I Do, I Don't: How to Build a Better Marriage
I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage is a graphic self-help novel told through an experiential, visual comic with Ben and Grace. They are a young married couple who love each other but are experiencing struggles due to negative self-talk and intergenerational trauma. Thanks to their underdeveloped coping skills, they also have a lack of knowledge of the language of feelings and why they matter. Providing scientific and psychological theories, along with specific tools in a comics format, therapist Jo teaches them—and the reader—the skills they need to build a better marriage.
Attachment Theory, developed by John Bowlby, is a highly regarded approach that connects infant development to the ability for the adult to bond emotionally to a partner. Secure attachment is the foundation for healthy relationships.
From my 15 years of experience as a psychotherapist it is evident that most children are not taught the language of feelings: to be able to recognize, name, and act in a healthy manner upon their feelings. Nor are they taught healthy ways of being and interacting, with themselves or a partner. Children grow into adults, and when they enter into relationships, they most often unconsciously repeat what they saw growing up.
This is where the graphic medicine series I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage comes in. The target audience for the series are couples of all ages (married or not), ethnicities, or gender. Many grew up reading comics and watching cartoons, and the medium grew up with them. People who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a couples therapy book will be drawn to the comics format; it’s visually interesting and engaging, making the content easy to understand.
“The combined language of words and pictures that is the comic medium gives approachability and emotional impact to these personal stories, and even to the clinical data they sometimes include.” - NIH