Love Shrinks

A Memoir of a Marriage Counselor's Divorce

Publisher: Soho Press

For twenty years, Sharyn Wolf, a practicing psychotherapist and "relationship expert," has helped revitalize the marriages of countless couples. But while she was being interviewed on Oprah and 48 hours to talk about her nationally bestselling books that instructed millions on how to flirt, find mates, and "stay lovers for life," she was going home every night to a dark secret: a totally failed marriage of her own to a good man she just couldn't leave.

In Love Shrinks, Sharyn tells the mindbending—and yet deeply relatable—story of her (third!) marriage. In anecdotes that range from poignant to horrifying to side-splittingly funny to heart-rending, she explains how it is possible for two good people to make each other totally miserable and yet still be unable to leave. In fifteen years of marriage, she and her husband had sex twice. Despite the fact that Sharyn was a national bestselling self-help author, her husband couldn't bring himself to read a single one of her books. Communication between them had failed so utterly that the simple domestic activity of buying a couch together escalated to disastrous proportions. Yet through it all, they stay together—even though neither one knows why. Sharyn ends each chapter with a touching story of why she could never bear to leave this man who made her so unhappy.

Painted against the backdrop of her psycotherapy practice, real-life illustrative cases of her patients, and the wacky story of career trajectory, Sharyn turns her analytical eye on herself and her husband and deftly depicts a marriage on its long last legs. The result is this beautiful and sad tapestry of a hidden and omnipresent human condition. You will not be able to put her book down.

READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1

I Have a 999-Crane Marriage



My patient Danny has taken up origami. Lately, when I step into my waiting room
to invite him into my office, he is bent over like Pinocchio’s father, manipulating small, colorful pieces of paper into his expressionistic menagerie. Last week he offered me...
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PRAISE FOR

“Riveting…”—Maclean's (Canada)

“Blending a conversational tone with tight, fast-paced prose, the author doesn't shy away from her flaws, resulting in a book that is touching, humorous and familiar.”—Kirkus Reviews