Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition

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When Harville Hendrix writes about relationships, he discusses them not just as an educator and a therapist, but as a man who has himself been through a failed marriage. Hendrix felt the sting of his divorce intensely because he believed it signaled not only his failure as a husband but also his failure as a couples counselor. Investigating why his marriage dissolved led him to start looking into the psychology of love. Marriage, he ultimately discovered, is the "practice of becoming passionate friends."

As a result of his research, Hendrix created a therapy he calls Imago Relationship Therapy. In it, he combines what he's learned in a number of disciplines, including the behavioral sciences, depth psychology, cognitive therapy, and Gestalt therapy, to name just a few. He expounds upon this approach in Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples. His purpose in writing the book, he says, is "to share with you what I have learned about the psychology of love relationships, and to help you transform your relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship."

Divided into three sections, the book covers "The Unconscious Marriage," which details a marriage in which the remaining desires and behavior of childhood interfere with the current relationship; "The Conscious Marriage," which shows a marriage that fulfils those childhood needs in a positive manner; and a 10-week "course in relationship therapy, " which gives detailed exercises for you and your partner to follow in order to learn how to "replace confrontation and criticism ... with a healing process of mutual growth and support." The text is occasionally dry and technical; however, the information provided is valuable, the case studies are interesting, and the exercises are revealing and helpful. By utilizing his program, Hendrix hopes you too will be able to solve your marital difficulties without the expense of a therapist. --Jenny Brown



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. Hendrix’s updated philosophy for eliminating all negativity from couples’ daily interactions, allowing readers of the 2008 edition to benefit from his ongoing discoveries during his last two decades of work.

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., in partnership with his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD., originated Imago Relationship Therapy, a unique healing process for couples, prospective couples, and parents. Together they have more than thirty years’ experience as educators and therapists and their work has been translated into more than 50 languages, with Imago practiced by two thousand therapists worldwide. Harville and Helen have six children and live in New York and New Mexico.

In Getting the Love You Want, Dr. Harville Hendrix presents the relationship skills that have already helped hundreds of thousands of couples to replace confrontation and criticism with a healing process of mutual growth and support. This extraordinary practical guide describes the revolutionary technique of Imago Relationship Therapy, which combines a number of disciplines--including the behavioral sciences, depth psychology, cognitive therapy, and Gestalt therapy, among others--to create a program to resolve conflict and renew communication and passion.
Getting the Love You Want describes the three stages of intimate relationships, provides illustrative case studies and gives helpful recommendations to overcome the obstacles in those stages to create a stronger bond between couples. First, he chronicles the stages of most relationships-attraction, romantic love and the power struggle-and suggests ways for partners to identify the conflicts associated with each of them. Then, he explores methods for achieving a "Conscious Marriage," where the early phases of romance are rekindled and confrontation is slowly replaced by growth and support. Finally, Dr. Hendrix incorporates these ideas into a unique therapeutic course, offering a series of proven exercises that lead to insight, resolution and revitalization. Step by step, he describes how to communicate with greater accuracy and sensitivity, how to let go of self-defeating behaviors, and how to focus energy on meeting each partners' needs.
With Getting the Love You Want couples in any stage of a relationship can resolve their conflicts and achieve mutual emotional satisfaction.

Customer Reviews:

  • Criticism
    The number one rule of all time here is NEVER CRITICIZE. The good doctor says there is no such thing as "constructive criticism" where a spouse is concerned. I have used that advice in mothering my children and found it to work wonders.
    ...more info
  • Will save YOU and your marriage
    i would give this book 10 stars if given that option. I got this book while going through a very hard time in my marriage. I hated my husband, I was depressed because I didn't want to leave him but I didn't want to be with him. Coincidentally ( although according to Freud there is no such thing as coincidence , and I have to agree ) I was watching Oprah and she had Dr. Hendrix on her show. the few words that i heard him speak made me want to work this out. after just reading barely a few chapters, I learned the most crucial part of being married. We go into marriage feeling a stereotypical feeling of "happy ever after" and being with a person who completes you. so a few years after that fairy tale ends, you are on the brink of divorce and miserably depressed.

    Dr. hendrix successfully teaches you WHAT a marriage should be, WHY you are with your mate, why are you so ANGRY at them for no sound reason. and most importantly, how do you fix that and how do you in harmony and in a conscious, smart marriage.

    needless to say I bought his other books, because reading just this book doesn't end the work you have to put into a happy and content life you have in front of you.

    read his book on how to allow yourself to be loved ( btw, this does affect your marriage ) and MOST IMPORTANTLY his book on how to raise your kids with nurturing love so that they will not suffer as adults either. ...more info
  • Fantastic Customer Service AND Book!!!!!
    Of all the so called consumer based organizations Amazon is the only one that is in the league alone with Consumer Reports! All these other so-called self proclaimed consumer based companies just don't have the business model to compare. Ramble on Amazon!!!!...more info
  • getting the love you want
    fantastic book! really gives a couple a "process" to follow to help a troubled marriage or would also be v worthwhile for a completely healthy marriage. it is based on premise that the way you were parented has much to do with way you behave in a relationship. the more i read, the truer it is. he has very specific exercises to perform that are a great help...more info
  • Getting the love you want
    This is an excellent book for couples and also singles in demystifying attraction and empowering individuals for healing in the context of relationships....more info
  • Best I've read on relationships
    This book is great! It really explains why we react the way we do and can really improve your relationship. The reading is easy sometimes gets a little boring but the content is worth it. The idea is that we marry or get into a relationship with someone who will help us heal ourselves because they have faults that either our caretakers had or that are part of what we secretly want to be. It also has some great exercises for improving your relationship. A must read for anyone dedicated to their partner. ...more info
  • A must-have for healthy relationships
    This seems to be the definitive book on how to *be* the right partner in your romantic relationships. It's also an eye-opening epiphany about why we seek and ineffectively try to demand certain qualities in our partners. Many adolescents would benefit from knowing this information early in their dating lives (but I wonder if it would be meaningful to readers without a painful history of mistakes behind them). I withhold the last star because I'm annoyed by the author's tone in the first several chapters -- he would have done better to talk about one's tendency to recreate childhood dynamics in adult relationships. Instead, he was heavy-handed and unnecessarily absolute in his premise that everyone subconsciously selects a partner similar to one's caretaker. This can be a turn-off to those who can't fit themselves into his box, but if you stick with it, there are still a lot of exceptionally useful insights and exercises here to create a "conscious," fulfilling relationship....more info
  • Getting the Love you Want
    This is a real eyeopener because it really explains why we are like we are. Very thought provoking but so easy to understand and put into practice. Thanks for recommending it - I only got it in the first place because it was cheap but I am so happy that I did - it has been very enlightening. Thanks....more info
  • Worth reading and go further than this!
    Like the author, I too am a qualified counsellor (with thirty years experience) and have also survived the break up of a first marriage. We married very young; however, neither my former husband nor myself ever considered our marriage a "failure" because we both learned a lot about ourselves both during the twenty plus years we spent together and during the break-up of the marriage. Had it not been for lessons learned, perhaps I would never have found the true and lasting love I have today.
    The author is quite correct in saying the relationships and events of our childhood play a major role in determining the type of person we are today, and those same experiences can and do influence our relationships either in a positive or negative manner. He is also correct in saying that the majority of long and lasting relationships do begin as "passionate friends." Partners not only have to love each other, they have to like each other, have the same goals, share the same views for raising children, and share their feelings. Good communication, honesty and respect for each other's feelings is is a must! Lust, passion and hormones running on high are enough to make any new relationship seem like "the love of a lifetime," but, alas, it is going to take a lot more than hormones to withstand life's trials and tribulations. Hendrix is right on the mark with the words of wisdom and advice he gives in this book. From my many years experience as a counsellor, I have found that individuals who fail to realize the value of book such as this, are usually the ones who need the help the most...or else why would they be reading the book in the first place? This will definitely be a book that will be highly recommended to those seeking quality self-help material. I also highly recommend - Become a Total Man Magnet: Make Every Man Fall in Love with You Instantly - Make Him Chase You Down Desperately and Beg for Attention

    ...more info
  • BEST Relationship Book I've Ever Read!!
    I sat down with this book, and four hours later, I had made it through the first section -- with a pen and a highligher. Could NOT put it down. This is the most impacting book that I've ever read on relationships, and I've read a lot.... This is a must-read for anyone interested in succeeding (and ready to work) in a relationship. Very easy to read -- not clinical mumbo-jumbo -- and it's so practical. I read about 'myself' all through that book. Material is instantly applicable, and very eye-opening as to WHY we choose WHO we choose as partners. Explanations and examples are extensive and detailed to help the reader clearly understand the concepts. This has been extremely helpful as I'm going through a divorce. This book may even SAVE your marriage.......more info
  • Great book to improve understanding of relationships
    I purchased this book to share with family members and friends; it is a 20th anniversary reprint and still applicable today. If you find yourself in another dysfunctional relationship please read this book. It may inspire you to change things where you are, or not to repeat the choices that get you into this mess every time if you start a new relationship :>) Facinating assessment with clear examples that improve our understanding of ourselves and our partners roles in replaying early, important relationships. Helps one to see how personal growth and an improved relationship can be created and flourish in the midst of your current situation....more info
  • Getting the Love You Want
    Very interesting ideas and a good read. Some examples:

    p3 The type of human being we prefer reveals the contours of our heart - Ortega Gasset

    p8 Most of us underestimate the scope of the unconscious mind (analogous to the stars in the sky that `come out at night).

    Brain structure:

    Brain Stem - Physical action (breathing, blood circulation, etc)

    Limbic system - generate vivid emotions

    Old Brain = Brain Stem + Limbic System. Main concern is self-preservation: "Is it safe?"

    Cerebral Cortex = New Brain - Cognitive functions; i.e., Conscious, alert, makes decisions, thinks, observes, plans, anticipates, responds, organizes, information, creates ideas - the part of your mind you think of as "You".

    The New Brain directly perceives the outside world. The Old Brain gets images, symbols and thoughts produced by the New Brain in broad categories: Is this someone to nurture, be nurtured by, have sex with, run away from, submit to, or attack.

    The Old Brian has no sense of linear time. Today, tomorrow, yesterday do not exist, everything that was, still is.

    Old Brain issues: Abandonment, Me vs. You Boundaries (Fusers vs. Isolators), Life & Death (we expect the outside world to take care of us),

    P12 In mate selection, we are looking for someone with a very specific set of positive and negative traits - we are looking for the people who raised us so we can heal old childhood wounds.

    The ultimate reason you fell in love with your mate, I am suggesting, is not that your mate was young and beautiful, had an impressive job, had a point value equal to yours, or had a kind disposition. You fell in love because your Old Brain had your partner confused with your parents! Your Old Brain believed that it had finally found the ideal candidate to make up for the psychological and emotional damage you experienced in childhood.

    P15 Eros = Life force

    P31 You Imago is a composite picture of the people who influenced you most strongly at an early age. A part of your brain recorded everything about them

    P55 Unconsciously, we want our partners to love us the way our parents never did - to satisfy unmet childhood needs, complement lost self-parts, nurture us in a consistent and loving way, and be eternally available to us.

    P62 People react to their partners as if they were carbon copies of their parents (or the people who raised them), even if all of their traits are not the same. In their compelling need to work on unfinished business, they project the missing parental traits onto their partners. Then, by treating their partners as if they actually had these traits, they manage to provoke the desired response. A colleague of mine claims that people either "pick imago matches, project them, or provoke them".

    P63 The Imago is not only an inner image of what we want in the opposite sex; it is also a description of our disowned self; i.e. our dark side - the parts of our being we try to ignore, the traits we disliked in our parents.

    P64 People try to exorcise their denied negative traits by projecting them onto their mates. They look at their partners and criticize all the things they dislike and deny in themselves. Taking a negative trait and attributing it to their partner is a remarkably effective way to obscure a not-so-desirable part of the self.

    P65 Elements of the Power Struggle:

    1. We stir up each other's repressed behaviors and feelings.
    2. Reinjure each other's childhood wounds
    3. Project their own negative traits onto each other.

    P65 What makes us believe that hurting their partner will make them behave more pleasantly? Why don't people simply tell each other in plain English that they want more affection or attention or lovemaking or freedom or whatever it is that they are craving? Answer - When we were babies we didn't smile at our Mothers to get them to take care of us - we screamed! The success of this tactic was turned into an imprint about how to get the world to respond to our needs. "When you are frustrated, provoke the people around you. Be as unpleasant as possible until someone comes to your rescue and figures out what your problem is.

    P67 Stages of the Power Struggle:

    1. Shock (the long anticipated healing is not to be)
    2. Denial (see things in the best light possible)
    3. Anger (either your partner has changed or your were deceived all along)
    4. Bargaining (I'll be nicer it you'll be smarter)
    5. Despair (try to find happiness outside the marriage)

    P73 It's the Old Brain that is responsible for our infantile response to frustration, the `cry or criticize' response that only results in further alienation.

    P75 In most interactions with your partner, you are actually safer when you lower your defenses than when you keep them engaged, because your partner becomes an ally, not an enemy.

    P76 Ten Characteristics of a Conscious Marriage:

    1. You realize that your love relationship has a hidden purpose - the healing of childhood wounds
    2. You create a more accurate image of your partner - they are not your parents, or your negative traits. They are not your Savior, but another wounded human being struggling to be whole.
    3. You take responsibility for communicating your needs and desires to your partner.
    4. You become more intentional in your interactions - be more constructive.
    5. You learn to value your partner's needs and wishes as highly as you value your own.
    6. You embrace the dark side of your personality.
    7. You learn new techniques to satisfy your basic needs and desires
    8. You search within yourself for the strength and abilities you are lacking.
    9. You become more aware of your drive to be loving and whole and united with the Universe.
    10. You accept the difficulty of creating a good marriage. In an Unconscious Marriage you believe you have to find the right partner. In a Conscious Marriage you realize you have to be the right partner.

    P78 All the people in the world are strangers. If you want a friend, you're going to have to go out and make one.

    P79 Some people are caught up in concepts and ideas, not feelings. They hid their vulnerability behind their formidable intellect, which prevents any genuine intimacy.

    P84 Most of us go thru married life as if we were asleep, engaging in routine interactions that give us little pleasure. We have forgotten who we are. We come into the world blazing trails of glory, but the fire is soon extinguished, and we lose sight of the fact we are whole spiritual beings. We live impoverished, repetitious; unrewarding lives and blame our partners for our unhappiness.

    It is only when we see marriage as a vehicle for change and self-growth that we can begin to satisfy our unconscious yearnings.

    P89 What is your vision for your marriage? What would you like it to be like? E.g.

    1. We enjoy each other's company
    2. We are financially secure
    3. We spend time together doing things we both enjoy
    4. We settle our differences peacefully
    5. We have satisfying and beautiful sex
    6. We are healthy and physically active
    7. We communicate easily and openly
    8. We meditate together
    9. We are each other's best friend
    10. We trust each other
    11. We work well together
    12. We share important decisions
    13. We meet each others deepest needs
    14. We have daily private time

    P93 Why do people spend so much time avoiding intimacy? Anger and Fear. "I am angry with you for not meeting my needs", and fear of pain.

    P108 People who grew up experiencing a great deal of repression tend to have a particularly hard time with the Reromanticizing exercise. They have difficulty coming up with any requests, or they sabotage their partner's efforts to carry them out. They are hiding behind the psychic shield they erected as children to protect themselves from overbearing parents.

    P149 Love and Anger are two sides of the same coin. We feel joyful and loving when our life force (Holiness) is allowed to flourish. We become angry when it is thwarted. We become angry when the promise of life is denied.

    P186 Focus on yourself. You should realize that what you are doing for your partner is what you're doing for yourself. It's about your personal growth. When you stretch to meet one of your spouses needs, you are reclaiming part of yourself.

    ...more info
  • A timeless and extraordinary resource for all couples
    I recently renewed my acquaintance with a book that's had a significant influence on my life--Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, the classic relationship handbook by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. This book remains an essential addition to the library of couples who want to create loving, fulfilling, joyful and enduring relationships. The exercises in Part III of the book are themselves invaluable and can empower willing couples to deal with the challenges that arise in every relationship and, perhaps, eliminate repeated visits to the marriage counselor.

    First published in 1988, I first came upon this book in the early 1990s. My second marriage had just gone down the tubes, and I was struggling to understand why. How could my former wife have left me when just a few short years ago, she was so totally in love with me?

    It was not until I read Getting the Love You Want, that I realized I was relying on her to take care of me, to somehow make me whole, responsibilities she had not signed up for, needs that were impossible for her to satisfy. So I began a process of deep introspection: How did I help create the breakdown of my relationship and, ultimately, how I could go about initiating a more conscious relationship the next time around?

    A few years later, a number of Harville's exercises included in Part III of Getting the Love You Want played a significant role in forming the foundation for my romantic partnership with the woman who I would later marry, including:

    * Creating a joint vision for the relationship--Being clear about what each of us envisioned for our relationship
    * Mirroring--Learning to really hear what my partner is saying and letting her know I have done so
    * Re-romanticizing--Sharing specific information with one another about what pleases me, what pleases her and agreeing to perform those acts of pleasure regularly

    Today as I was re-examining Getting the Love You Want to write this review, I came upon the final exercise in the book--Visualization of Love. I instinctively began following the instructions--visualizing Shonnie as a whole spiritual being, who like all of us, has been wounded. And I imagined that the love I was sending her at that moment was healing her wounds. Finally I imagined the love I'd sent her coming back to me and healing my wounds. Afterwards I sat for a few moments in quiet gratitude--for my life, for Shonnie, for Harville and for the wisdom that he so readily shares with us....more info
  • Great book to help heal relationships.
    I am a counselor and I often recommend this book to couples who have lost their connection w/ each other. I like that the book contains exercises for couples to help them really spell out what they can each do to take responsiblity for strengthening the relationship....more info
  • food for thought
    This and its companion book "Receiving Love" give insight on why we do what we do and provides guidelines on how to do "the right thing"...more info
  • The premier couples therapy of today
    This is the best couples therapy I have come across. It is theoretically and practically sound. What a relief to discover the unconscious reasons we choose the partner we do, and how to work through the inevitable conflicts that arise in the adult committed intimate partnership in today's world. The vision that the purpose of modern relationships is growth and healing is very refreshing. It is so seductive to think the purpose is happiness and relaxation. But if that were the case, we would need to eliminate all conflict. But how can there be growth and healing without conflict? "Conflict is growth trying to happen." It is all important HOW we work through our conflicts, not try to eliminate them. This is MUST READING for everyone interested in understanding modern couplehood where equality is desired rather than male dominance.
    - Bruce Crapuchettes, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, couples therapist....more info
  • Great book
    This book gives some practical suggestions for making your marriage better. Even if you don't want to read the entire book that explains the philosophy behind the exercises, it is still worth getting just to do the exercises in the back....more info
  • Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples
    I purchased the first edition back in the late `80's I believe. At that time I personally found the information innovative. The fact that Dr. Hendrix and his wife, who has been honored for her work in helping women, have personally proven that the contents of the book work. Plus, they are now teaching what they have learned together, to qualified therapists. I purchased "Getting the Love You Want" as a gift this time. As always, it's up to the individual/ couple to take what they've learned and use it in a positive way....more info
  • This has helped many
    I read this book 15 years ago and it completely changed my life. I have over the years lent it out to many friends, who found this book tremendously helpful themselves. Unfortunatly, someone did not return it and because I love this book so much, I am purchasing another copy so I will always have it. This book is worth the purchase, even for singles....more info
  • This actually works
    Read this book and read it with your lover. It is depressing at times. It will upset you most of the time. If you let it, this will change your life. Dr. Hendrix has tapped into the wisdom of the ages. Only most of us in our enlightenment can't figure it out. I see a lot of parellels between the skyrocketing divorce rate and the horrors of world wars and genocide that have hallmarked the 20th century.

    Nothing else I've ever seen will impart the insight that you will find here. Dr. Hendrix has been illuminated. Those of us who dwell in darkness can now see a great light....more info
  • the "rules of the road" for marriage - oprah winfrey - with
    enough money and access to everything and everyone - credits this book for a fulfilling 20 year relationship with Stedman Graham... she flatly states that they would NOT still be together without it ~

    my generation has proved that there [almost never] is such a thing as an amicable divorce... 2 generations of kids of divorce have proven out that you are at a 50% disadvantage in all ways when your parents split, except in the WORST of circumstances... which is NOT most of us...

    and, mind you, the hendrixes THEMSELVES took 4 years off recently to work on their marriage ~ their book on Receiving Love tells the story on that...

    so heck, darned it all ~ if these two really exceptional, good good, Highly Motivated people had trouble ~ it can happen to EveryOne at some point...

    this book should be required reading when anyone applies for a marriage license... with the necessity to pass a rigorous test before a license is issued...

    instead, year after year, we keep letting new waves of hopefuls Go Right Over The Cliff just like we did ~

    even a decent divorce blows up your life and breaks your stride ~

    and don't we all love to see other couples happy together, better together...?

    the hendrixes cracked the code on how to do this, or attempt it ~
    it's simple and hard, like anything in life ~

    but at least you won't make stupid mistakes, if you read this book... nothing is sadder than preventable mistakes ~...more info
  • A Masterpiece of a Reference Book for Singles and Couples
    There is so much truth in this book. I felt as if I was reading about myself. In our search for a mate, we unconsciously seek the positive and negative traits of our caretakers. How scary is that? Although I emerged from a healthy childhood where most of my needs were met by my parents and siblings, I still chose the wrong mate at the age of 35. After reading this book, I now know what my own needs are and the type of person who can meet those needs--as long as we are willing to work hard at making the relationship work for both of us. If I ever contemplate marriage in the future, I will again read Dr. Hendrix' book from cover to cover and ask my mate to do the same. This is the first book of its kind to address a complex subject at a level that we all can understand and learn from. ...more info
  • Lifesaver
    I just really, really want to thank Harville Hendrix. I am not the sort of person who EVER reads self-help books, and when my friend recommended it to me, I judged this book with a big white guy on the cover and felt it wasn't me. After two expensive, lengthy and unsuccessful attempts with marriage counselors and being very near the end of my rope, I followed the insistent recommendation of a friend and picked it up. I am so grateful every day that I read and took to heart the attitude and technique that Harville Hendrix presented. He helped me to take the focus off of myself and strive for shared goals. He helped me to articulate my needs without blaming others. He helped me to be more empathetic towards my husband, and, just as Hendrix predicts in the book, it has helped him to be kinder towards me. I say without reservation that this book saved my marriage this past year; I would have left and my son would have been from another broken home if I did not have the tools this book gave me. I have given this book to my best friend and my own mother,and it's also a gift to anyone I know who announces their engagement; I am only sad to have discovered this book after 20 years of marriage, and am glad if people can start out on the footing this book offers. This book has also given me insight into all the relationships I have: why I pick the friends I do, and my dynamic with my parents. I know I am gushing, but I have to offer testimony that this book really did change my life and gave me consistent peace for many months in a row, after years of real strife. Every day I am grateful and say out loud,"THANK YOU, HARVILLE HENDRIX!" ...more info
  • An Excellent Book To Enhance Your Relationship
    I have no reservations about this book. It is intelligent, well researched and covers essential facets of an individuals psychology that drives their ability to attain success in dating and relationships.

    Much of how we behave with the opposite sex has to do with our emotional relationships with our parents. A person who has problems relating to his or her parents or feeling in control and grounded in the company of his or her parents, has issues. Issues that can be resolved if noticed and dealt with.

    The first part of the book, `the unconscious marriage', goes into detail of how our past relationships and biology influence our success in a relationship.

    The next part can help you enhance your awareness so you gain control of your unconscious behavior so you can't self-sabotage yourself and makes you more capable of dealing with relationship problems in a loving and intelligent manner.

    Finally the author, Harvill Hendrix, provides you with some powerful exercises that you can apply right away to help you focus your mind on attaining the relationship success you desire. The exercises help you with emotional blocks you inherited from childhood (we all have some) to building your relationship and the affection you feel in a relationship.

    This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to have a healthier relationship that grows and matures. ...more info
  • God is Love.
    This self help book ignores the truth of love and makes love out to be something that people are capable of doing. No one can love and satisfy anyone without knowing that love comes from God. I suggest you read the Bible and skip this mess....more info
  • Saving my marriage
    After 3 1/2 years of marriage, our relationship was crumbling. Nothing "bad" had happened, we were just growing apart. I believe that life is too short to stay in any situation that doesn't allow the development of your full potential. I'd decided on a divorce.

    Touring the self-help section of a bookstore on a lunch break, I came across this book, and it made a lot of sense. But my husband isn't much of a reader, so I also went looking for conferences presenting on this topic. I found that there are qualified therapists hosting workshops across the country based on Harville's discoveries.

    My husband and I went to a weekend workshop that turned things around for us. We started imago therapy with a local therapist, and I no longer need the divorce attorney's number. It's changing our relationship for the better and is undoubtedly saving our marriage.

    I'd recommend this book for absolutely anyone--singles, married and happy, married and unhappy, divorced and disgruntled--I think everyone can find something of interest in this book and in the Imago therapy process. ...more info
  • Outstanding
    Fantastic easy to understand information, very helpful for young couples or people who have been together for many, many years. The advice and suggestions are easy to implement and have already made a huge difference in our lives. This author provides simple remedies providing hope for couple who need assistance for creating the relationship of their dreams....more info
  • Hendrix Is a Master
    Hendrix is brilliant and loving. The truth of his wisdom resonates with your own experience. And you can FEEL his insight and compassion on the pages. If you really want to learn what's keeping you from the love you want, you will in this masterpiece. Jan Denise, "Inside Relationships" columnist and author of "Innately Good: Dispelling the Myth That You're Not" ...more info
  • What you lacked in childhood effects who you are now
    What you lacked in childhood effects who you are now - that is what this book is based on. Some people hate that theory. I was indifferent about it.

    It did have some valid points - but it was no life changing lesson in my opinion. However, we are seperated, so maybe our mind-sets are different....more info
  • Perfect for all couples
    We've given this book to 4 people in the last two is a great read and will give you and your partner a true understanding of the reasons we all do what we do. I highly recommend it for couples in crises and couples who want a closer relationship....more info
  • An excelent understanding of why we love who we love
    If you suspect that you have a part in both your dreams and nightmares in your relationship, then this book will help you to understand how you dance the dance of relationship. Practical and simple....more info
  • Changed our relationship
    If you are willing to make the committment and want a more fulfilling and meaningful relationship with your partner, this is definitely an excellent guide, but both partners would need to be as committed as the other to wanting to make the relationship work. ...more info
  • Great couples guide and reference book
    I offer retreats in Sedona, Arizona and am also author of Love's Secret, also a relationship guide for couples. Getting the love you want is an excellent guide for couples and we have it listed on our required reading list for couples. It offers easy to follow tools and advice for couples to get the love they want and deserve....more info
  • Very good book for beginners
    This book provides people with an understanding of where their difficulties may stem from and includes a section of the book with actual exercises for couples to do over a period of time to improve their relationship.

    Hendrix's extensive experience of working with couples and helping people shines through his writing and helps the reader to feel at ease.
    I Love You. Now What?: Falling in Love is a Mystery, Keeping It Isn't...more info
  • Helpful and Insightful
    Be prepared for a lot of explanation in the first few chapters of this book. I was almost deterred by this, but so glad I continued reading. Hendrix offers a lot of insightful information and helpful tactics in chapters that follow the explanations at the beginning. This helped me and in turn, helped me preserve a good relationship.
    Hendrix explains things in an intelligent, though easy-to-understand way and gives the reader hope.

    Highly recommended!...more info
  • 4 Moms
    This book was for my mother. She says, It was helpful in her relationship....more info
  • Love this book
    This is just one of the best book I've ever read. Full of insights, and if applied it can really change your life.

    Highly recommend it!...more info
  • Repairing Your Relationship (and Your Childhood)
    Before counselor Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. teaches you how to improve your relationship, he asks you to think about why you were attracted to your partner in the first place. The answer, he explains, is that you were looking for a mate who possesses the same basic qualities as your parents. Why? Because people subconsciously seek relationships with those who will exorcise their childhood pain. Unfortunately, most people tend to reopen - as opposed to healing - these wounds in their adult liaisons, leading to the "power struggle" that ensues in many relationships. Hendrix and his wife, Dr. Helen Lakelly Hunt, say that the way out of this destructive cycle is to practice the tenants of "Imago Relationship Therapy," which they created. Their therapeutic approach includes making a true, lifelong commitment, treating each other in a loving manner, learning how to communicate constructively and eliminating negativity from your relationship. You may well find some benefits in the Imago approach even if you don't fully buy Hendrix's basic parent-seeking premise. The authors have trained some 2,000 therapists to use this approach, although Part III offers solid exercises you can do yourself. If you are seeking a relationship self-help book that discusses how to avoid getting hurt, how to deepen your communication and how to build a long-term connection, getAbstract recommends this bestseller. ...more info
  • Communication is key
    A wonderful book with great communication as key to keeping the love in a relationship. Also a nice read. ...more info
  • Must-read for anyone considering marriage
    I got this book at church and highly recommend it. Hendrix delves into the mysteries of relationships and marriage with a practical look at why some work while others don't. I was prepared to reject this book as yet another shallow-self aid for couples but lost all skepticism within the very first chapter. Hendrix's advice is all the more personal because he discusses his own failed marriage frankly and it's clear that he can sympathize with the pain some couples face because he's been there himself.

    If you're a person who avoids professional counseling because you can't relate to a "pro" who clearly hasn't had a single bad thing happen in his own life or marriage, then this book is DEFINITELY for you. I found the chapters on dealing with the
    baggage of abusive relationships both invaluable and compassionate. Highly recommend this book to anyone who needs help, and I hope more churches, like mine, use it as a resource because it speaks to REAL PEOPLE....more info
  • Excellent self help book
    Although the book title indicates it is for couples, I read it as a single person and felt I got just as much out of it. It is a self discovery ride of epic proportions with realizations out the wazoo!
    ...more info
  • A practical and highly efficient guide to couple's problems
    This book is changing my life and my marriage. It's deep but easy to read. The exercises are efficient (even though I'm doing them alone). It's helping me understand the hidden expectations I have of my partner and glimpse his expectations of me. ...more info
  • Wow! I'm blown away by this book!
    After being repeatedly amazed by the contents of his other book, Keeping the Love You Find, I finally decided to read Dr. Hendrix's book for couples. As a single individual, I was utterly impressed by the author's discoveries about relationships, which was backed up by data from science and psychology. I couldn't put the book down! This is a must read for singles and couples alike. For singles, this book contains treasures that would prepare us for dating and relationships. The only condition this book requests from us is that we should have the willingness and motivation to grow and change to better ourselves, our partners and our relationships. We should be courageous enough to rise above our conditioning and discomfort and try new behaviors that would ultimately bring forth spiritual growth. This book will provide you with wonderful insights about relationships and specific strategies that would help facilitate growth. Thank you Dr. Hendrix for sharing your wisdom. This is the best relationships book around!

    ...more info
  • Open Communication
    Couples will benefit from reading this book together. You'll learn how to relate to each other and communicate better.
    ...more info
  • Had some useful info
    A lot of good stuff in here to offer some help, but nothing magical.
    Not a chore to read however like many books on the subject.
    For a few things I did get from it that helped my life I would call it a good purchase and it deserves 4 stars....more info
  • Makes a lot of sense, very helpful
    I bought this book on the recommendation of several friends and I believe it answers a lot of questions about relationships. The premise is that we try to re-create our childhood traumas with the people we choose to love today in an effort to heal ourselves. This is old information but, this book tells you what you can do about this situation instead of just making you aware of it. This explains why some people tell you they love you just the way you are when you first fall in love and then they do every thing possible to try and change you or complain about they way you are once you get into a relationship with them. Or vice versa, you think who you choose to love is perfect and then slowly you become dissatisfied and upset with them. They really are perfect for you, they present the perfect opportunity for you to heal (the book tells you how) ...more info
  • excellent information
    This is a great book and it contains excellent information to bring a relationship back to a healthy one, but it won't work unless both are willing to read the book and work on the relationship. Another book that has a more gentle approach, but is just as direct touching sensitive areas of one's life, and I highly recommend this book....more info


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