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The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work
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The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  422 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
In his extraordinary new book, Terrence Real, distinguished therapist and bestselling author, presents a long overdue message that women need to hear: You aren't crazy-you're right!
Women have changed in the last twenty-five years-they have become powerful, independent, self-confident, and happy. Yet many men remain irresponsible and emotionally detached. They don't know h
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2007)
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Laurie Thank you for saying this. As a woman, I am exhausted with trying to do all the relationship work in my marriage. However, my husband read only a bit…moreThank you for saying this. As a woman, I am exhausted with trying to do all the relationship work in my marriage. However, my husband read only a bit of this book and it made him furious because, in his view, it presented men as having all the problems! Since he is not self-aware or willing to change, the onus is on me to change my behavior in a way that rocks his boat enough to change our patterns. Still working on it. I would love to see relationship books for men if there are men who are willing to read them!(less)

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Sean Camoni
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful. Learned a great deal and have put much of it into practice.
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Engaged Couples before marriage or couples hoping to maintain/improve their relationship
From the same author who wrote a book on Males & Depression. Insightful, compassionate and excellent supportive data. Case studies are amusing because almost every couple can relate to the arguments and issues. A "self-help" book with psychological and sociological overtones. If you are interested in human behavior I strongly recommend reading this book.
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Like Terrence Real's other books I have read, this gets to some interesting topics. I had just finished watching Annie Hall for the first time and this book discusses a wonderful passage in that movie. Being a multi-book reader, I am not certain when I will get to finish this one but it is not because of lack of interest.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Women
Recommended to Susan by: Kim Rice
This book is fantastic -and I don't say that just becasue my boss wrote it! It has some very good thinking on what it means to be married these days - especially for those of us who want it ALL. A good read for all women, I think!
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Couples
This will be the wedding gift that I would give to any newly married couple. Good relationship advice for anyone though.
Although there are some helpful things in the book, it is rather out of date feeling. For one, it makes the assumption that only women with husbands will be reading the book. Whether or not that is the majority of the audience, as one reads through the book you get the feeling that the author is suggesting that only wives care about the relationship and that they are the only ones who need to make changes. The beginning chapters are better than the latter ones. The book was recommended, with cav ...more
Daniela Lapidous
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ok people — don’t freak out, I’m not getting married any time soon. But I loved this book. I heard it recommended by a podcaster and read it as an ebook, and honestly think I’ll read it again in paperback to fully process. This book would be so useful to anyone, marriage or no marriage, in examining the ways we interact with people close to us (friends, partners, family, even coworkers) and how to do so with more authenticity & harmony. It’s basically a book about human psychology and effect ...more
Alex Giurgea
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
O carte exceptionala pe tema cresterii intimitatii in relatii pe termen lung.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like the "losing strategies" he identifies....we've all got them!
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good and unusual (for me) ideas. Interesting to read about it. How hard will it be to work on it? Follow-up review scheduled for 2050...
Sophie Rayton
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
There was a lot of good to take out of this book, however, I disagreed with some of the authors points and approaches and was desperate to come to the end so it could be over.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just getting into psychology books. Interesting read, fun to get deeper into love.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
A bit dated. General labeling doesn't go over big with me.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Definitely the best marriage book I have read to date. Many of the points made a deep impression on me. One of the reasons I like marriage books is that at their core they are relationship books with ideas and principles that can help us in all of our relationships not just our marriages, though our marriage is the most important core relationship.

I liked his idea of CNI or Core Negative Image. This is an intriguing concept to me. Essentially we create our own mental images of other people that
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very solid book about looking at your spouse and your relationships in a healthier way. I recommend it to anyone who's had trouble building healthy relationships due to past drama/trauma in their lives. If your one of those lucky people who has no problems and gets along with your spouse beautifully without ever struggling then don't waste your time. You're obviously an advanced creature on the evolutionary chain. But if you're like the rest of us and you love your spouse but you sometimes fee ...more
Deborah Alvarez
I highly recommend this book! I found a lot of useful information that both sexes can use without having to revert to thinking that one is from Mars or Venus. (I never liked that book or the thinking behind it since men and women don't HAVE to be socialized in their respective male/female stereotypes.) Some of the st...rategies include identifying psychological behavior violations and what do to about them to maintain your self-esteem and defuse escalation, using the Feedback Wheel for communica ...more
Kirsten never has enough time
I found this book incredibly interesting and thoughtful, as well as being easy to understand! Terrence pulls together a lot of information that's been floating around for a long time and sets it out clearly: when there's something important, it's bold; there's lists and bullet points; when talking about something complex, he sets out an example on what exactly he means using couples he has worked with in the past.

I think everyone could get something out of this book. Even if you're not married,
Sep 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
When a friend suggested this book to me, I could only respond with a quizzical gasp. I'm single, neither married nor in a relationship. And I certainly never imagined that a relationship book could be a page turner. It was. What a tremendous read.

The format of the book makes the material both highly approachable.. The author weaves relationship advice with examples of couples that he has met with during his counseling practice. The concepts are presented in way that makes it easy to relate them
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone in a relationship or looking to get into one
Shelves: self-help-books
I really like a lot of what Terry has to say in this book. Not all men are as clueless as some reviews lead us to believe, but as a marital therapist I have a broad range of behaviors that I witness in my office and many men struggle with how to talk about their feelings and share their insecurities. Women often have a difficult time asking for what they need in a healthy way. Terry addresses these issues and more in a way that is easy to read. I also appreciate that he gives tools to use immedi ...more
Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional, user-friendly guide to understanding and changing the dysfunctional dynamics in one's marriage relationship. It addresses the new realities that 21st century couples face as social and economic realities for women have changed dramatically over the last century and have therefore forever changed women's needs and expectations in marriage. This book assumes that seeking greater intimacy is marriage is important and doable. As a therapist, I have read several self-help book ...more
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: Shannon Houghton
Shelves: 2010
This book has a lot of great things to say about communication. I think the beginning chapters are the weakest (and certainly the most reliant on gender roles), but it's worth sticking through to the end. As many reviewers have pointed out, the title is overly limiting in that you don't have to be in a troubled marriage to want to be a better communicator. Actually, the author does an impressive job of providing information that can be both prophylactic to healthy relationships as well as a last ...more
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has a lot of pages that made me say duh and a lot of corny exercises. But when it was good, it was really good. It lays out good principles and formulas for asking for what you want and for dealing with problems. Real does a great job of basically asking, "And how's that working out for you?" This book was a really good reminder that there's no point in being "right" or mysterious when it's hurting your relationship. It takes courage to be vulnerable enough to move past that. Bonus poi ...more
May 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in improving their relationship
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In addition to being a therapist, it's obvious that Terry Real's passion is writing. The counseling sessions he includes are beautiful illustrations of the therapy process at work and quite moving to boot. "New Rules of Marriage" also includes a helpful list of resources by various authors, as well as a quick reference guide to the techniques and points he's made throughout the book.
Kalika Kharkar
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
How to make a good relationship great. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by the author, it is an excellent way of looking at today's relationships and improving communication for more romantic partnership. He has nice interviews on YouTube to get a feel for his ideas. Terrence Real's tone is kind but firm, and he sees his point of view as Rules rather than suggestions. But quite frankly, they work really well.
GREAT BOOK. Terry Real is a great writer and his analysis of the concept of 'historical patriarchy' in our society and in traditional marriage is very, very insightful. I want to read this one again, as I feel that there are so many very good skills, insights, and techniques that could be implemented in helping couples work through marriage challenges by looking at their relationship from a place that values each member's unique needs and desires.
Olga Volik
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gem among relationship books. I would give it 6+ stars if it was an option. It helped us get over a communication breakdown that had been snowballing for over 10 years. Even just implementing the advice of the 1st few chapters made a big difference. Highly recommend this book if you are struggling to communicate, have withdrawn from each other, etc.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Should be required reading for anyone who has ever been, currently is, or plans to be in a relationship. Love his no-nonsense attitude that still manages to be light-hearted. I'm thoroughly convinced we're all making this (relationships) much more complicated than they need to be.
May be buying this book for future reference.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am a therapist by profession and this book has some amazing insights to improve any marriage. It reads like a textbook in some ways so you may need to be patient...It does come with lots of questions to ask yourself and your partner if you are looking for a hands on book to read and apply in your marriage.
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summarily-read
This book is a really insightful look at how most people's desires for marriage are different from their parents' and so require different skills that what their families were able to model. Has lots of exercises for practical application.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Although it identifies some personality types that I didn't think of before - I don't buy his whole theory. He seems to feel that there can be atonement that is rather simplistic. Still not done but taking it in stride with other books.
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“Use “and,” never “but.” “But” cancels out whatever came before it. “And” is roomy enough for all of your many feelings.” 0 likes
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