It Takes More Than Love: A Workbook for Singles and Couples is a powerful tool both for those already in a relationship and for those hoping to find one. Written by esteemed husband and wife team Avrum Nadigel, a marriage and family therapist, and the author of Learning to Commit: The Best Time to Work on Your Marriage is When You’re Single and Aliza Israel, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and lecturer at the University of Toronto.
“Your struggles are not meaningless,” the book advises. “You are capable of building a marriage that is far better than the ones you’ve seen so far.” Lines like that make the book feel like a relationship manual and, on a certain level, it truly is. But it’s also so much more. The book sets the reader up with the tools needed to find love, if required, and to keep it, if already hooked up is the state you’re in.
Based in part on the principles of Bowen family systems theory, which treats the family as an emotional unit, It Takes More Than Love adds in a healthy layer of theory and practice based on the professional work done by this successful couple. Nadigel and Isreal intend their book to be used as a workbook by singles, couples and even therapists in their own practice.
Full disclosure: This is a book I helped develop while I was Publisher at Self-Counsel Press. Self-Counsel published Nadigel’s first book, Learning to Commit. I am unclear on how it came to be that Nadigel and Israel, instead, published the book on their own, but the early promise that first captivated me about the project that has been published as It Takes More Than Love has been fully realized here.
“To be clear,” the authors say at one point, “we’re not going to give you one of those to-do lists promising to help you land the guy of your dreams. However, a natural consequence of growing as a person and becoming your best self is that you’ll start connecting with others (including potential mates) who are also functioning on a slightly higher level.”
In short, then, what Israel and Nadigel are taking about is what pretty much everyone wants: the discovery and then maintenance of real and lasting love. The line starts here. ◊
Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.