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Taming Marital Arguments: Breaking Out of the T.R.A.P. by Robert P. Rugel, PhD: Book Review
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Reader Views
Book reviews, by readers, for readers 
By Reader Views
Published on 07/23/2010
 
For more than 40 years, Dr. Rugel has observed how quickly spouses feel disregarded in marriage and respond in a manner that upsets the partner. Their tranquil interactions then spiral into an unpleasant argument or into emotional distancing. Based on concepts from family systems theory, Dr. Rugel guides the reader through the process of recognizing and avoiding these destructive patterns, thus helping to bring the relationship back to harmony. In "Taming Marital Arguments," readers will learn several things including: Learning why spouses get stuck in repetitive, useless arguments. Determining what you need to work on to improve your marriage. Conquering your own defensive/self-protective tendencies, and recovering the friend and lover your partner used to be.

Taming Marital Arguments: Breaking Out of the T.R.A.P. by Robert P. Rugel, PhD: Book Review
Loving Healing Press (2010)
ISBN 9781615990191
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (06/10)

Let’s face it- couples fight and make-up. Sometimes though it seems as if the fighting gets worse and couples end up getting a divorce. In “Taming Marital Arguments: Breaking Out of the T.R.A.P.,” Dr. Rugel has provided readers with a wealth of information and exercises to help couples find out if they have a tendency to sabotage their relationships.

This guide is a genuine source of assessing your relationship and if one sees they are part of the problem, the author gives tips on how to make changes. Even being a practicing Psychologist for over twenty-five years, I found myself deeply involved in completing the exercises and, much to my surprise (or denial), I found that I often participate in the T.R.A.P. The T.R.A.P. stands for Threaten, React and Protect.

In addition to the exercises and tips, the author shares stories of couples he has worked with and how they would fall into the pattern of belittling, degrading and withdrawing from their significant other. This guide is written in an easy-to-read and understand format. All of the exercises and rating scales will help couples take a good look at how they contribute to a negative emotional climate. I have recommended “Taming Marital Arguments: Breaking Out of the T.R.A.P.” to my college psychology students as a resource for their library.