A gritty, down-to-earth guide for real-life couples
Conflict is a natural part of any intimate relationship. Yet most couples either avoid it or try to smooth over their differences. This often results in at least one partner compromising their integrity—and stunting their own growth.
Monsters in Love challenges the idea that conflict between partners is unhealthy or something to avoid. Instead, it encourages both people to stand by what they need and who they are—but to do so with compassion rather than competitiveness or vengefulness.
This book is about the reality of committed, intimate relationships, which are designed to inspire both people to grow up. It challenges some common misperceptions about what makes for a successful partnership. It also rocks the boat of psychotherapy, calling out therapists who don't bring their best to their clients.
Instead of comforting fantasies or false promises, Monsters in Love offers you and your partner a chance to make your relationship—and your lives—much bigger and more emergent.
"Monsters In Love delivers one truth bomb after another. Busting the myth that surface harmony is the sign of a good relationship and that fiery conflict is the mark of one on the brink, this book makes the case that learning to master healthy conflict is the only way to have a healthy intimate relationship that lasts. Consistent with the messaging in the brilliant Somatic Abolitionist books My Grandmother's Hands and The Quaking of America, Resmaa helps us see that the only way we can stand for true, whole-hearted integrity (and hold our intimate partners accountable to their own integrity) is to condition our nervous systems to tolerate the heat of healthy conflict without collapsing to or bullying our beloveds. My partner and I ate this up and are already practicing being less monstery with each other. The best relationship book I've read in a decade."—Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine and Sacred Medicine
"We live in a therapy culture, where the focus often is on nurturing, decreasing the heat, and eliminating conflict. In a manner similar to his bestselling books on healing racial trauma in a divided culture, Resmaa shines his bright light on intimate relationships and shows us how to go beyond standard approaches, grow up, and truly become our best selves. This is about becoming adults who can both give and receive love with a level of depth and clarity that is profoundly refreshing, bracing, and ultimately both life- and relationship-saving. An outstanding, unique contribution to our understanding of both the reality and the possibilities of deep intimacy."—Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, author of Cured
“Resmaa does it again! Shaking us up in all the necessary ways. Monsters In Love is an authentic, practical, no-nonsense guide to true, lasting love. It will ruffle your relationship up in all the necessary ways to bring it back to balance and health. Resmaa’s approach is revolutionary, unfiltered, and bursting with love. Everyone needs these practices in their relationship toolbox.”—Mariel Buqué, PhD, psychologist and generational trauma expert
"We are so lucky that we, once again, have the opportunity to learn from Resmaa Menakem. So many of us were introduced to Resmaa because of his ability and willingness to guide us, individually and collectively, in a process for healing racialized trauma. And now he is offering us tools and practices to grow and heal in our love lives. Monsters in Love is a clear-eyed and practical guide for all of us who are brave enough to pursue intimacy. I loved this book and will be recommending it to clients and students for many years to come." —Alexandra H. Solomon, PhD, faculty at Northwestern University, licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, author of Loving Bravely and Taking Sexy Back, host of the podcast, Reimagining Love
"In modern times, we are taught that relationships should serve us, and that if they are too painful we have to let them go. But, in Resmaa Menakem’s book Monsters in Love, he teaches us the value of letting them 'grow.’ One of my favorite lines in the book is, 'In choosing to stay and grow, you have the possibility of becoming the person you’ve wanted to be.’ Relationships are the deepest mirrors available to us, and Resmaa has provided us with the tools, or shall I say the toys, to help our committed relationships grow, if we consistently choose to grow up." —Anita Kopacz, spiritual psychologist and author of Shallow Waters
About the Author
Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, is a healer, a longtime therapist, and a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in couples, conflict in relationships, the healing of trauma, and domestic violence prevention. He is also a cultural trauma navigator and a communal provocateur and coach. He is best known as the author of the New York Times bestseller My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, and as the originator and key advocate of Somatic Abolitionism, an embodied anti-racist practice of living and culture building. Resmaa helps people rise through suffering's edge. His work focuses on making the invisible visible.