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Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Committment and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment Paperback – January 1, 1992

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Editorial Reviews


"I  consider Gay and Kathlyn to be my teachers. I  encourage you to buy this book and use it to the  hilt."-John Bradshaw.

"Gay and  Kathlyn's book offers invaluable insights into the  real workings of making a lasting, breakthrough  commitment."--Bonnie Raitt, singer-songwriter

From the Publisher

"Here is a powerful new program that can clear away the unconscious agreements patterns that undermine even your best intentions. Through their own marriage and through twenty years' experience counseling more than one thousand couples, therapists Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks have developed precise strategies to help you create a vital partnership and enhance the energy, creativity, and happiness of each individual. You will learn how to: Let go of power struggles and need for control; Balance needs for closeness and separateness; Increase intimacy by telling the "microscopic truth"; Communicate in a positive way that stops arguments; Make agreements you can keep; Allow more pleasure into your life. Addressed to individuals as well as to couples, Conscious Loving will heal old hurts and deepen your capacity for enjoyment, security, and enduing love. "I consider Gay and Kathlyn to be my teachers. I encourage you to buy this book and use it to the hilt."-John Bradshaw.

"Gay and Kathlyn's book offers invaluable insights into the real workings of making a lasting, breakthrough commitment."--Bonnie Raitt, singer-songwriter


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (February 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553354116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553354119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on January 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books is an incredible resource for modern couples who wish to establish and maintain a meaningful relationship. It is not filled with pop psychology "quick fix" solutions, but pragmatic advice that nurtures equality, respect, love and co-creation of a beautiful context for relationship.

Three of the main premises of this book is the observation that successful couples tend to: 1) Feel all of their feelings; 2) Speak all of their truth; and 3) Honor all of their agreements. This is a simple formula, but as a psychology professional who talks to a lot of people I have found it to be effective, but difficult for many people in practice. Nonetheless, I agree with the authors that a healthy relationship is impossible without this foundation and I think the authors are correct to stress these points.

I also like the discussion on withholding (lying by omission) and how this leads to eventual withdrawal and projection. This is not something most people like to look at, but a lot of problems are created by resentment that flows from unexpressed feelings and needs. This often gets unconsciously projected onto the partner or others and ultimately undermines the relationship. I give the author's credit for facing this dynamic squarely.

The next section of the book talks about the nine traps of unconscious loving. This basically points out commonly occurring patterns in relationships that result from unconscious projection or being run by our internalized psychological scripts from childhood. It is useful because it will help you to identify unhealthy patterns in your relationship that may be unconscious. The invitation here is to uncover and examine dysfunctional beliefs that may be running you without your awareness.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Zinta Aistars on October 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No, nothing new. Which is precisely what makes this so good. This is the stuff of time-tested common sense, the stuff of that inner voice of wisdom, the one that is always trying to steer you in the right direction, even as you kick and scream and resist, intent on remaining on the old path of repeated and repeated and repeated cycles. We repeat them until we learn the lesson. Resolve the dilemma. Solve the puzzle.

If the Hendricks message is to be boiled down to one catch-phrase, it would simply be: "wake up." It is not so much about change, as it is about living with our eyes open, fully aware (conscious) of why we do what we do, how we feel while we are doing it, and which way we will go next. Instead of moving through a fog, we instead make conscious choices.

If we can add one concept to that catch-phrase, it would be the concept of accountability. Relationships, and not just romantic ones, tend to bog down most when we get busy issuing blame and pointing fingers. Hendricks proposes that we are all, each and every one of us, to be held accountable for our own lives. No victims, no martyrs. And co-dependents, out with you. A satisfying relationship is one that takes place between two people who make a 100 percent (each) commitment (nothing less will do or failure has room to enter) to themselves and to each other. It begins with a promise to be authentic to ourselves and to always tell what Hendricks calls "the microscopic truth." Our lives are what we make them. And if we don't like our lives, well, it is up to each of us to make the necessary changes. We must be honest with ourselves above all, but we must respect our mates with utmost honesty as well. It is the only solid building block that holds up a strong and satisfying relationship.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Randy Dillon on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read and re-read this book and have found it to be the best book on building & healing relationship I have seen. Clearly distinguishes the subtle ways we sabatoge our relationships, then sets forth a clear new paradigm of being conscious creators with powerfully concieved steps and commitments, and excellent exercises for transforming oneself and others from victim to creator inside close relationships. Well organized, Conscious Loving is a stand-out contribution. Just the simple step of constantly "Claiming Creativity" has made a huge difference in my relationships.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
After two divorces, it took reading this book to uncover the destructive patterns which plagued those relationships. "Conscious Loving" helped illuminate the underlying causes of those patterns so that I could lovingly accept responsibility, AND make new choices. My partner and I have both read the book and find that we are healing old wounds, and experiencing the deep intimacy we'd always craved -- but had never before achieved. I highly recommend that you keep a journal while you read this book to capture the revelations that are sure to follow.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By on May 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book is good in talking about couple communication. They do a good job discussing principles in relationships as well as pitfalls/pitfall management. I think that their resolution of the intimacy/autonomy is correct, but I think that they oversimplify that dilemma itself. Only other problem that I have with the book is that they overemphasize parental influence and the need to go back to your past to solve unhealthy behavioral patterns. Their concept of "co-commitment" is interesting. What I find curious, though, is that they assume that it is simple to become "co-committed" and that couples are either co-committed or co-dependent (a little too black and white for me). If a couple has some unhealthy patterns, then that does not mean that they have a dysfunctional relationship (but according to them, the relationship would be dysfunctional). In their defense, I think they present extreme examples to emphasize their principles. They rightly promote the need for accepting responsibility for one's own actions but do not point out the impact of chemical imbalance and mood disorders.
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