Hardcover, 304 pages
The Husbands and Wives Club
A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Group
A page-turning glimpse into five marriages and the fight to save them.
Psychotherapist Judith Coché is a veteran leader of couples groups, charged with saving five marriages. She has a provocateur’s bent, but if she goes too far, she may scare off the couples. "Causing the right amount of trouble is an art form," Coché likes to say.
MEET THE COUPLES
Marie & Clem: Marie is angry and bitter, Clem bewildered and complacent. His major complaint is the sexlessness of their 20-year marriage, but she couldn’t care less about that. Marie’s fervent desire? For yes-man Clem to talk straight to her.
Bella & Joe: When Bella married Joe a year before the group began, she worried that she’d "settled." Instead of going for someone who was as ambitious and driven as she was, she picked funny, loving, devoted Joe. Now, with Joe an unemployed lawyer, Bella’s own entrepreneurial venture tanking, and a baby on the way, she thinks she made the wrong choice.
Sue Ellen & Mark: Sue Ellen and Mark married young, yet the romance between them is still palpable. In their late 40s, they ended up in couples therapy after Mark, a successful executive, grabbed his drug-addict son in a stranglehold.
Rachael & Michael: Rachael, 35, and Michael, 37, are newly married, both for the second time. They come off as good friends and lovers—except that he’s weirdly phobic about any display of negative emotion, to the point that she agreed never to cry in front of him. Unfortunately, Rachael has a lot to cry about.
Leigh & Aaron: Leigh and Aaron have been in the group for ten years, longer than anyone in Coché’s two decades of practice. Aaron has gone from complete impotence, caused by anxiety, to finally being able to have sex with his wife. The pair has vowed that this year will be their last, but is Aaron going backward?