Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship” as Want to Read:
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  1,191 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Mira Kirshenbaum (I Love You, But I Don't Trust You), an international bestselling author and world-renowned therapist, draws on years of counseling experience to lead readers through relationship ambivalence. A careful line of 36 questions and self-analysis techniques designed to get to the heart of relationship and marriage problems.  This straightforward and practical a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Plume (first published July 1st 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 28, 2007 Zinta rated it really liked it
I imagine most readers of Mira Kirshenbaum's "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" are leaning towards the going. Most of us tend not to mess with the good, or spend time analyzing why we feel bliss; rather we seek out deeper understanding only when something hurts. Human nature, I suppose. Take notice only when life becomes a pain. But as I read Kirshenbaum's easy to absorb guide on fencesitting relationships, I realized this is a good read even for the best of relationships. Even for those curr ...more
Mar 04, 2008 Rebecca rated it liked it
You'll still be confused as hell, but at least you will feel normal. Situation after situation, I could relate to.
Stephanie Michaud
Jul 22, 2007 Stephanie Michaud rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mid life crisis ladies
Insightful. Crazy. Depressing. Hopeful. Clarity. Shocking. Confusing. A really good read for people really fucked-up in their marriage.
Jeff Poole
Feb 17, 2011 Jeff Poole rated it it was amazing
The premise of this book is that trying to weigh the options of leaving or staying in a relationship is a losing game...but it's also what most of us do when we feel uncertain about the relationship we are in. A relationship can feel good one day and bad the next, so it is almost impossible to weigh the good against the bad.

Instead, this book takes the approach of asking a series of questions. Some questions focus on what we might think of as minimum qualities for a relationship: When the relat
Dec 29, 2012 Rima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If u can relate to the title then this is a must read. I read it in 3 days. While i left the book still feeling 50/50 about the relationship, it was a logical, well informed 50/50 rather than a previously confused state.

Over time that 50/50 lead to a big STAY, with the help of other books like Hold Me Tight by Dr Johnson, Dealbreakers by Sharon Marshall and 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman.
May 30, 2011 Gypsy rated it really liked it
This book was sitting in my queue for over 5 years, and I FINALLY got to read it. All I can say is that if I had read the book when I first discovered it and went through all the diagnostic questions laid out in the book, then I would have identified myself as being in the ‘relationship ambivalence” state a long time ago and did something about it a lot sooner.
The book goes through a series of diagnostic questions to provide clarity on whether an “iffy” relationship is "too good to leave or too
May 21, 2014 Chris rated it did not like it
I'm going to quote a top Amazon review:

My wife and I have been married six years and have had marital troubles for nearly a year. However, we are taking very concrete steps to try to address them and we're making good progress. We're learning a lot more about ourselves and each other, about personalities and temperaments and what influences them. Now we are better able to appreciate how those factors manifest in our day-to-day behavior. It is hard work, but we both agree that in the end it's wor
Nov 02, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
When you are ambivalent about a relationship, you close down and spend all your energy defending your heart. Reading this book made me realize that I have an amazing partner in life. The questions make you analyze those things that make a relationship strong -- despite the curveballs that life throws us. I think this is a good read for people thinking about marrying and really helpful for those of us who temporarily forgot what made their hearts sing in the first place. The best part I think is ...more
Sep 23, 2007 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks considering ending relationships
I liked the cut & dried, black & white approach to this book. Author is forward about what she thinks is wrong or right in a relationship. Sometimes, I want someone to just tell me, strait up, "hey, that stinks" or "hey, that's ok". I won't always agree, but I wnt feedback. Somehow, the way she portrays certain couples, she is pretty specific when she says, "this couple probably shouldn't be together" and "this one should". That doesn't mean it's easy for me, the reader, to really decide ...more
Mar 07, 2009 Chanda rated it it was amazing
I still hang on to this book even though (thankfully) I haven't needed it in a really long time. It is so good when you're dealing with some ambivalence regarding a romantic relationship. If you need to remember the good things, it helps to point that out and then to remind you of them. If you really do need to get out and remembering the bad things is the way to do it, it helps remind you of that. I have given this book as a gift more than once. It may seem like a strange book to be passing out ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Christine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with relationship issues
Recommended to Christine by: rory
this books is a really good guide for those trying to figure out if they should stay or go in a relationship... it starts you out with a scenario, followed by question(s) which build upon each other and lead up to your answer: stay or go. it is a combination of self-help and workbook. if you're one of those that keep falling into the "gray" of the relationship, this book will help you keep things "black and white", which will help you be more objective when evaluating what can be a major life de ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Katja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This an excellent guide for people who are stuck thinking about leaving their relationship but haven’t been able to come to any conclusions. Mira throws out the ‘balancing scale’ approach to decision-making (how do you weigh up hundreds of pieces of ever-changing information anyway?) in favour of a clinical ‘diagnostic’ approach. This is a genius move because it means that just one critical piece of information can effectively make the decision for you. Which makes a lot of sense – if your husba ...more
Nov 24, 2009 Lynn rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was amazing in helping me decide what to do about the ambivalent relationship I have been in for over 5 years!!!!
If you've been juggling whether to stay in a relationship or leave, seriously....pick this book up & give it a whirl!
It defines issues in a diagnostic fashion instead of weighing pros & cons.
Aug 09, 2007 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who need the courage to move out and move on
i have recommended this to several women STUCK in relationships that were exactly that: too good to leave (translated "dont wanna be alone") and too bad to stay (unhealthy or violent or going nowhere). in every case, they found the courage to leave forging a new life and often finding new, true love - never once looking back.
Maria Lasprilla
Apr 15, 2017 Maria Lasprilla rated it really liked it
Dudé un par de veces de si agregar este libro a mi "estantería" digital del libros pública, y más aún dudé si debía compartir mis impresiones abiertamente. Al final decidí compartirlo porque hay dos temas de los que casi nadie habla, pero que a todos nos causan problemas en algún momento u otro de nuestra vida adulta. Los dos temas son el dinero y las finanzas personales; y las relaciones personales (amorosas, de amistad, familiares). Saber que no se está solo es muchas veces lo único que se nec ...more
Sep 30, 2016 C rated it it was amazing
A friend talked about this and I decided to take a look. It's an excellent book that is intended to be a relationship diagnostic tool. She breaks down issues into some key deal breakers (an obvious one: physical abuse - written for people who are still in a relationship despite physical abuse), and then continues to break it down to more subtle things that erode a relationship over time (a partner struggling for power/control, someone who refuses to address difficult topics, etc.). The tone is p ...more
Colleen Wainwright
A little lingo-cutesy in places, could use better indexing, and falls short of the "step-by-step" promise in the subtitle (although that looked like an overpromise to begin with). And I recognize there's a danger in codifying something like this, both from the standpoint of the person who breezes through their unexamined life and someone too broken to recognize hazards to their physical safety. But for the overthinkers and self-flagellators, parts of this book are a boon, even post-relationship.
Sep 21, 2011 Sima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminding us to avoid the trap of false dichotomies (column A good, column B bad, whichever list is longer dictates what you should do), this book offers a way to examine a relationship (any relationship, not just with your S.O.!) and identify patterns that are likely to result in problems, and figure out how many of the issues apply to your situation and to what degree.

A thoughtful and powerful way to begin thinking about and fixing your relational patterns.
Dian Bentinck
Sep 15, 2016 Dian Bentinck rated it it was amazing
I found the book to be well written and easy to read. The information was presented objectively. Diagnostic questions, examples, real life stories helped put things in context. I think the book is useful regardless of your relationship status. It helps identify positive and necessary aspects of relationships as well as thoughts on how they can be improved and warning signs. The author seems to have a plethora of relevant experience that made the book very credible.
Feb 27, 2009 Joanna rated it it was ok
given to me by a fellow therapist about relationsip ambivalence. the questions are probably the most helpful. given that its the first book I've seen on a subject that seems to have little written, its probably the best out there (from what I know) but it seems to lack some depth - I was hoping it might invite exploration of the underlying emotions/desires/longings. That being said, it's probably quite helpful for the 'decision-making', cerebral view.
Jul 15, 2009 Bethany rated it liked it
It's a refreshing spin on the "how to make a relationship work" book. This one asks questions to help you clarify whether or not it's worth it and why--basically helping you find peace with whatever decision you ultimately make.

I'd recommend it, if nothing else to help people stop thinking in circles.
Men D.
Sep 16, 2010 Men D. rated it really liked it
Only the second self-help book I've read and the first I've finished. The mere fact that I read this book says less about my relationship than about my interest in finding vocabulary to talk about my relationship.
Vanessa Baldwin
Aug 08, 2007 Vanessa Baldwin rated it it was amazing
Recommended reading by my grad school professor. It is really well-spoken advice. Considering I'll need to dispense such advice as a counselor later, I know this will go on my shelf at the "office".
Mar 09, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Helped propel me out of a bad relationship - should be required reading for anyone on the fence about a personal relationship, romantic or otherwise.
Aug 29, 2009 Hector added it
I love this book, it helped me to put perspective in my life and to evaluate the relationships I allow.
Feb 25, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me move out of ambivalence and see that my marriage was the source of my unhappiness I recommend this to anyone who feels stuck and unhappy in a relationship.
Oct 04, 2009 Maggie rated it really liked it
extremely helpful not just for me but for others I have lent it to. It may just clarify what you already know on some level, or it may open your eyes to a new way of seeing the situation.
Laura Sheffield
Mar 05, 2017 Laura Sheffield rated it really liked it
Shelves: psych
Great material I read right through it and found insight. I thought it would be good for someone deciding (was not me at the time) to pick and choose a needed chapter to read for either confirmation or more questions the undecided person should consider. In truth, the person is busy.....calls a friend or lawyer or counselor for that. I still think it is a good book with good insights.
Jon Longworth
May 29, 2012 Jon Longworth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really, really helpful for me. I'd already left my marriage of 22 years for 6 months or so but I was wracked with conflicting emotions - guilt, incredible relief, and everything in-between including confusion. The author helps give a rare degree of perspective and objectivity which is almost impossible to get otherwise. To get that perspective you can't ask your friends, co-workers, you can't ask your family - you certainly can't ask a new partner or your old partner. You're alone ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • How to Break Your Addiction to a Person
  • Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours
  • A Woman's Book of Life
  • Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide
  • How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration
  • Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self
  • The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work
  • The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself
  • The Intimacy Factor: The Ground Rules for Overcoming the Obstacles to Truth, Respect, and Lasting Love
  • The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents)
  • Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity
  • Can Love Last?: The Fate of Romance over Time
  • The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond
  • Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness (Overcoming)
  • Are You the One for Me?: Knowing Who's Right and Avoiding Who's Wrong
  • The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder
  • Life After Loss: A Practical Guide To Renewing Your Life After Experiencing Major Loss
  • 4 Weeks to an Organized Life with AD/HD

Share This Book

“When the satisfaction or the security of another person becomes as significant to one as is one’s own satisfaction or security, then the state of love exists.” 3 likes
“Fun is the glue of love.” 2 likes
More quotes…