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Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples
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Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  4,306 ratings  ·  232 reviews
The bestselling guide to transforming an intimate relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship, in an all new production of the revised and updated text--on CD for the first time
In Getting the Love You Want, Dr. Harville Hendrix presents the relationship skills that have already helped hundreds of thousands of couples to replace confrontation and criticism
Audio CD, Abridged, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Macmillan Audio (first published 1988)
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This was an assigned book and not one that I would normally read. The officiant my fiancee and I chose for our wedding is both a minister and a therapist and he asked that we read this book as part of the counseling he requires for all couples he officiates for.

It is not a dreadful book and there are some good thoughts in it. However, as a sociologist, I have substantial issues with certain aspects of this book, of which I will outline three below.

First: the authors tend to use "global" terms li
I tend to be ambivalent when it comes to the self-help genre. It's natural for someone in my field to feel this way, and my views have also been influenced by books like Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless and I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help. And yet, there are a few self-help books which speak to me and offer language for speaking to my clients. Overall, this was one of them.

Interestingly enough, I heard a speech at my synago
I just gave four stars to a freaking self-help book. That says everything. READ IT.

Really, though, this book's relevance surprised me, cynic that I am about this kind of book. Harville Hendrix is heavy on the nuance and light on the cheese, and his descriptions of "fusers" and "isolaters" are incredibly useful. (I determined I'm switchy with a lean towards "fuser".) And the exersizes are pretty cool, too.
This book makes sense, but is also really frustrating. The main point, that couples fight because of unfulfilled childhood issues, makes sense (to a point) as do his solutions. I really like some of the exercise ideas, even though I have a sneaking suspicion I am too lazy to do them with my spouse, but I think they will work in diffusing student complaints.

What's frustrating? . . . the gender norms expressed in the book. All too often, examples suggest women are (overly) talkative and emotional
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I remember years ago, when my marriage was heading south, picking up this book and halfheartedly trying the exercises- knowing my ex would not want to have any part of it. I still wish I'd read it at that point or after- my marriage would have likely still failed, but I may have been better prepared for the love that came after. While I think that simply reducing relationships and areas for conflict to unresolved childhood wounds is a bit simplistic on its own, a lot of this made sense- at least ...more
I have to admit that I did not finish reading this book. This is rare for me -- usually I will doggedly slog through whatever book I choose to pick up, no matter how bad it turns out to be. So please understand what a thorough aversion I must have had to abandon this book after only ten days and a few chapters.

I gave it my best effort, really I did. But the love-seeking process described in this book struck me as so inherently selfish and self-serving as to leave me completely disinterested and
Man, I love me some good pop psychology from time to time. :) This book explores the marriage relationship and why couples become stuck in patterns of behavior that make them wonder why they fell in love with their partner in the first place. Hendrix posits that the dynamics of marriage are often a stage upon which unmet childhood needs are re-enacted -- with, not coincidentally, a partner who very much resembles the negative qualities of the parent(s) who failed to meet those needs in the first ...more
Apr 16, 2008 Wendell rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendell by: Dr. Daniel Guttfreund
Shelves: been-there
I found this book really insightful. It made me think about where I come from and the influences that affect my relationships, especially with my wife. It revealed a lot of things about me that I hadn't considered before. I would recommend this to anyone. You don't have to be married to learn from it.
I highly recommend this book to any couple serious about making their long term relationship thrive. It's clear, logical, and provides real-world techniques for developing the interpersonal skills that can take a marriage beyond the blahs to regain and enrich the love that was there from the beginning. After two failed marriages, I know that reading this book has better equipped me for my next relationship. PS: it takes both parties committing to the deal. Read the book; you won't regret it.
Chad Warner
This book contains some good relationship advice and useful exercises. The author is a couples therapist with over 20 years of experience, whose wife is also a therapist. I found the book too heavy on psychoanalysis; it keeps talking about the wounded child in each of us, and how we select our partners because we subconsciously seek our parents (or other childhood caretakers).

It starts slow and is much longer than I think is necessary; several anecdotes could be removed. I almost gave up several
I was assigned this book by the owner of the company I just started working for. I downloaded the audio version from and it took me several days to make it through this book.

The reader was very dry, I had a hard time mentally focusing while he spoke. He wasn't the worst I'd heard but he was in the bottom 50%

Apparently the version I listened to had been updated to make it more palatable toward non-traditional relationships, they also removed a section that they discovered was actually
3.5 stars

Hendrix and I have preaching and church ministry as a young adult in common. I love this about him. What I don't love is that his psychology model is born of psychoanalytic and Freudian models. He believes that we marry unconsciously to heal the wounds that our early lives have inflicted upon us, and that good marriages heal those wounds.

I believe instead that we marry others who feel instinctively familiar, like family, to us. In both good and bad ways. And that is our own work, our i
The Imago Workup in the back of this book is perhaps one of the best exercises I've found to examine the way relationships with childhood caregivers can shape adult relationship patterns. This is sort of obvious today, isn't it? Perhaps, but this exercise personalizes it. It takes a little bit of time and some emotional energy to put yourself back in that time of life and identify the positive and negative traits of early caregivers. It's worth the effort. In all the self-help/psychology books I ...more
Jun 14, 2007 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who ever wants to have a good relationship and/or one day get married
this book is really good. it has some interesting things that may or may not be legitimate but for the most part it's a very inlightening book. It starts by making you learn about yourself which is the first step to being a member of a good relationship. then it goes on to explain things in relationships that can happen and whatever. it is one of those books that teaches you how to fight which is really important, but not the most important thing in a relationship. if you really fight that much ...more
This book was so eye opening for me. I love the solid mix of psychological theories; the author has a great handle on the psyche and has explained his ideas and beliefs in clear common languange. This book is for anyone! For couples, for single people looking for a relationship, for married individuals searching alone to better their relationship... basically anyone could benefit from reading this book.

My husband and I are reading through the book and though it has only been a short time, my ey
This isn't one of the best relationship books I've read, but it does a good job of covering many of the important aspects of issues that tend to come up in relationships. However, like some of the other reviewers noted, sometimes you read things after it's already too late. However, this book still has some wisdom to offer so that we can learn and have a more successful relationship the next time around. As Dan Savage likes to say, "Every relationship we will ever have will end. Until one doesn' ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Jim
Shelves: life
Wow, I was thinking I'm having focus problems and can't really concentrate to read, but I sure read the shit out of this book! Maybe the other book I'm trying to read is just boring.

Anyway, this book covers a premise that I've heard before: the intensity of our attraction to people is based on how closely they resemble the characteristics of our early caregivers--especially the negative characteristics, because that's what we need to re-create and heal. The book makes a good case for that, and I
Jul 17, 2007 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
An amazing look into the foundations of human attraction by the first person to do extensive clinical research into it. The author also explains some of the fundamentals of the human mind and the levels on which it operates. I am firmly convinced that if my wife and I had not read and studied this book together, we would have never married and thus would have completely missed out on what has turned out to be the relationship of a lifetime.
Jessie Jellick
I could relate to many aspects of this book but wonder if it's similar to reading a book of medical ailments and being sure you have most of them! Human nature is fascinating and perhaps the reason self help books have boomed is because we all have insecurities & dark sides that we would like to transcend somehow...but is this realistic? And that's really my question with this it realistic to expect to create a near perfect relationship...after all...we are all imperfect and nothin ...more
This book provides some useful insights into how and why we function the way we do in close relationships. It helped me see some patterns in myself, both negative and positive. However, as with most totalizing systems of knowledge (Marxism, astrology), I find it annoying and unconvincing that everything can be rationalized (or explained away) within its confines, even if those explanations don't match up with reality. I'm too much an empiricist to get carried away by psychoanalytic explanations, ...more
I think this book gives a lot of great insight into why people act and react to certain events in their relationships the way they do. As someone who is trying to "enrich" my relationship, not "repair" it, I got a lot out of it. It gives some good tips for communicating with your spouse (or significant other) and methods of self-discovery to avoid a lot of pitfalls that couples make.
I read this book twenty years ago. I credit it for helping me understand why I was making choices in relationships that weren't working for me, and for helping me find a partner that I've been with for 17 years, now (married for 14). There's a companion book for singles called Keeping the Love you Find. The titles of the two seem backwards to me, but regardless, they're great books.
Catrina Edgar
I think this is a fabulous approach to helping couples understand one another and the underlying causes of marital conflict. There are some very useful exercises in the back of the book that can be completed by one or both partners. I'd highly recommend it.
A must read for EVERYONE, not just those in couples. Imago theory and imago therapy are legitimate and can redefine relationships and how we act and interact within them, as well as within ourselves.
Harville's dyad/dialogue process is one of the best to defuse conflict that I have ever found - I use it in personal and professional relationships with great results.
At first I wasn't sure if I liked this book but as I kept reading and rereading the chapters I started to understand what the author was getting at. Because of my personal experiences I had to agree with a lot of of the things he said.
What I really want is to see the role I am playing in helping my spouse be happier and how my marriage can become whole and complete. This book helped me to see that. I like the exercises at the end and my plan is that my husband and I will be able to do them toge
Not as good as the Road Less Traveled but worth the read. This isn't just a "couples" book - applicable to everyone who wants to understand themselves better.
Jul 14, 2009 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All married couples.
If my dad notices the difference in my marriage, then it must be working! This contains exercises to practice with your spouse or significant other.
So much to ponder about the ways that healing is a work in progress and marriage is the soil for redemptive change.
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Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., is the author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, a New York Times bestseller that has sold more than two million copies. He has more than thirty years’ experience as an educator and therapist. He specializes in working with couples in private practice, teaching marital therapy to therapists, and conducting couples workshops across the country. Dr. Hendrix i ...more
More about Harville Hendrix...
Keeping the Love You Find Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be Loved Making Marriage Simple: Ten Truths for Changing the Relationship You Have into the One You Want Giving The Love That Heals Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide

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“When we were babies, we didn’t smile sweetly at our mothers to get them to take care of us. We didn’t pinpoint our discomfort by putting it into words. We simply opened our mouths and screamed. And it didn’t take us long to learn that, the louder we screamed, the quicker they came. The success of this tactic was turned into an “imprint,” a part of our stored memory about how to get the world to respond to our needs: “When you are frustrated, provoke the people around you.” 4 likes
“In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others. —ANDRÉ MAUROIS” 1 likes
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