You’ll Do Anything For Him: A New Relationship Perspective
Maureen E Hosier, Berta Hosier Conger
Inkwater Press, 2017
It’s not odd to find gendered self-help books offering superficial relationship advice. But it is unusual to come across a book dividing itself by whatever the preferred pronoun of the reader is so as to provide a more intimate therapeutic message. This is what You’ll Do Anything for Her/Him is–a work addressing the reader as ‘you’ and looking to speak to the reader’s deeper psychological needs and issues. It’s a bold move, one that can as equally repel a reader as endear them. However, Hosier and Conger have crafted an excellent work that stands as a unique resource for individuals genuine searching for answers to their relationship dynamics.
Hosier and Conger’s books are premised on beginning with “how each person in the couple was raised and how they learned to relate with their parents.” Certainly not the most novel or shocking starting point but frequently the origin of many and most people’s issues within romantic and platonic relationships. The agency denied or made problematic as child through one’s parents leads to what Hosier and Conger call “a one-person relationship perspective.” The goal of You’ll Do Anything for Her/Him is to get the reader into a two-person relationship wherein the terms ‘codependant,’ ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘passive-aggressive,’ or ‘unhealthy’ have no place. Incidentally, Hosier and Conger resist these terms believing they “trap” patients “into thinking that there is something wrong with them or their partner.” This is key because what the authors are attempting to provide isn’t some cure but rather a method to realign how readers see themselves and their partner.
To this end, in short one-to-two sentence paragraphs written in the second-person, the authors sketch out several relationship patterns. Specifically, they spend a good amount of time in very ordinary, non-clinical language examining how relationships change such as ‘You Feel S/He’s Not Think About You’ or ‘You Feel S/He Wants Too Much from You.’ Not every reader will know the experiences sketched out in these chapters yet nearly every reader will see either themselves or a current/past partner in at least one of the chapters. This is what gives the book its power, it speaks authentically to shared lived experience.
But Hosier and Congers realize a book is no substitute for real, face-to-face counseling so they very responsibly provide several resources towards the end of their book to assist readers in acting on the choice they have hopefully made by reading. That choice is to seek out a new relationship perspective that embraces the individual existence and needs of their self and their partner’s self: “When you value your needs, your feelings, your thoughts, your preferences, your ideas, your voice, and your power, you have something valuable and precious that you bring to a two-person relationship: your self.”
You’ll Do Anything For Her/Him challenges the romantic rubbish of two becoming one, the “one-person relationship trap” where you give up “more and more of your self to be with someone you love.” It isn’t difficult to see how cliche romance leads to this one-person relationship and all too often unnecessary emotional damage. Yet the authors are able to do so without disrespecting the needs of readers, without laying blame, and without creating unreasonable techniques for readers to embrace.
For anyone concerned with their current relationship or looking to figure out what went amiss in past ones, You’ll Do Anything For Her/Him are useful texts that may set the foundation for more satisfying future relationships.
Maureen E. Hosier has worked as a licensed psychologist in California since 1993. Her career focus has been the study of the psychological forces that underlie the behaviors, feelings, and emotions between people in relationships. She has specifically been interested in how a child’s lack of development of self‑esteem and self‑confidence within a parent‑child relationship, influences their adult style, patterns, and cycles of relating.
Berta Hosier Conger has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Ohio State University. She went on to build a thirty‑year career in banking and investments.