I'm very picky and critical of self-help books, but Vaughan's Uncoupling is the next best thing to a counsellor. More than a psych book, it is the definite beginning-middle-end about how couples become uncoupled.
I picked up this book by instinct, as I needed to read something--anything--about how relationships end. I don't care about the why's anymore; I just wanted to understand what was happenning in my own relationship.
This book will not tell you how to save your relationship, or whether it's worth saving or not. Vaughan argues that there is a pattern to how relationships end. And in the telling, she gives the story that makes sense of everything--and that is all we need when we go row into the choppy waters of a faltering relationship.
This book is a sociological study--it discusses processes and patterns that typically occur as relationships fall apart.
As such, it does not provide solutions, fingers to put in the dike, compresses to stop the bleeding--in fact, it makes clear that most such measures are, finally, ineffectual.
At the same time, every relationship is singular--statistics portray the behavior of groups, without necessarily predicting individual outcomes.
If you are looking for a book that forces you to consider the individual and personal perspective in a damaged relationship, I strongly recommend "Should you leave?" by Peter Kramer.
Nonetheless, it is both enlightening and depressing to recognize "Damn, we've done that" as you read this book.
One final note: Ms. Vaughan's writing style is academic and often less than felicitous. The comparison between the liveliness and complexity of life shown in the quotations and her own dry, sometimes reductive commentary frequently annoyed me.