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Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
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Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,759 ratings  ·  264 reviews
"What the heck is my partner thinking?" is a common refrain in romantic relationships, and with good reason. Every person is wired for love differently, with different habits, needs, and reactions to conflict. The good news is that most people's minds work in predictable ways and respond well to security, attachment, and rituals, making it possible to actually neurological ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 2nd 2012 by New Harbinger Publications (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  4,759 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Lisa Butterworth
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brain-books
I think if I didn't work with so many abused women I would love this book. it's a great book for couples who don't have elements of control or abuse in their relationship. so many good ideas that I want to try on my own relationship.

however, this book should contain some major disclaimers and assumes a lot of differentiation, doesn't deal nearly enough with how to detect that the cost and benifits of attachment is equally shared, and doesn't address the fact that most emotional labor is already
I think this is possibly the best relationship book I've read. It's not esoteric, not rah-rah, not religious, not condemning and not bullshit.

Stan Tatkin espouses the notion that the "Couple Bubble" is the best strategy for two people in a relationship. He then defines ten principles couples can put into play to achieve it. He writes as if he's having a personal conversation with us readers but brings along studies and evidence so we realize that there is actual data backing up the common sense
Andrew Franklin
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How I wish I had a resource like this years ago when I was struggling with my marriage. I've read a number of relationship tune-up books throughout the years, and each helped somewhat. It was very encouraging to see those same familiar authors (Hendrix, Gottman, Perel, etc.) offering praise for Dr. Tatkins work at the get go. And the fact that he's put so much good information into a book that is less than 200 pages is a testament to his organized approach, which was friendly, playful, and effec ...more
There was some very interesting stuff in here, but it focused on the couple to the exclusion of all else - really pushed the 'your partner should fulfill all of your needs' model of relationships.

But the discussion of attachment styles, and how different attachment styles relate to each other was useful, and it has given me some potentially useful tools for use in my own relationships.
Jeremy Preacher
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you've never been to therapy, know nothing about attachment styles, and are in a rocky but not abusive relationship, it's possible that the very basic, oversimplified ideas here will give you a start. Yes, attachment theory is a real thing. No, it doesn't really work as described here. Yes, trying to communicate with your partner when your fight-or-flight reflexes are activated will go badly. No, this book does not give you any tools for getting out of that state or any scripts for actually d ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Loved this book. Real good information about attachement and how it works in a relationship. Clear and good examples and metaphors to understand and translate useful information. I just recommended it to a friend getting married to help build a secure relationship that will last. Everyone getting married should read this book first. (even though I hate shoulds!)
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've loved attachment theory for a long time, but I've yet to find (until NOW) a book that really explains it in a great way. Sue Johnson is the best trainer for therapists, but I don't particularly like her books for the layperson. And a lot of the books tend to be critical of one or more of the attachment styles. And all of them use the terms "insecurely" attached or "avoidantly" attached - and let's face it, who wants to CLAIM those labels?? They're pejorative and make me seem flawed! I just ...more
Brandon Smith
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wired for Love uses neuroscience, psychology, attachment theory, and anecdotes to demonstrate that any couple can be happy and find fulfillment in one another if they take the right steps, allow themselves to be vulnerable, and invest the effort.

One of the premises is that when couples have problems they tend to gravitate towards theories that focus on self, which tend to be destructive to the relationship, instead of focusing on theories about the relationship itself which have consistently sh
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book because my and my ex's couple's therapist recommended it. I wanted to make sure I don't make the same mistakes again. This book is easy to read and pretty interesting, which is good for me, because generally I don't like reading non-fiction. It divides people up into Anchors, Islands, and Waves, depending on their personality and how they act in relationships. I found that according to this book, I am definitely an island, and I should date other islands, or anchors. Anchors are ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Relationship is supposed to add value to a person's life.
I had to read this for self improvement

Knowing the title, it actually does means something when a person takes up this book. That is to improve on oneself and be prepared for unexpected situations. Or... something happened which is why a person sought books like this. I'm guilty as charged.

What I learn apart from those which I practised are:
1. Be the manager of your partner (Know what he/she likes or dislikes as well as their weak side)
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is life changing! If you were underparented and struggle in romantic relationships, this book is for you. I'd always heard about the concept of "fighting well" in relationships but never understood what this actually meant. This book provides real world examples and exercises to try with your partner. This book is like a bible for those of us who grew up with less than stellar parents and toxic familial relationships. ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very good book and a step further in my recent interest in adult attachment theories.

I liked how he describes conflicts of partners and how some of them can resolve them. Some of those solutions got me even tearful, with an “a-ha” moments of “yes! That’s how it should be done”.

Very recommended for any couple in a relationship or even singles who try to figure themselves out.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is Nonfiction-Relationship Psychology. I liked this one especially how the author kept this topic reigned in....without stretching into wordy tangents. The focus on making your significant other a priority is a message that I appreciated the most. I liked the idea of the 'couple bubble' because it made sense to me. I also liked the way the author described personalities as an island, a wave or an anchor because that also made total sense. So 4 stars for this. ...more
Dave Wheitner
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found the first several chapters to contain useful information, categorized in a way that made sense to me, and including what seem to be some good suggestions for increasing understanding about self and partner. I think the book's worth a read just for the earlier stuff on the primitive vs. more peace-making or "ambassador" parts of the brain, and how they can impact emotionally charged discussion, as well as simplified ways of thinking about attachment styles (anchor/ island/ wave) and recog ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love and connection is essential to our health and wellbeing
throughout our life. Couples, despite their best intention, often
fail to preserve the bonds of support, safety and connectedness that
we all desire and need to survive and thrive in a difficult world. In
this book Stan Tatkin offers individuals and couples a lens through
which to view relationships that is very much needed in lay and
professional circles. Often well meaning self help books, counselors,
healing professionals and friends encou
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: couples-reading
How validating and optimistic! Really practical do-able tips to create safety in an uncertain world...I love how hopeful this book is about relationships. I think the avoidant attachment style people might recoil at some of the suggestions in this book, and hope they can find ways to make it work and build a sense of security without threatening their need for independence. As someone with some anxious tendencies, I appreciated the emphasis on being sensitive to your partner's needs and creating ...more
Gemma Cribb
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating. Stan filters down complex neuropsychological phenomena into easy to digest concepts. If you have ever wondered why you have the interpersonal tendencies you have (and persist in having even though you consciously know that they may not be serving you well in some situations) then read this book.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Love the concept of the couple bubble.
Jan 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022
wired for love, stan tatkin

this was such an important read for me i'm just going to prefaces right now. my psych told me to read this as she thought it would be beneficial for me, in being able to understand both relationships and how they work. though it is highly based on ROMANTIC relationships, it was said to me that it will also be there to assist with most sorts of relationships (ie friendships as well).

being able to take out the time and take notes on what the brain does, and the backgroun
Apr 22, 2021 rated it liked it
This provides a readable, non-academic look at the neurology of attachment and how it manifests in relationships, primarily spouse/partner. I feel it also has implications for how we interact with our children, as their neuropathways for attachment and relationships are developing. In other words, how we lover our family, and how we permit love to be enacted in our homes, impacts how our children will do this long after they grow up and start homes and families of their own.

Perceptions and inner
Sandy Plants

I thought that would be a fitting review for a book about attachment theory and connection with a partner. Honestly, this book is a game changer and I judged the shit out of Stan Tatkin and this book going into it. I gained so much insight from this. It lays out how to support, understand, and communicate with a partner in very tangible ways. My favourite thing I got out of this book was "my partner's sense of safe
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Stan has a gift for taking the complexity of human relationships and presenting them in an understandable, and compassionate, read. He introduces us to our own, inner workings, helping us to create a relationship with our own brain, and that of our partners.
Pertinent and invaluable to those who desire a safe and secure relationship, Stan develops with the reader a relationship that is akin to what he teaches.
Packed with information, beautifully organized, and delivered with humor and a kind ton
Feb 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Probably the best book on relationships dynamics I've read. It's divided into 10 chapters each delivering a couple of advices.
The book provides some theoretical explanations on how/why people behave in relationships, when they argue, feel safe, feel loved and etc. And then goes to list practical advices, exercises, experiments to try to make things work better.
Not only all of this equips one for an existing/to-come relationship, but also helps to understand one's own "faulty" behaviour and work
James Rapson
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wired for Love is simply the best relationship book to come out in many years. Dr. Tatkin's approach brilliantly accomplishes what the field of psychology has been working toward since Freud: a method that anyone can learn that will transform flat or conflictual relationships into the intimacy and passion we all desire.

- James Rapson, co-author Anxious to Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice
Shirley Impellizzeri
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read! Everyone needs this information and will absolutely benefit from it. You will be able to let go of most things you take personally in your relationship by getting to know your partner from this perspective. This book will change the way you see your partner and how you are in your relationship. It is brilliant!
Lisa P.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the BEST book I have read on relationships. If you are in one, hope to be in one someday, or wondering why one ended this book holds the answers on how to better understand yourself and a partner. Great advice on creating the love and security we all seek in our primary relationship.
I would give this book as a wedding gift going forward!
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Understanding individual attachment styles is critical to deep, trusting relationships. Provides insight into why people do what they do.
Rose Purple
May 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I learned a few things here and there.
Derek Hoeksema
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could listen to this narrator say COUPLEBUBBLE for a millennia.
Love it. I'm now on to reading Wired for Dating and have already purchased We Do. I'm kind of obsessed, listening to podcasts and watching interviews.

Essentially, he is explaining attachment styles and how our nervous system works. He then provides exercises and plans which couples can use to manage/soothe each other's nervous system. He suggests that relationships are a team who prioritize the relationship above all else and are responsible for managing and soothing each other. I really appreci
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Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT). He has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA, where he has specialized for the last 15 years in working with couples and individuals who wish to be in relationships. He and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, developed the PACT Institute for the purpose of training other psychothe ...more

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“Couples in distress too often turn to solutions that can be summed up by "You do your thing and I'll do my thing" or "You take care of yourself and I'll take care of myself." We hear pop psychology pronouncements such as "I'm not ready to be in a relationship" and "You have to love yourself before anyone can love you."

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Think about it. How could this be true? If it were true, babies would come into this world already self-loving or self-hating. And we know they don't. In fact, human beings don't start by thinking anything about themselves, good or bad. We learn to love ourselves precisely because we have experienced being loved by someone. We learn to take care of ourselves because somebody has taken care of us.”
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