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The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

In The Dance of Intimacy, the bestselling author of The Dance of Anger outlines the steps to take so that good relationships can be strengthened and difficult ones can be healed. Taking a careful look... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Good book

This book has some good points. I think it would help most people. It wasn't exactly what I needed right now. But it did have some helpful things in it. I have been in a Verbally and emotionally abusive and controlling marriage for almost 20 years. I realized something was wrong a few years ago. I am now trying to cope and debating what to do. This book might help people that are in a better relationship more than it helped me. I did however still find it helpful. Some other books I also recommend: -10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing -Why does he do that? By Lundy Bancroft -The Verbally abusive relationship By Patricia Evans -Not to People Like Us By Susan Weitzman -The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner -Codependent No More by Melody Beattie -Love Honor and Negotiate By Betty Carter

A milestone book

I think this is a remarkable book - a 'milestone' book for me. Lerner has great insight into how relationships work, understanding behaviour, the impact of families, and the past. She will introduce you to triangles and the impact of past traumas in your family tree. In my opinion this is not 'another self-help book', it stands apart from other popular psych titles. Two other thoughts: First, Lerner positions this book for women, but in fact it is general and should be read by all. Second: I suggest reading this book slowly, eg half an hour a day, and digesting inwardly.

Lerner's wisdom and insight sense rocks!

After reading the Dance of Anger I was very eager to read this book. It is amazingly helpful. I especially appreciated the chapters on distancing, "overfunctioning" and how to bring up very hot issues with difficult people. I liked the author's realism, that she tells us that it's OK to move "at glacial speed" and that it's the direction and not the speed of travel that matters. She has so much wisdom and gives so much concrete advice without oversimplifying things. I also loved the chapter on "defining a bottom line" because it helped me make an important change in a relationship where I was complaining, but not really taking a bottom line position. Plus, Lerner is a great feminist in the best sense of the word.


In searching for the true me, I came upon these books through reccommendation of a friend, who happens to be a councelor. I had read them again and again, finding new things out about myself each time. The subject matter, at times, was very difficult to read, due to the feelings it stirred from within me. Confronting real truths is a hard thing to do. However, the healing began with understanding "the dance". I would have never thought of it as a dance, because, looking back, I can not recall learning the steps to the dance, for I lived it everyday. We all become victums of what we live. The hope is in the future of who we can choose to become. We can change our pasts into brighter futures, and the books that Harriet Lerner has written will help anyone to do this. Not just women. I feel that I never really felt the beat before, maybe it is because I was "deaf" from past hurts. This will offer a new beginning and open your eyes, ears, and heart. I have lent all three of my books to others...Anger, Intimacy, and Deception, and non of them have ever been returned to me, for those people have passed them on to others as a helping tool as well. Some day I want to get these books again to keep in my own library. However, those who have read them, I wish you the best, and hope it helps you out as much as it has helped me. Thank you Ms. Lerner. What a difference you have made in my life. May new readers find comfort in finding and accepting the "Real Truth". It's worth the time and pain. Most of all you are worth it.


The title is very's not just for women, in that it has helped me see my marriage in a new light. Guys, if your spouse/significant other is unhappy with your marriage, or vice-versa, read this book. Just ignore the gender-specific and feminist ideals that Ms. Lerner sometimes includes. It is an excellent book that deserves high praise.

Good Read and Very Eye Opening

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, I feel the comments from the UK couldn't be further from what Dr. Lerner is trying to say. First of all, she does not prescribe solutions but rather offers examples of struggles others have faced and how they have dealt with them. She is careful to state that it is possible for none of her examples to be useful in one's situation. Second, she addresses all relationships--mother, father, sibling, friend, lover, spouse--not just mother-daughter. What I see as a key theme is the fact that every individual is unique and carries with them a background and outlook that shapes their reactions to the world. There is a saying in Spanish: every person is a world. We must understand this background and outlook (their world) before we can ever hope to understand an individual. Most importantly, we must understand ourselves and how, when and why we react the way we do (our world) before we can ever hope to understand anyone else. Intimacy is challenging and change takes time and small steps. Intimate communication in strained situations can often initially create more conflict than resolution. Trying to find the humor in a situation and to express oneself in a non-threatening and non-judgmental manner often goes a long way towards opening the doors for better communication. I believe all advice is worth listening to. But, as with any advice, you take from it what you find useful and leave the rest alone. It is a book written by a woman, for women, so men may not find it as inspiring; being a woman, I really enjoyed it. I also found it to be a great read, a great challenge, and full of food for thought.
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