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168 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the Best Book on Relationship Communication!!!
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...
Published on April 25, 2005 by CPG in CA

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts from the wrong assumptions
I appreciate the thoughtfulness and positiveness of many of the other reviews. But I have to say, my view of this book is different. I suppose this comes from my own experience, contrasted with the basic assumptions of Notarius. His book deals with the harmful thought patterns that govern (and can eventually destroy) our relationships. I guess where I take issue with him...
Published on May 2, 2012 by Jaime Andrews


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168 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the Best Book on Relationship Communication!!!, April 25, 2005
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (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. Either way, I'm going to implement what I've learned into my own every day life. Because, if things don't work out with my husband, I need to be a healthier partner for any future relationships...and I need to be healthier for ME. I do have to say though, that reading this book has given me real hope that my marriage can be saved. Sadly, it shows me how unnecessary a lot of our pain has been. Every therapist tells you to talk about it but no one ever teaches you HOW to talk about it. You will be amazed how much HOW you talk is really what's going on in your relationship conflicts.

Every couple should have to read and discuss this book before they are allowed to get married. In fact, I may make this book my standard wedding gift from now on. In the end, where did all of those china place-settings ever get anyone? This book would be a real gift! I can not recommend this book more highly. If you are searching for books on this subject, than you need this book. Buy it now. Read it with an open heart. Share it with your mate. Good luck.

(Also, another great book to read to just better understand the many dynamics of all communication is Messages by McKay, Davis & Fanning...this book was also very helpful and I recommend it as a companion to We Can Work It Out. If you are dealing with an affair, "Not Just Friends" was the best of the several I read. That one deals with emotional affairs (which was my situation), not just sexual affairs.)
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89 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read for anyone in a relationship., August 27, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Research-proven approach to resolving conflict, March 23, 2001
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This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for learning to communicate, September 2, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Couples Issues: We Can Work It Out, November 28, 2005
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (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. The authors frequently refers to their findings and writing in the early 1990's. However, the lessons here are in no way obsolete. The findings of We Can Work It Out remain just as accurate, relevant, and current as they were when they were first printed.

This book provides you with a useable, optimistic, and realistic management approach for dealing with the issues troubling your relationship. It provides a levelheaded, sensible way to find your way back to the happiness you were once able to enjoy when your relationship was better fulfilling your needs.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It has changed me!, May 5, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (Paperback)
My husband and I have never been very good communicators. I get frustrated because he is the type of person to hold things in and although I am not as bad, I have a tendency to do this as well. But once there is a serious issue on the table I am ready to talk. By then he is totally closed off. This makes me angry and frustrated. This book has really helped me with my anger and frustration and has shown me better ways to deal with issues. I highly recommend it!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I Didn't Learn In College, November 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (Paperback)
Out of desperation, I pulled this book out of my closet when my boyfriend and I started arguing uncontrollably at the two-year mark of our relationship. When I bought this book, it was for a course I took in Psychology at the Catholic University of America, not surprisingly. Dr. Notarius is a professor there. At the time, I was busy sailing through college without reading most of the required reading, and I didn't bother to read this book either. I am so sorry that I didn't! It has been such a big help to us, not only in communication but also in finding out what is motiving our relationship anger. It has been a real eye-opener and a great tool we have used to "stop the fighting!" as we call it. We know our relationship is heading towards marriage, and we both want to work this out now so we know we can have a happy future together later. While this book is focused mainly on married couples, it applies to all other couples as well - as long as they are committed to each other. So don't be scared off by the title!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for all, March 15, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (Paperback)
Simple solutions based on actual research. Amazing! Gives insight into communication between any two people regardless of their relationship. (The rules of politeness are ones we should all use more often with everyone.) Contains a lot of information in just a few hundred pages, so you get your money's worth.
Purchase if you want to do any of the following:
(1) assess your relationship and evaluate your happiness
(2) determine where you may be going wrong in your relationship and why
(3) find useful ways to improve happiness, communication and intimacy in your relationship.
For more high-yield information about relationships and improving them I also recommend Make Up, Don't Break Up by Bonnie Eaker Weil and How One of You Can Bring The Two of You Together by Susan Page
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book!, December 21, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (Paperback)
This book has changed my life! It was a very emotional read for me, I read so many examples of relationship communication problems I had throughout my life. I closed up or withdrew when relationship problems surfaced. I was afraid to talk and held everything inside. The book explains communication difficulties, it tells you how to effectively work through them and also how to prevent it from happening in the future. The book relates to any relationship you're in, whether you're married or dating. I wish I found this book years ago, I didn't seek help until it was too late. I recently dated someone for a little over two years, we broke up once and got back together, but we had the same problems, poor communication. If I knew about this book sooner, I know my outcome would have changed! Don't make the same mistake I did and think it'll get better, read this book now to become a better person and learn how to effectively communicate with your mate.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a help!, January 24, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other (Paperback)
Finally! Simple solutions to every-day communication problems. This book helped my husband and me become even happier with our marrage. We have been married 10 years, and we learned things from this book that we will help make the next 10 years even better! Thank you, Doctors, for a wonderful, helpful book.
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We Can Work It Out: How to Solve Conflicts, Save Your Marriage, and Strengthen Your Love for Each Other
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