Carol S. Becker
Reviewed by Marcy Adelman. Ph.D.
A book has finally been written to
help us understand what happens
when lesbian lovers break up. how
we recover from the woulds, and
what we learn from these
experiences. Unbroken Ties is Dr.
Carol Becker's summary and
analysis of her interviews with forty
lesbians of different racial and
socioeconomic backgrounds about
the breakup of their partnerships.
The book explores the diverse ways
that women coped with the end of
these relationships and the creative
ways in which they rebuilt their
Throughout Unbroken Ties, the
women speak in their own voices
about why their lover relationships
ended, how they recovered from
their breakups, and the process of
building ex-lover relationships. In
the first part of the book, the women
tell us about their losses and
disillusionments. I found myself
reliving my own losses and was
reminded of how hard we try to
make our relationships succeed.
From the patterns that emerged
in these interviews. Dr. Becker
discerns five situations that lead to
the breakups: polarized differences,
traumatizing affairs, passive
withdrawal by one partner,
dissatisfaction with a chaotic
relationship, and simply growing
apart. Becker's comments on the
issue of nonmonogomy are
refreshing and insightful. She
wi ites: fKULMHi^^HHlM
Affairs don't always destroy lover
relationships; sometimes they arc used
to enhace them. The effect of affairs
depends on many factors: the resiliency
of the relationship; the intentions of
each of the women; how traumatic the
actual affair is to the couple's
relationship; the extent to which the
affair evokes old wounds. Affairs, then,
are not automatically good or bad for
relationships. They can be used to
renew or sever the primary relationship.
Irreparable trauma to a relationship Is
just one possible out-come within this
complex matrix of issues and events.
Her description of dysfunctional, crisis-oriented relation- ships
is clear-sighted and compassionate.
By engaging in these dysfunctional
relationships women make unconscious
attempts to fix wounded aspects of
themselves by (being their lovers. Roles
and problems polarize, and crises
provide the illusion of movement and
change. Current relationship dramas
repeal the unseen and unhealed wounds
of each partner's past life.
The second half of the book
brings us to the healing process.
The women begin the task of
rebuilding their lives by refocusing
on their needs and priorities. They
discover a new appreciation of
themselves and describe the
rebuilding of their social
relationships -with friends.
children, family members, new
lovers, and ex-lovers. These
chapters will be welcome and
helpful reading for any women in
the process of recovering from a
The strength of Unbroken Ties is
its focus on now we acquire greater
empathy for our own needs and
strengthen our self-esteem by
grieving our losses. Dr. Becker has
written an empowering book about
a painful topic. This ground
breaking work will be immensely
helpful to therapists with lesbian
and gay clients and will be a
comfort to women experiencing the
breakup of a lover relationship.
Dr. Carol S. Becker was bom and raised
in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She
received her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology from Mercy College of Detroit
in 1964. She continued her graduate
training in Clinical Psychology at
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania and completed her M.A. in
1968 and her Ph.D. in 1973. An offer of
a tenured-track job in university
teaching drew her to California where
she has beend teaehding and doing
psychotherapy since 1973.
Currently, Dr. Becker is a Professor
of Human Development at California
State University! lay ward. She has
, jut tlw private practb
psychotherapy in San Franctsco and
Berkeley. Unbroken Ties: Lesbian Ex-
levers is Dr. Becker's first book.
Hay House, Inc.
With the recent media attention
given to astrology, a renewed focus
in this ancient science may be
awakening. History tells us that
world cultures utilized astrology to
study and understand man's
destiny and his role inthe universe.
From Imhotep to Plato and
Socrates, from Ptolemy to Galileo
and Copernicus, ancient rulers and
respected astronomers studied
astrology alongside astronomy.
However, in time, political and
religious sovereignties caused
astrology to be reduced to an
"occult" science-having no real
inherent value. But in Tight of its
recent attention, astrology's
usefulness—as a tool to guide
mankind- may reemerge as a
positive expression in today's world.
Gay Signs, an astrological guide
for homosexual men oy J. E.
Kneeland. is aimed at assisting gay
men to understand and appreciate
who they are. and affords them the
opportunity to re-examine certain
beliefs and attitudes they may have
about themselves. Mr. Kneeland
presents an affirmative direction on
how to transform negative aspects
into positive challenges so readers
can move toward healthier and
more fulfilling lifestyles.
The lesson of astrology is that every
'negative' has a positive, and the
challenge for each individual's chart is to
take what might appear to be problems
and turn them to benefits....
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
«9S0 VISTA GRANDt
EL PASO TEXAS 79922
S. A. F. E. would like to thank Bob Bonaventure of the Old Plantation, our
special guests Tasha Kohl and Naomi Sims, and especially you, the
community, for making our first annual Black and White party such a
success. Approximately 400 people attended and over $1,500 was raised.
Due to the succes of this fund raiser S. A. F. E. was able to donate $1,000 to
S. W. A. C. for the establishment of a food bank for PWAs in El Paso.
S. A. F. E. would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new board
members to the team.
JD Carr, ex -oficio
Bob Bonaventure, ex-oficio
Gilbert Salazar, ex-oficio
EL dflLISGQ EflFE
WHERE GOOD FOOD IS SERVED HOME STYLE
OPEN DAILY 7-4
Menudo and Bar-B-Q every Sat & Sun
Starting a NEW
<§|Gay Men and Women Hj
after 5pm call
(ask for Joe)
GAYPULSE / August 1988 5