This blog was featured on 06/08/2019
How My Partner Supported My Writing
Written by
She Writes
May 2019
Written by
She Writes
May 2019

This guest post was written by Catherine Aponte who is a clinical psychologist who is married to a clinical psychologist, Joseph F. Aponte. They married in 1960, a time of significant social change. She and her husband embarked upon a marital journey guided by the basic principle that neither one of their careers was more important than the other’s. She trained as a psychologist at the University of Florida, Duke University, and Spalding University, and worked with couples for more than thirty years in Louisville, KY as a practicing psychologist. During her professional career both as a clinician in private practice and an adjunct professor of clinical psychology at Spalding University, she made numerous presentations about her work with couples. Both her master’s thesis at Duke University and her doctoral thesis at Spalding University focused on gender and marriage. Aponte was awarded a USPHS Traineeship covering the four years she was a graduate student at Duke University, and had the privilege of chairing eight doctoral dissertations at Spalding University testing various aspects of her theoretical model of relationships.

Tips for a Writer's Partner

I live with a man who is and always has been invested in my work as a clinical psychologist in private practice, both because he is also a psychologist and because of his love for and commitment to me.  His backing went up a few notches with the writing and publishing of “A Marriage of equals: How to Achieve Balance in a Committed Relationship.”

I have been writing about gender equality in relationships for years hoping to publish for my professional colleagues. I cajoled, Joe, my husband, into reading each iteration of these writing attempts. Finally, it dawned on me that I wanted to write for the public not the professional—I wanted to write for the people who didn’t make it to an office like mine.  I hired my blog instructor to help me develop a writing voice for a public audience.  After blogging for two years, I was ready to move to the book format--a format better suited to what I want to write.

I want to assist couples, particularly younger couples to have an equitable, satisfying, and sustainable marriage—something I have and cherish.  This is what I worked on with couples in my practice and what young people of today want and are fearful of having.  I thought Joe would be invaluable in this project both as my backer and as my critic.  Here is how he contributed to writing and publishing of this book.

The Buy-In...It Has To Start Here

Joe was a little guarded about his involvement because of the years he had read stuff that never got published.  I also think he was unsure of my writing for the public rather than the professional audience.  It made a difference that I had done the work on the blog—he could see the development of my public “voice.” And, he is resolute in his dedication to my approach to creating a marriage of equals—after all, he shares ours.

Joe talks about an initial phase of his involvement with the book as one of encouraging me in the BIG DEAL of writing a book. While he is always encouraging, he also thought he would b a good first reader. We talked about his right to be free to give me direct and honest feedback about the ideas presented, how effectively the ideas were presented, and the overall organization of these ideas.  While not always easy to hear what he had to say, he was invaluable as a first reader of the manuscript.

Bringing It Home

Bringing it home is the final review and editing of the book, deciding how to publish, finding a publisher, and making decisions about marketing and publicity.  The best option for me was hybrid publishing in which I paid for the formal editing, formatting, cover design, printing, and delivery to booksellers.  This also meant deciding to hire a publicist.  How much of a risk did we want to take to promote the book nationally?  Joe shone in this phase of the editing and production of the book.  He believed in the value of the book and was willing to go the distance—we hired a publicist—a significant risk.  It was Joe that sustained me in this ultimate accomplishment.

Turning Over the Outcome…Whatever Happens

Because Joe is also a psychologist and because of his total dedication to the writing and publication of this book, I asked him to write the Foreword to the book.  He did a magnificent job.  Here is the final paragraph of his Foreword.

A Marriage of Equals” will challenge you to look differently at yourself, your partner, and the relationship you share.  Although this book focuses on young men and women interested in creating and sustaining an equitable marriage, the concepts, principles, and steps described on the pages that follow have application to all age groups and several different types of relationships.  The book may be the capstone of Catherine’s professional career, but it certainly is not the capstone of our marriage.  We continuously look at ourselves, value the other, and collaboratively negotiate our differences.  Through this process, we will continue to sustain and enhance or marital relationship well into the future.”

I hope you have the backing of such a partner.

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