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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

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  6,927 ratings  ·  379 reviews



Originally published in 1988, Getting the Love You Want has helped millions of couples attain more loving, supportive, and deeply satisfying relationships. The 20th anniversary edition contains extensive revisions to this groundbreaking book, with a new chapter, new exercises, and a foreword detailing Dr.

Paperback, 20th Anniversary Edition, 320 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Holt Paperbacks
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,927 ratings  ·  379 reviews

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Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: growth, love
I heard of this book when Oprah was interviewing Alanis Morissette. They both read it and praised it and Oprah said that Stedman and she wouldn't be together anymore if she hadn't read this book. That made me interested in reading this book. I don't like to read self help books, because these books require a lot of digging and bringing out everything that is painful and they are not just some easy breezy reading, but you have to do some work. This book makes you open your eyes a little bit more ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Scott Moore
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Fani *loves angst*
3.5 stars

I was shocked after reading this because I realized how right the writer was about mixing our childhood wounds with the needs we expect to be fulfilled through our marriage. This led me to see things through an entirely different light, not so positive for me, and made me realize my own mistakes instead of being critical of my husband all the time.

"I have found this phenomenon in many of my clients. They react to their partners as if they were carbon copies of their parents, even though
This book is revolutionary,this is A Must-read for Everyone!
Every relationship you would have as an adult is affected by your childhood and your relationship with your parents or caregivers.
If parents really understood how much emotional damage they do to their children,they would think twice before inflicting such a pain upon them
They would have helped their children avoid years and years of failure and repeated patterns in relationships
They would have tried their best to treat and raise them
Jill Morningstar-janzen
My husband and I agreed to read this book over the summer. Written by an experienced marriage counsellor, the book is broken into three parts. The first section illustrates why people are attracted to each other and the reasons why relationships become unhealthy. After reading the first part, I wondered how it was possible for anyone to have a healthy relationship.

The second section outlines the conscious steps we need to take to carve out a healthy relationship. As I was reading these pages, I
Ahmed Safian
لم تضحى الحياة بين محببين برومانسية روميو وجوليت

فهي حياة تتخللها أزمات عاطفية .. تجعلها تنحرف عن مصيرها المعهود

وهو البقاء لأبد الأبدين

يطرح د/هارفيل هندريكس ..

فرضية وهي ما أظن إنها حقيقةٌ مثبة ..

كون معظم مشاكلنا تبدأ من مهدنا .. وتتخذ أشكالاً متعددة

والحل ليس في الطرفين بل الحل في تاريخهم الأسري الحافل بأزمات .. عاطفية وجسدية

وهنا تقع أهمية الكتاب ومسؤوليته .. هي الأخذ بيديك إلى بر الأمان بعلاقتك بشريك حياتك

من خلال البحث والتج
Hawra habib
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مشاكلنا التفسية العميقة ،، ردود أفعالنا المبهمة و تصرفاتنا أمام الصراعات الزوجية ،، هل يُعقل أن كل هذا سببه جراح الطفولة و مشاعرنا حين كنا براعم صغيرة ؟
هذا ما فصله الكاتب بشكل سلس و محبب بأن صراعاتنا الزوجية و أساس انجذابنا لشركاء حياتنا يكمن في تجارب الطفولة ولكي نحظى بعلاقة تتميز بالالتحام الروحي والحب فيجب على كلا الشريكين معالجة جراح الآخر وحين يفعل هذا سيكون قد عالج بعضاً من صفاته الذميمة في نفس الوقت.
أرفق الكاتب تمارين عملية في نهاية الكتاب ليطبقها الأزواج وهذا أضاف قيمة للكتاب بالنسبة لي
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to decide whether to give it 4 or 5 stars. The insight is unmatched by any other relationship book I have come across, but it is a bit of an old and slow read. I still completely recommend it. I heard of it through Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. She declared it as a game-changer for her own relationships. I am starting to truly understand why marriage is so complicated and difficult as well as delightful and divine, depending on the day. I love the optimism of this book- you CAN have a content ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it liked 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.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
must read for every one
Feb 11, 2019 added it
There are valuable ideas here, but I have a hard time getting behind some of the premises. In particular, I'm unable to draw many parallels between the traits of my parents and the traits of my husband. (Maybe people who know us can point to them!) I would like to try the exercises, so my opinion may change if/when that process is complete.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jessie Jellick
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I despise the use of filler in books. My advice to non-fiction authors would be "just get to the damn point!" Much of this book is filler.

Still, it has useful information, such that I recommend reading it for anyone who is in a relationship, whether that relationship be a great one or a tense one, or in between those two. It describes what we (unconsciously) look for in a partner and why. It describes written and verbal exercises couples can do together to improve communication. These alone mak
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Knowing this was promoted by Oprah and the New York Times makes it read more like a pseudo-science, self-help book promoting a movement more than a validated couples therapy approach. Indeed, much of Hendrix's relabeling of original therapeutic methods for active listening and empathy while listening to multigenerational family issues of each person made it feel like a repackaging that's simply more accessible to the general public. Some of his direct (and perhaps hokey) tactics are not for all, ...more
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was married and in counseling, my then husband and I read through this book together. I personally grew from it and gained a lot of self knowledge that I am able to use now in my current relationships. Unfortunetaly, like with any book and/or self help item, you only get what you put in. SO I doubt my ex-husband grew from it, as he showed no real understanding of applying what we were reading into his life at the time. But you can, if you want it and you are willing to shed the aspects of ...more
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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
“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.” 10 likes
“In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others. —ANDRÉ MAUROIS” 2 likes
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