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Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition Paperback – December 26, 2007

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Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition + Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide + Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide
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Editorial Reviews


"Hendrix provides much insight into how spouses can mature through one another."—Booklist

"Harville Hendrix offers the best program I've seen for using the love/hate energy in marriage to help a couple heal one another and to become whole together."—T. George Harris, Editor-in-Chief, American Health

"I know of no better guide for couples who genuinely desire a maturing relationship."—M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled
"Getting the Love You Want is a remarkable book—the most incisive and persuasive I have ever read on the knotty problems of marriage relationships."—Ann Roberts, former president, Rockefeller Family Fund

"Getting the Love You Want provides a road map for partners seeking a path to intimacy and passionate friendship."—Marion Solomon, Ph.D.

"This book will help any couple find the love they want hidden under all the concealing confusion of a close and intimate relationship. I have seen these principles in application and they work!"—James A. Hall, M.D.

Book Description

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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; Revised edition (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805087001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805087000
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (464 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., a clinical pastoral counselor and co-creator of Imago Relationship Therapy, has more than thirty-five years' experience as an educator, public lecturer, and couples' therapist.

Customer Reviews

This book is a guide to help couple keep love alive in their relationship.
Phoenix Rising
This book is great for couples that want to learn communication techniques that will better help their relationships.
Betty Prat
A very good book the information is helpful and timely, reading is easy to understand.
William Price

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

338 of 353 people found the following review helpful By SH in Tampa on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
The relationship/self-help book market is booming. When looking for one of these books you are presented with a bewildering array of "experts" and "specialists", each with their pet theories about where men and women come from or what "rules" you should apply to your relationship.
It is rare to find a book written by an author with solid academic credentials and years of clinical practice. This book is one such find.
The book is organized into three parts. In part I, Dr. Hendrix describes the type of relationships most of us have - "Unconscious Marriage". In this section, he details how our childhood experiences, self image and ideals of romantic love combine to create an unstated power struggle between spouses. Often many books stop at this point, assuming that the reader can now go forth and solve their problems. Fortunately Dr. Hendrix continues.
In the second part, he describes what a more fulfilling relationship might look like, the "Conscious Marriage". He describes how to begin with commitment, stop destructive exit patterns, creating a zone of safety, understanding yourself and your partner, how to begin real self growth and containing rage. He closes by providing two examples of marriages that have been transformed by applying these techniques. The exercises and approaches described by Dr. Hendrix are hard. His most meaningful techniques are not quick tricks but require a lot of introspection and self awareness. As he mentions in his book, many couples may require external assistance (we did). However, his techniques provides lasting changes in the way that you interact with your partner.
The final part of the book is a series of exercises that help drive how the major points in each chapter of the preceding two sections.
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232 of 250 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying I am not a self-help book devotee. That said, this book has revolutionized my relationship with my husband and taken it to a new level. BUT... I recommend this book for only those seriously committed to REALLY wanting an honest, soul-fully deep relationship. This is not a quick fix book full of easy answers. If you are looking for a book to tell you how to fix your partner or get them to be what you want them to be, don't buy this book.
To make the concepts in Getting The Love You Want work, it takes a tremendous amount of gut wrenchingly honest introsepction, humility, willingness to do things completely differently, and total selflessness. It's hard work.
But if you do what this book suggests, your life will be forever changed ... in all your relationships. This book has changed my life and enriched it beyond belief. I read the book - my husband didn't. Although he was not a proactive participant in the process, his life has been equally impacted and we are getting all we ever hoped for from each other.
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183 of 199 people found the following review helpful By Michael Beverly on April 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I told a pastor friend of mine a short time ago that I was ready to start pursuing a relationship again he recommend this book. When I noticed that it referred to itself as a guide to couples I thought maybe he'd made a mistake recommending it to me, however, as soon as I started getting into it I realized why he thought it'd be helpful to read even before I got into a relationship.

I'd recommend this book to both couples in crisis and those just trying to make things better as well as to any, like myself, that simply want to work on knowing ourselves better before getting into a relationship. It is also very helpful in being able to form insight into how others relate to us in a relationship, why they expect what they do and why we expect what we do.

Some of the author's insight into how childhood wounds effect us are very helpful in seeing how some of our personality gets formed and how those traits affect both our partners and ourselves. When two people start a relationship they both have expectations, conscious and subconscious, of what they expect the other person to do for them. Obviously in a healthy relationship both people are trying to love and give to the other person because giving and loving and being unselfish are traits we all recognize as being "good" and honourable and most healthy people desire to be good or Godly in some form or another.

What is not so obvious, and what I found most helpful in my reading of this book, is that people go into a relationship with the expectation that the other person will heal us where we were wounded and hurt as children. This unconscious desire to have our partners fill the need left behind by our less than perfect parents often is the cause of the ensuing battles and eventual breakdown of relationships.
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98 of 106 people found the following review helpful By NURsesRUN on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Two decades ago, while I was enduring the aftermath of a divorce, an acquaintance "tricked" me into reading this book. (That's an interesting story, but for another time.)

I had heard it said that unless we understand why we married our first spouse, we were almost certainly doomed to remarry the "same person". That I did NOT want to do. So, in order to avoid that dreadful prospect, I began reading this book.

At first I was appalled at Hendrix's explanation of why I had chosen my first wife. In fact, I was so offended (and frightened) by what he said, that I almost threw away the book. However, I was just desperate enough to keep reading. And, I am certainly thankful I did. By the end of the book, I was convinced Hendrix was absolutely right in his explanation of love (as a mental process) and why we choose whom we choose.

Twenty years later, I can testify that I am still indebted to this book. It has helped me avoid a number of HORRIBLE mistakes that I was initially inclined to make.

I would also advise anyone who will listen to read this book. Read it as if you're a single person, even if you're married. Read it if you want to understand why you make the decisions you make. Read it if you want to avoid multiple failures in relationships and all sorts of life-changing decisions.

As Solomon wrote: "The mind of the wise seeks knowledge. But the mouth of the fool feeds on folly." (Proverbs 15.14) This book might just be the first meal of wisdom you need.
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