Mark Borg, Grant Brenner, and Daniel Berry
How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy
Central Recovery Press 2015
Why do relationship partners so often feel isolated and unsatisfied despite all their efforts to show love and caring to one another? And how do they break out of the self-defeating cycles that get them there? In their new book, Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy (Central Recovery Press, 2015), Mark Borg, Grant Brenner, and Daniel Berry address these daunting questions. They explain how parental disappointments during childhood can set one up for a life of compulsive caregiving at the expense of true human connection, which they call “irrelationship.” They address a growing epidemic by which, in later adulthood, partners use those well-honed caregiving skills to hide from one another rather than become closer. Drawing from cutting-edge neuroscience, psychoanalytic theory, and clinical experience, the authors address how these habitual patterns take shape in the brain and in the soul, and how partners can find their way out of them. The book is full of relatable anecdotes and practical suggestions that any reader who has ever struggled with love and intimacy will find illuminating and helpful.
I spoke with two of the authors, Mark Borg and Grant Brenner, about how they arrived at the idea of “irrelationship” and how their skill-based approach has improved the lives of their patients and readers. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in LGBTQ issues, eating andbody image problems, and working with cultural minorities.