work has appeared on The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and xoJane.

She is valued for her positive yet practical approach to the inevitable challenges all couples face, believing that even the most troubled relationships can be repaired through proper guidance, encouragement, and hard work. Regardless of how challenging the issues.

Her latest book, It Takes One To Tango, (Simon and Schuster, April 2017) explains why relationships are so predictably frustrating and difficult and shows what partners can do—unilaterally—to create significant and lasting positive change in their marriage.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of It Takes One to Tango—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Winifred's question in the comments below:
Have you ever taken a leap of faith that paid off?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Winifred and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Touchstone Books!
Giveaway ends August 30th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!