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  You are in: Home > Psychology and Psychotherapy > Beyond the Disappointment of Sex  

Beyond the Disappointment of Sex
Understanding the Roots of Partnership Conflict

Margaret Christie-Brown

Dr Christie-Brown was for twenty years Consultant Psychotherapist at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, and has a Harley Street practice. She was a member of the Sex Education and Contraceptive Advisory Panel of the Health Education Council; has lectured at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; has led Group Therapy courses for General Practitioners and Social Workers; has published a number of papers on counselling techniques, the menopause, psychiatric disorders in pregnancy; and was British Ladies Fencing Champion (1959).


This book is about partnership problems and the difficulties which come with commitment and marriage. It analyses the origins of those problems, common and less common, and leads the reader along a path from understanding to the possibility of resolution. The author addresses the part played by sexual difficulties, which often arise in long-term relationships but receive little recognition in a society swamped with images of idealized sexuality. Indeed massive exposure to sexual ideals in the media produces an inevitable sense of comparative failure in many people. With divorce now so commonplace, marriage more than ever requires the ‘glue’ of sexual satisfaction to heal conflict and keep love viable.

The author’s approach is to show how satisfaction in a partnership depends on understanding both the emotional intricacies of promising to share a life together, and the way these complex issues affect sexual responses – and vice versa. Dr Christie-Brown explores the way individuals bring unconscious demands and unrealistic expectations from the past into their partnerships; unless these are understood, conflict can result. A Tug of War model is used to illustrate the various conflicts that engaging with a partner can bring. The book is aimed at the open-minded reader who is prepared to look at their partnership problems in a new light; complex emotional issues are dealt with in an accessible way. It is also an essential tool for counsellors, doctors, social workers and all those involved in psychotherapy; it combines – in a unique but tried and tested manner – analytical and behavioural disciplines to produce an effective remedy.



Part I The Sexual Dialectic
1 The Role of Preconception
2 Defensive Withdrawal
3 Basic Emotions
4 War Without End

Part II The Child Within Us
5 Seminal Experiences
6 Sensuality Emergent

Part III Love and the Family
7 Drawn to Love
8 Familial Situations

Part IV The Gender Dialectic
9 Gender Roles
10 Gender Conflict

Part V Fertility and Infertility
11 The Quest for Fertility
12 The Impact of Infertility

Part VI Enduring Love
13 The Power To Change


“Offers an overview of the dimensions and dangers of the partnership and marriage ‘minefield’. The author looks at love and the family, ‘gender dialect’, and fertility and infertility. She concludes with a detailed scheme (involving commitment, planning, and timing) for bringing about an improved sexual experience.” Choice

“Fully aware of the dimensions and dangers of the partnership and marriage minefield, this eminent and highly experienced therapist expertly elucidates the pleasures and excitements of a healthy and vigorous sexual life, and its contribution to our own personal well being and to the stability of our intimate relationships.” Earl Hopper, Ph.D., Former President of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy

“This book, written by eminent psychotherapist Dr Christie-Brown, is a valuable addition to the literature in this somewhat neglected field. It will be of interest to GPs, gynaecologists and family planning doctors, particularly those with an interest in psychosexual medicine. It will also be of value to relationship counsellors, and perhaps also to a number of more enlightened patients.” The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist


Publication Details

Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
264 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
September 2004
  Illustrated:   No
Paperback Price:
£15.95 / $29.50

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