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Every Pot Has a CoverReview - Every Pot Has a Cover
A Proven System for Finding, Keeping and Enhancing the Ideal Relationship
by Michael J. Salamon
University Press of America, 2008
Review by Sandra L. Ceren, Ph.D.
Dec 30th 2008 (Volume 13, Issue 1)

In Every Pot Has A Cover, psychologist, Salamon provides useful tools for people interested in finding an appropriate mate.  He believes wholeheartedly that they must first understand themselves and others before choosing a mate.  According to Salamon and other experts in the field, the attraction between people is often due to unconscious reasons which may sometimes be positive. 

He presents an impressive study of personality based on the history of personality measurement, genetics, attributes, attitudes, and general health.  He also relies on the widely accepted Diagnostic Statistical Manual, published by The American Psychiatric Association and considered by most mental health professionals as the accepted criteria for diagnosis of mental conditions.   This is not to imply that everyone has a mental and/or a personality disorder, simply, it is a good frame of reference by which to describe certain aspects of personality.

It is also wise to consider that there are certain personality disorders that can cause pain in a relationship which must not be overlooked.   

He points out that in his experience individuals with a given personality disorder usually are attracted to others with the same personality disorder.  However, he finds that those with borderline personality disorder are often not only attracted to people who share their characteristics, but are also attracted to people with narcissistic personality disorder due to a close similarity of features in both these conditions.

Salamon describes the magnetic attraction between the dependent personality and the histrionic personality which draws from their needs, fantasies and expectations.

He discusses co-dependency (a term derived from the addiction recovery movement)  Co-dependent people  unconsciously want to be perceived as indispensable by their significant other in order to avoid abandonment.  This reviewer is in agreement with Salamon’s preference to labeling such a person “dependent or histrionic—if one is forced to make a diagnosis.  

He demonstrates an overlap of personality characteristics among the various personality disorders which should be of interest to mental health professionals sometimes hard pressed to make the best diagnosis.

Salamon has learned through his years of experience with couples that they must find ways to open themselves up to what they need as individuals and from each other.  They must confront a difficult decision: Will the differences between them separate them or bring them close? 

Compatibility is most often seen in couples who are more alike than different.  A couple should be best friends. He makes a good case for the importance of accommodation in relationships and allowing for individuality.  It is imperative that in a satisfactory marriage couples must feel trust, support and fidelity from one another.  In a modern marriage roles need not be clearly defined.  Each does what he or she can do best.

Providing case vignettes from his practice, Salamon makes personality characteristics come alive and shows how people perceive themselves and their perception and reaction to others.

He believes that our core personality defines who we are and how we choose to live.  He clearly describes the particular aspects of certain personalities that cause couples to be drawn to one another.  Usually they have a good comfort level with one another, either because each behaves in familiar ways to the other.  However, this can be a misleading trap, when what is familiar is not always good.

Salamon and others can attest that most satisfied married couples have similar personalities, expectations, and are willing to accommodate.

His goal is for readers to apply the knowledge he provides to their relationship choices. But first, he cautions, we must know ourselves.  Thus, he offers a chapter designed to create insight and understanding into one’s own personality profile. The profile includes the most current five primary factors: Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness.  He acknowledges that the scale does not have statistical reliability nor standardized norms, but it can serve as a comparison for couples to see how alike or different they are from each other.

The most interesting parts of the book for this reader are the case studies and what we learn from them.

Salamon has the voice of a benevolent authority.

Link: Book website

© 2008 Sandra Levy Ceren

Sandra Levy Ceren, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Diplomate, Marital and Sex Therapy, American Board of Family Psychology, Fellow, Academy of Family Psychology


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