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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

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  722 ratings  ·  73 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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Tiffany The summary is significantly worse than the actual book. The tone the majority of the book takes is that relationship problems belong to both of the p…moreThe summary is significantly worse than the actual book. The tone the majority of the book takes is that relationship problems belong to both of the people who have the relationship, and that both sides are equally capable of changing the deal. While some of his advice is gendered, most of it is not. I would call this a marketing fail, as the substance of the book does not generally live up to the back cover copy.

Skip the intro, though, it's a waste of your time.(less)

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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
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.
Karen Anne
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book on how to navigate intimacy with a partner that I've read yet—and I've read a few! Although Terrence Real frames things from a pretty heteronormative standpoint, the practical suggestions for how to function in a relationship and how to develop the 21st-century skills to do so with—as he calls it—"love and savvy," are applicable to any committed partnership. I listened to the book on Audible and am now re-reading the book edition and doing the exercises to get even more out ...more
Stephanie Perez
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Terry Sloan
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If your marriage is struggling, give this book a go - its a new take that just might create shifts.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A well-written and accessible instruction book on how to save your train wreck of a relationship. The advice in here is easily applicable to non-married couples or other relationships. Real uses examples of couples he's advised throughout, which make the book enjoyable to read. (All of the example couples he uses are hetereosexual.)

I didn't like his generalizing about "twenty-first century relationships" or the broad sweeping assumptions he made about gender, but he largely restricts his ponderi
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. ...more
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! ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
There were many great ideas in this book. I recommend it to my marriage class.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
My husband and I read this book as a recommendation from our therapist. And she did warn me that I might not love parts of it. Although it has some helpful techniques for communicating and fighting "well," I could not stand Real's outdated and often sexist examples. His female patients/ characters/ examples are painfully reductive. He essentially implies that all relational tension between men and women correlates to feminism and women wanting more. This on its own is a gross generalization and ...more
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
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 effective ...more
Jason Polk
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a therapist, I have been kicking myself that I just started getting into Terry Real. This book is more practical and I have been off teaching couples and groups about the feedback wheel and his approach to timeouts to name a couple concepts among many.

For me, How Can I Get Through to You was more of an enjoyable read as he delve deep into his cultural theory on patriarchy. He seemed to have more leeway in his form in that book. The New Rules... is more of a manual, but reads like a book. I re
Shelby Klassen
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The New Rules of Marriage - by Terrence Real

My therapist recommended this book to me, so there’s that.

Also, I got the audiobook first and really enjoyed it despite the authors dry performance. I also bought the physical book because my husband is interested in it but after listening to one chapter he had to turn it off.

His concepts aren’t overwhelming or far reaching in terms of applicability like in some self help books as far as I can tell.

I really like this book and plan to re-read it.
Kim Bowers
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this to everyone in a relationship, married or not and we often gift it as a wedding present to friends. It centers around the idea that you choose your partner based on childhood wounds you're trying to overcome and how to spot (and stop) the cycle of having the same arguments over and over.

My partner and I read this together and did all of the suggested exercise, which were hard but really helpful for both of us. 100% recommend.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve listened to Terrence Real’s audio from audible called “Fierce Intimacy”, and I love that so much!
This book takes several of the topics from that and extends them into a full book format with exercises and “Rules” for marriage in the 21st Century.

The information from Terry Real fundamentally changes the way we look at the relationship between partners, and helps empower individuals with the tools to become relationally savvy. This is a must read.
Rosa Sealy
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Real actionable steps to help rebuild a marriage. Sometimes he is speaking to directly to women (I'm sure his largest audience) but he recommends for both partners to read and participate. All of the examples in the book are of hetero couples although anyone can benefit from it. Great for people who's relationship is on the rocks and once to make one last effort. ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
There were lots of good things in this book, but probably one that would have been more helpful to read than to listen to. Some books really hammer all the points and for those, listening works well for me- I can still remember what I heard. This one didn’t repeat itself- which is a good thing, just less helpful for poor memories and (sometimes) distracted listening.
Jade Fang
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a completely amazing book. It's not just about marriage. I think everyone should read it. It's the best book about boundaries I've ever read and about what to do when you have too many walls up and what to do when you don't have enough. I love this book. Everyone NEEDS to read this book today! ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Success for those willing to humbly pursue it

Being a man who has been educated in the basics of relationship language and communication, I found this book to be the opportunity for the next level of relationship with my wife. Hope we are both up to the humble challenge.
Janet Fox
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding Reflection & Educational Read

Such an excellent book on relationships, the challenges of them, and focused approaches that are empowering, healing, and authentic! Superb!
Eric Burr
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very practical book. (are there any non-practical self help marriage books?) Terry suggests there are 5 ways of being or strategies for a winning marriage, and then there are 5 losing strategies. I for one have a problem I think with 'needing to be right'. Curse for those that are always right:) ...more
Road Worrier
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I had high expectations, and the book started off encouragingly, but it feels like a pretty unequal approach to problem solving, and the tools it seemed to offer just aren't as good as other offerings from other places. ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like the "losing strategies" he identifies....we've all got them! ...more
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.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband and I listened to the abridged version on road trips. We both learned so much! Highly recommend!!
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Started out good with the five areas of intamacy. Not as useful after that.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
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