Tag Archives: relationships

Love and Marriage: Cartoons About Imperfect People Managing Their Most Important Relationships by Art Hartz Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Art Hartz takes readers on a humorous journey through cartoons to showcase the ways in which human nature and the culture we live in contribute to relationship issues in the book “Love and Marriage: Cartoons About Imperfect People Managing Their Most Important Relationships”.

The Synopsis

Problems with dating and marriage are often about nothing, which can be funny if they don’t involve you. Fortunately, you are not involved in the problems shown in this book so you might enjoy the humor. Also, fortunately, you probably have had similar problems so that you will relate to and understand many of the cartoons. The problems presented are not the big ones with names like infidelity, money, illness, or booze. They are the little ones without names that can happen many times a day to couples who are doing well. No books or psychological counselors worth their salt even deal with problems at this level. However, the problems are annoying, and as long as they’re around we might as well make lemonade out of these lemons and have a good laugh and maybe a little more insight.

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The Review

This was a genuinely hilarious and insightful comic book anthology delving into relationships and sexual attraction. The varying styles of comic illustrations and the adult-driven, “Sunday newspaper feeling”, aesthetic of the book itself made the lessons and insights the author gave feel more light and relatable. The fast pace of the book and the rich atmosphere that the blend of illustration and witty dialogue brings to the narratives made this collection fly by.

For me, the great thing about this book stemmed from the author’s commentary on not only relationships and sexual attraction in general, but the social commentary and everyday social lessons that people have to learn as they live their lives. From the ways in which men and women are judged physically to the unnecessary character flaws that some people will put up with as opposed to politeness and caring personalities, the author explores these themes and lessons in a humorous and charming way through these illustrations, making this book’s message feel truly impactful.

The Verdict

Captivating, engaging, and thoughtful in its approach, author Art Hartz’s “Love and Marriage: Cartoons About Imperfect People Managing Their Most Important Relationships” is a must-read collection of comics and relationship humor. The fast pace of the read itself and the spirit the author is able to relay to keep the insights and lessons fresh on the page were memorable to read and really helped elevate the themes found in this collection overall. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

After retiring from a career as a medical researcher, Arthur Hartz worked with a team of artists to produce a series of cartoon books, the Slings and Arrows of Mundane Fortune. Slings and arrows in the title of this series refers to the daily attacks most people face on their self-esteem and relationships. From a distance these attacks are interesting and often funny. Four books have been completed with cartoons and aphorisms grouped according to the sources of the slings and arrows:

1. Winners and Losers, Heretical Cartoons About the American Religion of Winning

2. The Autumn Years, Cartoons from the Front Lines of the Battle Against Aging

3. Love and Marriage, Cartoons About Imperfect People Managing Their Most Important Relationship

4. Friendship, How Hard Can That Be

The talented artistic team for the series of cartoon books includes Aleksandar Jovic from Serbia, Mike Wolfe from Salt Lake City, and Heroud Ramos from Peru. Hartz describes what he wants, the artists draw what they like, and then they work it out — amicably.

Dr. Hartz was born in Baltimore; raised in Farmington, New Mexico, and worked in medical schools in Milwaukee, Iowa City, and Salt Lake City. Currently he and his wife, Ellen, live in St. Louis. He enjoys his grandchildren and talking to people in Latin America who can tolerate his Spanish.



Interview with Author Laura Pratt

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I am a career writer. I’ve made my living as a journalist for almost thirty years. I would say, however, that I didn’t really find my voice until I started writing creative nonfiction.

What inspired you to write your book?

In 2018, I went to the University of King’s College in Halifax to start a two-year program in creative nonfiction. I earned my MFA in 2020. The graduate thesis for this program is in fact a book, which we work through with mentors over the course of two years. Ideally, you have your book finished in alignment with the program. I chose to write about heartbreak because it has been such a powerful experience in my life. My story, coupled with a range of more scholarly explorations into the phenomenon of this universal experience, seemed like juicy fodder for a creative nonfiction project.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I think the biggest takeaway I envision for this book is that you’re OK. I’m OK. We’re all OK. If you’re reeling from heartbreak, you needn’t imagine you’re failing society or yourself or anyone at all for your failure to surface according to some perceived timetable. It’s OK to be reeling. It’s OK to hurt and yearn and struggle for a long time. I want people to stop judging themselves for not being OK, and to be kind to themselves in the face of their discomfort and despair. To realize, through my story, that it is entirely natural to hurt for a long time. They are not losers. They are only human.

What drew you into this particular genre?

Creative nonfiction is a natural fit for me. As a journalist, I am deeply concerned with the truth and feel strongly about holding my writing accountable to facts alone. But the *creative* aspect of this approach to writing was a wonderful discovery for me. Here, writers apply the tools and literary devices of creative writing (think: character development, scenes, detailed description, dialogue, etc.) to nonfiction. It elevates factual storytelling to a much more compelling and enjoyable place.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I have launched an Instagram account around this book, and am excited to see where this path takes me. It is my first experience on that platform and I’m hopeful for its reach in terms of attracting readers.

 What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Keep going. It’s hard to write a book. It takes tremendous stick-to-it-iveness and patience. It’s a lot of work and a lot of words. But you need only to take a stroll through a bookstore, electronic or brick-built, to come away encouraged by the number of people who have been able to pull off this enormous undertaking. Have faith in yourself. If all those folks could do it, why not you?

What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?

I make my living now as a book editor, but feel strongly that there are more memoirs on my near horizon. I am a mother to four kids who are all young adults now, and I am kicking around ideas for another memoir that delves into this stage of maternal life. But I am so consumed right now with giving “Heartbroken” the birth it deserves, that I don’t want to muddy the waters by thinking too much ahead. I have loved every minute of writing this book and am awfully excited at the prospect of getting it out into the world. Thank you for taking the time for this conversation!


About the Author

LAURA PRATT is a long-time journalist, writer and editor. She writes for Canadian magazines and edits books. Her first memoir, The Fleeting Years, was published in 2004. She lives in Toronto with whichever of her kids and dogs she can corral to join her. She’s a 2020 graduate of the University of King’s College’s creative nonfiction MFA. She won an honourable mention in Prairie Fire’s 2020 CNF contest and was shortlisted for The Fiddlehead’s 2019 CNF contest. She has served as a judge at the National Magazine Awards for several years.



The Good Husband: How to Use Your Masculine Strengths to Benefit Your Family by Hagai Avisar Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and counselor Hagai Avisar takes readers on a journey to understand what truly “masculinity” is and how it can be used not to control but to love and care for one’s family in his book “The Good Husband: How to Use Your Masculine Strengths to Benefit Your Family”.


The Synopsis

If you feel confused and disempowered in your marriage, with the same arguments over and over, then The Good Husband is tailored for you. It will show you how to be at your best as a husband and father:

  • Follow a solid roadmap that taps into your masculine strengths. Apply the tools and exercises to start living out the four blueprints (archetypes) of your masculine identity: King, Lover, Magician and Warrior.
  • Get practical solutions to highly troubling problems such as lack of sex, angry partner, threats of divorce, disempowering your fatherhood and more.
  • Make your wife feel happier and closer to you by realising what she really needs from you when she raises young kids, and responding wisely to these needs.
  • Discover how you can get better responses to your important needs for purpose, appreciation, respect, and sex.

Your masculine power is your responsibility, not your privilege. Once you discover how your masculinity is a force for LOVE in your family, you will be inspired to use it confidently to benefit your family.

Written by a highly experienced psychologist and couple therapist, The Good Husband is packed with knowledge, insights, and strategies that are based on research, state-of-the-art marriage counseling, and decades of clinical experience.

The Review

As someone who has always felt a calling towards a more feminist frame of mind, I have always been wary of people who use the term masculinity to hide behind a mindset of control and lack of emotions in relationships. I respect everyone’s own perspective, and in that spirit wanted to delve into the author’s book and experiences with an open mind, and I am glad I did. The author did an incredible job of crafting a book and guide that showcases how a man can hold onto the things that he connects with that he feels make him a “man”, while also finding the balance to understand the feminine perspective as well.

The research and thoughtful approach the author had to this subject was both emotional and well-founded. The way the author not only identified the traits and aspects of masculinity that are important to understand but gave voice to the women’s perspective on these traits and why they are important to maintaining a relationship as both a spouse and parent were wonderful to see illustrated. The way the author was able to not only draw upon these experiences and lessons but show how to implement them into our daily lives made this a very compelling and enthralling reading experience and made for the perfect way to start out 2023 for those looking to improve upon themselves.

The Verdict

As someone who has always hoped to find a way of tearing down old ideas surrounding masculinity and instead finding a way of making masculinity healthy and in balance with femininity, I was pleasantly surprised and inspired by this book. Author Hagai Avisar’s “The Good Husband” is a must-read self-help and relationship-style nonfiction book and the perfect way to start out the New Year. The informative and insightful way the author was able to relay these lessons and the engaging way the author was able to connect readers to these experiences made this a brilliant story to get lost in. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Avisar is an Israeli-born psychologist and couples therapist who has been in practice since 1987. Avisar moved from Israel to Melbourne, Australia with his Aussie wife and two kids in 1997.

With his passion to support young families, Avisar has specialized over the years in helping couples with their relationship issues. As an enthusiastic educator and therapist, he provides unique perspectives and effective solutions through counseling and workshops.

In recent years Avisar has developed an interest in helping men with their relationships. He says “There is an ever-increasing gap between the high expectations from family men and the poor support and empathy they receive from society. Public attacks on masculinity and men certainly don’t help these men”. Responding to this gap Avisar published in 2022 his book The Good Husband in which he offers married men guidance on how to use their masculine strengths to benefit their families.

Avisar has initiated and supported various social projects for parents and families. As an adoptive parent himself, he set up a network for adoptive families who raise children of Ethiopian origin.



Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Thomas Jordan takes readers on a journey to examine how previous relationships of love in one’s life and a failure to learn from them can affect how much of their love life they control in the book, “Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life”. 


The Synopsis

After 30 years of clinical research and treatment of patients with unhealthy love lives, Dr. Thomas Jordan has recognized that most people aren’t actually in control of their own love lives. Why? Because most people don’t know how to identify and change what they’ve learned from the love relationships in their lives. In Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life, you will learn how to make real—and lasting—improvements in your love life.

Starting with the family into which we’re born, we learn from all the love relationships in our lives, especially the unhealthy ones. Learn to Love will show you how these experiences help to form a psychological blueprint that controls the love life experiences we have as adults. If what you learned about love relationships was healthy, you’ll replicate this and have a meaningful and satisfying love life. But if what you learned was unhealthy, chances are you’ll continue to make the same love life mistakes over and over again. Learn to Love will show you how to unlearn this unhealthy learning and form the love relationships you’ve always wanted to have.

The simple formula presented within the pages of this book has helped many of my patients begin taking control of their own love lives, as well as helping me improve my own love life. Learn to Love will help you learn how to take control of your love life.

The Review

This was a captivating read, delving into the many aspects of love that influence a person’s life. From early childhood relationships and how even how a person’s parents interact can impact their viewpoint of love, to how modern-day relationships can lead to emotional baggage and so much more, this book covers a wide range of topics. 

It was fascinating to see the various studies the author brought to the subject from the earliest chapters of the book. In one section the author talks about how hope impacts an unhealthy love life by bringing into it the concept of multiple disappointments. Another chapter delves into how we often will recreate the aspects of a previous relationship that made it so unhealthy in our current relationships. These studies and experiences the author relays are not only well written but speak to the reader on a personal level that can allow the reader to identify and understand aspects of their own lives in this book. 

The Verdict

Informative, personal, and passionately written, author Thomas Jordan’s “Learn to Love” is a masterful reading experience that readers will not soon forget. Built to highlight the experiences of love throughout multiple aspects of one’s life and how we need to learn from those experiences to escape unhealthy relationships overall, this book is a quick yet fascinating journey into the aspect of love in our lives and deserves to be read. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice on the upper west side of Manhattan. He is a graduate of the New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology, and a faculty member of the post-doctoral program. Dr. Jordan is the creator of the Love Life Webinar and Love Life Seminar, author of “Learn to Love,” “Healthy Love Relationship,” and “Individuation in Contemporary Psychoanalysis,” and co-founder of the lovelifelearningcenter.com. He specializes in the treatment of chronic love life problems. Dr. Jordan has been researching and treating unhealthy love lives for 30 years.

How Depression Affects Relationships and What to Do About It

How you deal with your depression may very well decide whether your relationship will end before the depression does. One study showed how major depression leads to negative life events such as divorce. Not only that, but your spouse may become depressed, too, as they struggle to manage things you aren’t able to do because you’re mired in negativity.

Your spouse may be your greatest support. The best way to thank her or him for that is to deal with your depression as quickly and completely as possible.

Easier said than done, right? However, there are some things you can do for yourself to decrease the severity and length of your depression.

Avoid Ruminating

Ruminating means turning something over and over in your mind without solving the problem you’re thinking about. Some people call it wallowing. Think of it as dwelling on problems rather than solutions.

Research has shown that people who ruminate a lot when they’re depressed have more numerous and severe depressive symptoms. So, instead of thinking about how bad you feel and everything you feel has gone wrong, choose more positive thoughts.

Change the Way You Think

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment method used by therapists to teach you how to identify problem thoughts and replace them with more positive thoughts. Through cognitive restructuring, a key CBT technique, you learn to look at your situation differently.  You can work with a local therapist or an online psychiatrist to change your thinking through CBT.

Take Positive Action

People who are depressed often have a hard time taking positive action to improve their situation. Many do break through their feelings of being stuck though, and you can, too. Start with CBT. Then, go further by putting what you learn into practice every day.

Take action on your own, or talk to your partner about how you can work together to solve problems. The benefits for your relationship can start even before the depression lifts. Just the fact that you’re collaborating with each other on these issues can bring you closer together.

Confide in Your Spouse

Confiding in your spouse about your depressive thoughts and behaviors is a good way to check your perceptions and thought processes. Assuming your spouse isn’t depressed, too, she or he can help you develop a more balanced view and provide a more positive perspective.

Do Activities You Usually Enjoy Together

You might not feel like going hiking or taking an evening to go have dinner and see a play. If an activity has been a source of joy for the two of you in the past, though, your spouse may miss it. Honor the support your spouse offers you by doing what you can to support them, too.

Seek Help

The most important thing you can do for your relationship is to seek help for your depression as early as possible. With early intervention, you can overcome your depression faster and stay well longer. You can learn appropriate ways to deal with your depression within the marriage and when you’re on your own.

Marie Miguel Biography


Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.