Winifred Reilly

IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse–and How You Can, Too (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster)

Cover_IT TAKES ONE TO TANGOConventional wisdom says that “it takes two” to turn a troubled marriage around and that both partners must have a shared commitment to change. So when couples can’t agree on how—or whether—to make their marriage better, many give up or settle for a less-than-satisfying marriage (or think the only way out is divorce).

Fortunately, there is an alternative.

It Takes One to Tango is a groundbreaking guide that shows how one determined partner—acting alone—can spark lasting, significant change in a marriage, often accomplishing change that cannot be made any other way. It doesn’t matter how short-fused, argumentative, or seemingly impossible your partner can be—or how long you’ve been stuck.

Marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly has this message for struggling partners: Take the lead. Doing so is effective—and powerful. Through Reilly’s own story of reclaiming her now nearly forty-year marriage, along with anecdotes from many clients she’s worked with, readers learn how to:

  • Focus on their own behaviors and change them in ways that make them feel good about themselves and their marriage;
  • Take a firm stand for what truly matters to them without arguing, cajoling, or resorting to threats;
  • Identify the “big picture” issues at the basis of their repetitive fights—and learn how to unhook from them;
  • Be less reactive, especially in the face of a spouse’s provocations;
  • Develop the strength and stamina to be the sole agent of change.


“Marriage is a challenging journey. Far too many couples lose their way. This wise and uplifting book gives you a road map to create a vibrant marriage and come out a far better person on the other side.” –Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., director of the Couples Institute

“Feel like you live on the verge of ripping your partner’s head off and shoving it down the neck hole? It Takes One to Tango is for you. Winifred M. Reilly not only explains why marriage is so predictably frustrating, but, more important, she reveals how you can turn the tide without your spouse’s help or even consent.” –Jenna McCarthy, author of If It Was Easy, They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon