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Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage

February 27, 2009


This week, my book, Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage is released.  It will be availalble in bookstores everywhere, online at the major distributors and on Kindle. There are many stories to writing a book, and this is one of my favorites…how the title got its name. 
A  title is a multi-tasking micro-slice of a book, that has to be catchy, yet immediately convey the content and tone of a material. And everyone has a different opinion on what your title should be. Fro example, my husband has always wanted me to write a book titled, “I’m O.K., No Thanks to You.” That’s a great title, but didn’t have anything to do with the content of my book, so he’ll have to wait for the next one. My first title for the book was : Intimate Justice: Finding Fairness in Love and Marriage. I loved that title, thinking it captured the idea of this book—that fairness is the key to healthy and enduring relationships, and despite the fact that we each have an intuitive grasp of “what’s fair,” partners often disagree about the many aspects of fair relating, from everyday disagreements, over whose turn it was to wash the dishes, to how to spend or save money, to the in-laws, to whose vote counts the most on important decisions regarding money, children, chores and sex, to the truly egregious violations of fairness. Intimate Justice met its end with the feeback I received from a few agents: “No, no, no..this title sounds like a legal thriller.” Or, how about, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?” and finally, “Love the book, will you change the title?” Uncle.
For several months this was a book in search of a title. After having several titles rejccted by my wise editor, I decided to make finding a new title a party game. I invited friends to create and vote on the title of their choice. Predictably, there was a split gender vote.
The men overwhelmingly wrote in: Fairness: Make love not war. 

The women wanted: Fairness: What’s Love Got to Do With It? 

The women got the deciding vote, because more women buy relationship book (sorry guys). But neither of those titles made the cut either.

Like most creative processes, Try to See It My Way popped into my head while I was doing something else—bicycling. I thought (for the twentieth time) THAT’S IT–THAT”S THE TITLE!” Everyone wants to feel known and understood. And Fairness starts with seeing things Your Way, My Way, and then creating a third way between you that builds trust that you’ll be fairly treated over time. I e-mailed my idea to my editor at Penguin, and a few hours later, was relieved that her reply was, “Love it—Makes me feel like dancing.” And then it dawned on me—that’s because it was a lyric, and not just any lyric, but the opening line of the Beatles’ song, “We Can Work It Out.” No wonder it sounded so good. What to do? Somehow through the magic of Penguin’s legal minds, we got permission to use the phrase. A title was born.

Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage.

So go dance…and enjoy the read!

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