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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

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  9,462 ratings  ·  525 reviews
Originally attain more loving, supportive and deeply satisfying relationships. In this groundbreaking book, Dr Harville Hendrix shares with you what he has learned about the psychology of love during more than thirty years of working as a therapist and helps you transform your relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship. For this edition of his classic boo ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2005
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  9,462 ratings  ·  525 reviews


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Swaroop
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The most advanced and super-intelligent species are also the most complicated and super complex beings! And, these beings (also known as human beings) need help, at least most of the time. They need help in course correction, understanding fellow humans, and most important of all, to stay happy. We get so busy with all the external and outside things that we just ignore the inside - the self and our loved ones. By the time we realise this mistake, it is usually too late.

In Getting the Love You W
...more
Steve
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Summer
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-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
Scott
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
...more
K
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
...more
Kelly
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Keri
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Rachel
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Chad Warner
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
...more
Ronda
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Kathryn in FL
One of the best self-help books I've read and I've read at least 3 dozen in my lifetime.

The book zeros in on what you as the reader identifies as important to you in a relationship using a set of questions to discover those. Then it gives examples of how that will look in action.

This book, helped me realize that a man who wanted to marry, was not a good match for me. I begged him to read the book but he refused thinking I'm not sure what. It was a sign that the issues in the relationship would
...more
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
...more
Mai
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
...more
Jill Morningstar
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Aurélien Thomas
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: marriage
There is no need to be in a miserable marriage full of negativity, anger and frustration to experience marital problems. After all, even healthy, happy marriages do have their habitual issues, ongoing arguments and recurring situations where partners feel at a loggerhead. Funnily enough, such situations are often brought about by the exact personality traits that had attracted us to our soulmate in the first place. Isn't it weird? Well, not according to Dr Harville Hendrix, a pastoral counsellor ...more
Candie
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I wasn't feeling the first part of this book very much, it just talked way too much about all of our relationship problems being based on our childhood wounds from our parents or caregivers. There was a lot of talk about childhood relationships. I'm not sure I was buying into all of it at all. I am not a psychologist though, but it was not what I was looking for in the book.

In part two when it started talking about actual relationship behaviors and the exercises and principals I found it very in
...more
Wendell
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Erin
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
Jenyne
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Emiko
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
Lainie
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Sara
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. ...more
Tina
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WHAT AN AMAZING BOOK.
must read for every one
April
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexandra
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
framework idea is that each person was trained into certain parts of their personality by caretakers' small acts or reactions. now you look for a partner based on those personalities - someone who has the parts of your parents so you can replay your childhood feelings, but also someone who has the parts of yourself you gave up to get love so you can live vicariously - but not too much or you get too envious. Which I think isn't really out of bounds - your primary caretaker is the first love atta ...more
Janet
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Once upon a time two soul mates reunite after unconsciously searching for each other since being wrenched apart in a past life. When they reunite, they are mutually overwhelmed by a strange familiarity. They marvel at the feeling that they’ve known each other forever and are exactly where they’re meant to be. The relationship launches into the stratosphere and bliss abounds. Until one day…the criticism starts. The nagging begins. The stratosphere begins to vibrate with tension, tempers, and tear ...more
Jessie Jellick
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 book...is it realistic to expect to create a near perfect relationship...after all...we are all imperfect and nothing we ...more
Nicole
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: communication
The main themes revolve around our attraction to partners based on our "lower" brain (aka brainstem and limbic systems) memories of childhood. The theory is that we chose people who remind us of both the positive and negative composites of early childhood providers. In this way we find a partner with whom we can heal the early wounds, so that the relationship becomes a vessel in which we naturally are given the chance to heal each other spiritually, working back towards a sense of wholeness.

The
...more
Leonard Gaya
Some 20 years ago, psychotherapist Harville Hendrix had a few couples coming to his consulting room. He discovered that the reason people fall in love with this or that particular person resides on unconscious ground, mainly based on early-life experiences with their caretakers. In other words, what we really seek through our love partners is to resolve the “unfinished business” we had with our parents and the childhood wounds we still carry within ourselves.

The problem is that more often that n
...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

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