Love Must Be Tough
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Love Must Be Tough

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  705 ratings  ·  41 reviews
"Love Must Be Tough" offers realistic hope for troubled marriages. The principle of "tough love" is discussed in response to the most serious indicator of potential family breakup-a lack of respect. With over 1 million copied sold, this book presents God's plan to restore and maintain love.
Audio, 256 pages
Published June 25th 1996 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published November 1st 1983)
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Carolyn F.
This book saved my marriage (well and the tapes to the radio program where he talked about this book too). Things you must not do: 1) Cry and ask what you can do to stop them from leaving, messing around, ignoring you. Stay strong. You can cry when you're alone, but do not cry in front of your spouse! 2) Do not make them stay, make them leave. Do not try to live in the same house. It won't work. You'll just be miserable and their life won't have changed at all. 3) Do not yell and scream. Another...more
Ashleigh Harris
My boss loaned me this book that she read when she was going through her divorce. I wondered what in the world she was loaning it to me for. I'm not married, or anywhere near it, so I completely didn't understand. It sat on my bookshelf for a long time until I eventually decided I would just read the introduction so I could return it and say that I at least gave it a chance. However, this book was great! As I discovered in the intro, it is a book that is good for relationships in general, not ju...more
If I could give this more than 5 stars I would.

I hear people misuse the phrase "tough love" to apply to being mean spirited. That's not what this is about. It's about not loosing your dignity and individuality in the name of love for another person. It is very disappointing when your spouse makes choices to follow their own selfish, self-centered pleasures and desires, and disregards any respect for you and the virtues of a loving relationship. Appeasement is not the answer, but unfortunately i...more
Although this book didn't save my marriage, it did save myself from the self-pitty and the depression that I was in. It made me look at my marriage and open my eyes on what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do to atleast salvage our friendship. My husband and I finally divorced and although it was the toughest ordeal that I had to live, I learned and I moved on. We share a beautiful daughter that was grown up to be a shinning star. I've also learned to be my ex-husband's friend. He now tell...more
I read this in 2013 after being devastated when my husband of only two years decided he no longer wanted to be married (to me). It was exactly what I needed at the time: a book from a Christian perspective that allowed me to fight tooth and nail for my marriage and do everything I possibly could to save it...and be ok and able to let it go when my husband still chose not to pursue our marriage. I do not view this as a failure or that following the book did not produce results; to the contrary, D...more
WOW!! What a great book!! I wish I could give it a 10 star rating! This is a must read for all people in a marriage or getting ready to start a marriage, preferably BEFORE they need it! I hadn't ever heard of this book until I was in dire need of it and a friend recommended it to me. I started reading Chapter 1 on the internet and was SO comforted by it, I bought it. I have now read it twice and have gained something new both times. To everyone out there struggling with infidelity in a marriage...more
Lynette Myers
It had some valuable information for marriages most specifically, but even how to deal in some difficult relationships and how to maintain your self-respect in the middle of those tough spots.

Most of the book was about infidelity, so I skimmed it as that wasn't a concern for me, but it did help me understand how loosing respect on either side can contribute to terrible breakdowns and how one person can take a stand and really change the course.
Jeff Williams
Ever been dumped? Ever been through a divorce, or know someone who can't seem to get over one? Read this book or give it to that person. By far, the best book for the hurting ex-wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend. It gives you the tools to move on with your life and be even better than you ever thought you were. Dr. Dobson, you knocked it out of the park, sir.
Julie Miller
I read it to help me understand what a friend was going through. I was totally depressed the whole time I read it and have decided that all my friends MUST stay happily married...for my sake.

Sheila Gregoire
In Love Must Be Tough, Dobson asks the question, “what do you do when only one person wants to save a marriage?” As a counselor, he says, he’s used to seeing couples. Two people walk into his counseling room, and they start talking about their issues.

Yet Dobson was finding that this model wasn’t really helpful to many people, because in most cases when a marriage goes sour, only one person wants to save it. The other seems content to let it go.

So what do you do if you’re the spouse who wants to...more
excellent advise to the weaker partner in a failing relationship
VERY interesting book that teaches a lot about human nature.
Cristiano Sequeira
In a world in which people shrink from conflict and please each other for the sake of a fake sense of stability, this book is a must-read. Absolutely crucial for any couple and even anyone who fights with the people-pleaser syndrome. The author will help you to understand why you need to have clear boundaries, how to draw the line and why it is important to have a sense of identity. If you love others and yourself, you have got to be honest, always,. And sometimes, no matter how much you love, y...more
Crista Huff
I have read the "tough love" approach, and the "compassionate approach", to dealing with difficult relationships.

Here's my take on it: if you can stand to permanently let the person go, then I suppose the "tough love" approach will be a way to distance yourself from the current mess and its emotions, and not risk much in doing so. The relationship may or may not heal.

If you cannot stand the idea of being without the person, then definitely go with the "compassionate approach". The relationship...more
Dr. Dobson provides helpful insight regarding the internal struggle of both victims and offenders in cases of infidelity. I don't agree with all that he recommends, but his advice is undoubtedly rooted in a high value of family. I do agree that love must be tough sometimes. He focuses more on what is statistically true of relationships and marriages in America and less on what is Scripturally true about marriage and family. He missed the mark on the foundation of a good marriage, which is surpri...more
Now available as an e-book, which is how I read it.

Dobson is very careful to temper his advice with the priority of prayer, plus the fact that the reader can't fix his/her/their situation just by reading a book. Individualized counsel is needed. Nevertheless, he makes a strong case for his "love must be tough" position.

My personal conclusion: With God there is hope!
A good book on relationship, especially on family. The focus of the book is on the dealings with infidelity in the marriage, and also some practical advices on other marriage matters.

The advices in the book are quite practical, and truly logical. It's a good reference for all married couples, and definitely a must-read for troubled couples. For singles, some practical advices are given as well to make yourself 'marketable'.
Several friends read this book and commented about how good it was so I checked out a copy from the library and read it. I have a lot of respect for James Dobson. I like the way he thinks and I agree with his philosophy of "tough love". It goes along with my acquired understanding, thanks to Henry Cloud and John Townsend, about boundaries. Truth compliments truth no matter where you find it.
Laura Dulski
This book gave me my self respect back and literally save my marriage. It gave me step by step instructions of what I had to do. The advice seems counterintuitive, but everything Dr Dobson predicted would occur if his advice was followed did in fact occur. If you find yourself in the terrible situation infidelity in your marriage, this book can help you turn it around.
This is an awesome book and although my situation was a bit different, since my husband battles sexual addiction, many of the things he mentioned in his book were of great use to me! The thing is you must apply them in order for them to be effective and it could be a bit scary at first but man was it empowering! Two thumbs up for Dr. Dobson!!!
Lisa Hall
Good book with some unexpected insights from the author. Not just party line "Divorce is evil" claptrap. Gives some good advice about dealing with an adulterous spouse, geared to helping the "victim" find dignity, resolution and closure. I wish he had expanded the concepts further than the confines of adultery, however.
Beth E
Although a bit dated in its discussion of gender stereotypes, this is a very helpful book for seeing the genuine mistakes we all can make on the road of a happy marriage. A good refocusing and help to see how to own your own stuff and stand strong as a healthy partner.
I'm don't subscribe to organized religion but this book is neither about pushing a Jesus agenda nor do anything to save your marriage. It helped me realize where to draw the line in my marriage so that I reclaimed my self-respect.
quite a nice read. if you are interested in the issues of love and relationships, it can provide good information. if you caome accross it, i will advise that you get a copy for yourself. it is also good for married couples.
I found this a very useful book, but there are parts of it that have to be ignored (ie the parts where you with tough love you stop your husband from being gay....)
Timely and lifesaving for our marriage. A friend shared this with me when we were going through crisis about 10 years ago...that's a friend.
I really enjoyed the book! It was clear cut, no messing around and I have applied a lot of what I have read in my own marriage. I love the book!
Kevin Sartain
When you must truly be tough because you truly love, this book will help you stand strong. Surprisingly raw from Dobson.
Jun 23, 2008 Marsha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Divorce Care participants
Recommended to Marsha by: Kay Hornsby
very practical advice for relationships in trouble - not too crazy about explicit section on homosexuality
Quite a bit too christian based for my liking, but had some good concepts.
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Goodreads Librari...: combine editions 2 21 Sep 25, 2013 08:44PM  
  • Every Man's Marriage: An Every Man's Guide to Winning the Heart of a Woman
  • The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships
  • Boundaries in Marriage
  • Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage
  • Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex
  • The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love
  • How to Really Love Your Child
  • Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage
  • Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
  • His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage Fifteenth Anniversary Edition
  • Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti
  • Creative Correction
  • Beyond Our Selves
  • Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps: New Stories
  • The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective
  • The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective
  • Total Forgiveness
  • A Mom After God's Own Heart: 10 Ways to Love Your Children
James C. Dobson is a psychologist, commentator, and writer. He is the founder of Focus on the Family, a group advocating what he views as Christian ethics and political conservatism, and hosts a radio program of the same name.
More about James C. Dobson...
Bringing Up Boys The New Strong-Willed Child The New Dare to Discipline Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice And Encouragement For Those Shaping The Next Generation Of Women When God Doesn't Make Sense

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