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We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other Paperback – October 1, 1994


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We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other + Why Can't You Read My Mind? Overcoming the 9 Toxic Thought Patterns that Get in the Way of a Loving Relationship + Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; Reprint edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399521372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399521379
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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168 of 169 people found the following review helpful By CPG in CA on April 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
My husband and I separated after years and years of the same problems that we couldn't resolve. Realizing that perhaps it's not just what we are saying to each other but HOW we are saying it, I bought 6 books on communication. This was hands down the best one.

The first part of this book is a little slow, as it deals with research on couples and commonalities among happy and unhappy couples, blah, blah, blah. The 2nd and 3rd part of the book are the real meat of it. This book is excellent at not only helping you identfy the dysfunctional communication patterns you and your partner use, but also to determine WHY you use them. Most importantly, once you understand what NOT to do, this book tells you exactly what to DO in order to have successful communications with your partner. This book was an absolute eye-opener and my perception of my husband and his perspective has done a complete 180.

Now don't get me wrong, this book isn't going to do the work for you. You still have to commit to being open-minded enough to see YOUR faults in communication, not just be looking for everything wrong with your mate. However, I did see a lot of my mate in this book but instead of giving me ammo against him, this book really helped me understand him better. Also, this plan will be work. Changing old habits is ALWAYS hard work. But, my gosh...isn't it worth it? I can't stress enough though the importance of taking a hard look at yourself first. You have to be willing to consider that your partner has been just as hurt in your relationship as you have...and that you have caused as much destruction as you feel your partner has caused.

I have asked my husband to read the book. I don't know if he will. If he does, this book may very well save our marriage.
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89 of 93 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
The usefulness of the advice in this book surpasses that of virtually any "self-help" book on the market. As a psychologist in practice for over 20 years, I have never before encountered such a valuable resource, both professionally and personally. The writing is succinct and full of several examples of each idea presented. If ever there was a relationship "handbook", this is it. Moreover, the information presented has a strong research base, and the efficacy of the recommended strategies has been proven. I can't recommend this book highly enough. You will not even find anything this good in a therapist.
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Michael McNett, MD on March 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
The key to this book is that these aren't just some college professors with their feet on the desk and a pencil in their mouths coming up with some theory about how marriages should work. These are researchers who have observed relationships that do and don't work and have summarized the differences in them - specifically, that happy, healthy relationships are those where conflict is resolved in a constructive way. They then go on to detail exactly how that occurs. This lends an air of credibility to a field where it is sorely needed.
I have found this book extremely helpful in my own life, and I have recommended it to many, many people; both friends and patients. It's by far the best book on how to make a relationship successful that I've ever found.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Not a bunch of fluff, nor "getting in touch with the inner child". Solid, realistic and fair. This is the first resource to actually work for my marriage. After several rounds of live counseling, we had almost given up, but this book reassured us both of the fact that conflict is very common and can be resolved, appropriately. We have learned many new skills and how to apply them to our marriage.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Alan Stafford on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is based upon an innovative, revolutionary twenty-year study. It is a simple-to-understand and clearly-worded guide that provides you with straightforward, scientifically demonstrated techniques that can help you make your relationship work.

At the heart of the concepts presented by authors Clifford Notarius, Ph.D., and Howard Markman, Ph.D., is their "Better Talk" program. This program is unique among communication improvement practices. Better Talk builds upon the foundation set up in the introduction of the book. It permits couples to understand how to communicate using respect and shared understanding, especially when having conversations of a problem-solving nature. Instead of arguing with one another, couples discover how to work together to tackle their problems. Couples learn how to work on the same team, and to use constructive interaction instead of anger.

What truly stands out about this book is that instead of focusing on what makes a relationship fail, We Can Work It Out instead looks at what makes a couple succeed. To determine what the key elements of successful relationships actually are, the authors dedicated 20 years to studying relationships and what makes them work. Their key finding: A happy and successful relationship is based upon the couple's capacity to work through their differences, not actually on the individuals themselves.

By using diagnostic questionnaires, examples, and easy-to-understand explanations, We Can Work It Out very practically and realistically helps you to identify your problem areas and patterns, and to use the techniques outlined in the book in your own unique situation and relationship.

Though this book does tend to feel as though it is dating itself on occasion.
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