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Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  290 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Explores the fundamental cause of all relationship problems and offers advice on how to overcome the unconscious belief that we are not lovable as we are in order heal oneself and one's relationships.
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Trumpeter
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Nov 12, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**To love and be loved…wounds and all**

Being human can often be a strange dilemma, especially in the realm of love. We deeply crave love, but have trouble fully giving and receiving it. The heart of the matter is that our woundedness around love—and the defenses that naturally follow—get in the way of our being able to truly love and be loved.

This is the dilemma the author addresses in _Perfect Love Imperfect Relationships_:
“How then can brokenhearted people like ourselves heal this woundedness
Steev Hise
Mar 23, 2010 Steev Hise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steev by: Jane Martin
Shelves: spirit-self
This is a great book if you're truly interested in understanding intimate relationships and why they're so hard and how to make them work.

Welwood's book "Journey of the Heart" is what got me first interested in his work. He is on the verge of being a little too "oovy-groovy" for me, and a little Christian, but he avoids getting to much into that and keeps it non-denominationally spiritual and psychological.

Basically he's all about the idea that people are mostly pretty wounded and imperfect and
Dec 11, 2013 Judie68 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this last night...and it floored me. I think is might be one of the most important books I've read in a while. When the student is ready...
"All the beauty and horrors of this world arise from the same root: the presence or absence of love. Not feeling loved and then taking that to heart is the only wound there is. It cripples us causing us to shrivel and contract. Thus, apart from a few biochemical imbalances and neurological disorders, the diagnostic manual for psychological afflictions kn
La Gazelle
The book offers insight and new perspectives upon love and the problems related to it. It states the obvious things like how love is our greatest source of happiness and joy and how relationships can go bad for so many reasons; tHat you should not give up on love, that things can work our again, with patience, attention and will.
Paradoxically and against us all, while in one sense love conquers all, war nonetheless remains the governing force in world affairs. In life we have two choices, it
Nov 16, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was hooked at the introduction and bought 20 copies of the book before I had finished to give to friends. I now have two of this author's books and will place them on my shelves of books to read over and over again. It's right up there with my copies of "A New Earth," "The Power of Now," "Mindfulness in Plain English" and "Breath by Breath." I hope I'm contributing to world peace by sharing this book with others.
Feb 20, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book on relationships I've read. Highly recommend.
Oct 06, 2009 Charity rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirey
I liked this book, but I didn't feel it was as unique as it claimed to be. I enjoyed the focus on letting yourself love, and be vulnerable, and all that, but felt there was too much emphasis on wounds inflicted as a child by imperfect parents, and not enough on wounds resulting from previous relationships. My parents weren't perfect, but I've already come to terms with that. I was looking for something a little more.

Despite my reservations, I am giving it four stars, since there were some usefu
This book gets better as it goes along. It opens up and delineates the way to accept your experiences/yourself in order to effectively give and receive love. I think the biggest thing I'll take from this book is: As the sky is to the clouds, openness is to emotions. No emotion is bigger than the space you can meet it with to accept it.

The book All About Love by bell hooks brought me to this book. I'm really looking forward to reading Welwood's other books as well.
Mar 07, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most people know that I can be a granola-liberal Seattle kind of guy (although not always). This book was a little too much so, even for me. The most helpful parts were actually talking about the wounded heart and about how learning to love better isn't the task, the task is learning to be loved, or let love in. I would have prefered more vignettes. They were more concrete and easily relatable. The rest of the book was just a little too Eastern/Mystic/Abstract for me. After reading it I was more ...more
very quick enjoyable read. the only thing i didn't like was how he wrote about our limited ability to exhibit love in such a way that it 'blamed' parents rather then emphasizing that it is a human condition. yes our first experience of love, or lack thereof, is as children from our parents but it is bigger then that. it should be seen as human condition. the book is about not blaming/creating antagonists in our lives which removes 'blame' but i think the point could have been handled better with ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
The most destructive element in human relationships is setting the other up as 'the bad other'. Lovely book for couples who want a deeper connection and to better understand their dynamics. I found it a perfect partner to James Hollis' Eden Project about the 'magical other.'
Jun 17, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended to me in order to better understand myself and my relationships. This hit a home run for me, and I feel like it is changing some long misunderstood assumptions, and this to my benefit. Very solid exercises at the end of the book. This is one to keep around.
Ville Halonen
Jun 09, 2015 Ville Halonen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most important book I've ever read, and I'm not saying it lightly. Might not do the same to you, but it radically transformed how I experience my emotional life and my body.
Jan 15, 2016 melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best spiritual book on relationships that I have ever read.
Robert Cymbala
Dec 02, 2014 Robert Cymbala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guidance for adults with "good enough" parents.
Jul 18, 2012 Tinie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gets cheesy but has an uplifting message:
When you find your solid foundation of authentic love for yourself, relationships become easier.

The book talks about common obstacles in relationships. Even though we may want to have a perfect relationship, all kinds of little things can get in the way. When you start learning that you can be the source of perfect love for yourself, you appreciate and allow your romantic relationship with another person to flourish - without making that person responsib
Jan 23, 2015 Tawnya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good insights.
Joyce Yarrow
Feb 19, 2012 Joyce Yarrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offers an opportunity to explore the nature of love, and provides grounded advice on how to heal the wounds inflicted by personal relationships by opening ourselves to a deeper connection with spiritual love. Written by a psychotherapist, this is a practical guide that clearly addresses some of the self-destructive aspects of what we call "love" and challenges us to break free from these habits. I found it to be well written, illuminating, and helpful.
In his introduction, John Welwood wrote, "Countless books have been written about how to do a better job of loving. This book is different because it will help you focus instead on your capacity to receive love and how you can go about opening up that capacity." Instead of a traditional relationship self help book, this book really focus on exploring our individual core wound. It gave me many new meditation exercises.
Dec 06, 2012 Kelechi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so effective because it is so simple.
I have recommended it to friends whom I can tell are searching for answers like I was.
Welwood's advice makes sense and it helps the individual to look into themselves and learn how to truly love themselves.
I love it.
Gave it a four instead of a five because it did feel a teeny bit cheesy sometimes.
Dec 06, 2013 Mabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Welwood explored the root of why people can't find lasting fulfillment in the relationships they have. And did so from both psychanalytical perspective as well as a philosophical/spiritual one. He offers practical techniques to overcome what he perceives to be the root of the problem in our mentality. Helpful and a nurturing read.
teri Ciacchi
Oct 08, 2008 teri Ciacchi is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I use this book every week and refer my counseling clients to it constantly. Direct and clear. Exercises to identify our grievances and see how we keep ourselves from being love. Exercises that allow you to increase your inner resource of love. Smart, compassionate and effective. I re-read it to keep myself awake.
Jennifer Byers
Apr 16, 2012 Jennifer Byers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book. There are reminders here about relationship and about determining our worth based on other that are helpful for me. I also valued the information about how our childhood and formative years shape not only our behavioral patterns but our central nervous systems and emotional defaults.
Don Elmer
Jan 01, 2012 Don Elmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book Welwood focuses on the reader rather than the relationship, which I find enormously helpful. He's one of the top relationship authors, but in this book he's revealed as a spiritual teacher of the first order as well.
Feb 16, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal read on learning how to love our human imperfection. Certainly something I will recommend to many friends, especially when they are looking for answers for the struggles of relationships and human connections.
Jan 06, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful look at how we all want to be loved and why we might not be getting it the way we want it. Takes you into some deep places you might not want to go or acknowledge but there are practical guides to get you there.
Grace Dadoyan
Jun 28, 2013 Grace Dadoyan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book you could read over and over and get something out of it every time. It also serves as a wonderful reminder when we feel lost, unloved or disconnected from others. A beautiful book.
I recommend all of John Welwood books, to anyone who is interested in self growth, understanding the path of relationships and appreciates looking at life through an East/West holistic approach.
Jul 23, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oh, am i loving this book. beautifully written, it speaks directly to the heart. a very healing and heart-opening work by the author. looking forward to reading his other books as well.
Heiki Eesmaa
Mar 01, 2016 Heiki Eesmaa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tlnkr
A summary: "Love is really important. Also, lots of people have said smart things about it. I also do therapy."

Well for me the book was nice but stale. Not my cup of tea.
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“The less you demand total fulfillment from relationships, the more you can appreciate them for the beautiful tapestries they are, in which absolute and relative, perfect and imperfect, infinite and finite are marvelously interwoven. You can stop fighting the shifting tides of relative love and learn to ride them instead. And you come to appreciate more fully the simple, ordinary heroism involved in opening to another person and forging real intimacy.” 3 likes
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