Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review: "The Get Over Yourself! Handbook ..." (R. Milton Quibner and Mia Matters)

It behooves us all to pause and reflect on what happiness means to each of us. It often differs from one person to another, depending on expectations, priorities, background, upbringing, beliefs, and more.

What stumps us more often than not, though, is what constitutes happiness when in a relationship with someone else. Somehow, the addition of another person in our life equation throws us off. Now what?

The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Creating Happiness in a Relationship, by R. Milton Quibner and Mia Matters, is a how-to guide for just that.

The authors have designed the work to address each of five different categories each person must consider when in a relationship with someone else. These five categories include physical health, career options, and sexuality, among others.

In essence, Quibner and Matters want to bring to light the kinds of practical, applicable considerations that people don't often take into account when wondering why happiness has eluded them.

Science and studies prove over and over that things like regular exercise, a healthy diet, consistent communication, and shared values help to keep couples' relationships healthy and stable, and yet so often we overlook those factors as being too simplistic.

We'd almost rather have the answer to why we're unhappy be some enormous trial or rigmarole ... anything besides a daily exercise regimen or honest communication about sex. It seems too easy.

The authors acknowledge the apparent ease but caution against taking each of the factors they outline for granted. It takes deliberate commitment, time, patience, and dedication to become healthy individuals in a healthy relationship.

While a thorough guidebook, there is room for improvement in a future edition of the work. First, the periodic typos tend to undermine the authors' authority as experts in their field. A close proofread would resolve the issue and lend credibility to their stance.

Second, while admirably brief, the manual lacks the personal anecdotes and experiences from either the authors or perhaps couples interviewed about the guidelines in the book. Without a personal touch, the tone of the work sometimes leans toward the condescending, though perhaps that's always a danger when discussing basic, real-life considerations such as these.

Third, and finally, though the authors themselves are admitted experts in the field of relationships, I've rarely read a book claiming to be comprehensive in a scientific field that totally lacked footnotes and citations to other works, studies, and statistics to uphold and strengthen the authors' own arguments. While it is tempting to take the authors of this work at face value, especially given the very foundational nature of their contentions, I always prefer to be reassured with the research of others as confirmation.

Nonetheless, the handbook demands consideration, given, after all, its applicability to a world of broken relationships, distrust, fear, anxiety, divorce, infidelity, desperation, and serial dating, to name only a few contemporary trials. Read and find out for yourself how applicable it could be to your life and relationships.

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Authors: R. Milton Quibner and Mia Matters
Title: The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Creating Happiness in a Relationship
ISBN: 978-1-63263-616-4
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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