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on January 26, 1998
I am a man, and this review is for other men. I'm going to figure that you are looking for a book on relationships because you are having problems with your own relationship. As a man, you are probably goal oriented and practical - you have a problem, you are looking for solutions, and maybe a book will help. There are lots of books out there - which to pick? Susan Page's book is valuable, and I do recommend it. There is quite a lot of useful information here, and lots to think about. Expect to spend some time with this book. She takes a highly behavioral approach - you are asked to first believe that your relationship will work, and to act loving toward your partner. If you change your beliefs and behaviors, she maintains, then you will see your relationship flourish and the feelings between you and your partner will grow. If your orientation is different - for example, if you believe that it's more important to search for and heal the underlying childhood wounds that cause you to think, feel, and behave in the ways you do - then you may not be happy with this book. My advice to you, however, is that you NOT read this book first. I'm not convinced that there is one book out there that will give you everything you need to know to "fix" things, or at least I haven't found it. I have a thick skull, and it has taken reading several things for these ideas to start to penetrate. I think you will have an easier time understanding and accepting what Susan Page is saying if you read a few other things first. Here are some other books you might wish to search for also: (1) "Communication Miracles for Couples," by Jonathan Robinson - this book is very short and accessible, and you will find some of the same ideas. After you start to understand some of this stuff, I think you will have an easier time working through Susan Page's book, which is much more detailed. (2)If you are heterosexual, I think you may find it helpful to read something about the differences between men and women. You don't have to buy into all of it, but the girls probably do think differently than us, and it will get you thinking. So consider John Gray's "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." Along a similar vein, and an absolute bargain at only about $5, is the book "Light Her Fire" by Ellen Kreidman, which is extremely practical. Happy reading, and good luck!
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on December 29, 2001
Like everyone else says, this is a tremendous book, and it is by far the best and wisest book I've ever read on relationships, and I've read more than a few. It is much better than couples therapy and provides immediate results and feedback.
The book empowers readers to improve their relationships without having to persuade their spouse to be involved at all - the spouse's behavior changes without effort when you apply the principles in this book.
The book is especially useful for people who feel like the problems in their relationship are all their partner's fault, or who spend a lot of energy being angry about their partner's behavior and failure to meet their needs, or who feel like their partner has all the power. Reading this book causes a complete mind shift, and even if you don't put everything into practice (which takes some self-control and a willingness to change your own behavior), your attitude will be greatly improved and your outlook more positive on your relationship.
When I read this book, I found myself astonished at its obvious good sense and the fact that no one else has written anything like it.
Buy it and read it!
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on March 14, 2001 completely changed my outlook on so many issues I had been struggling with. Other relationship books try to teach you how to fix specific problems- and every relationship has different problems and circumstances. This book teaches you how to view your problem in a different way (regardless of what the problem is) which will ultimately stop the pattern that is creating the arguement in the first place. It is like no other book that i have read. I had a hard time getting past the idea of taking on all the work and responsibilty of "doing it by myself", but you really arent- your new actions will create changes within your partner-kinda like he/she is working on it too and making changes without even knowing it. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I am not usually into doing the "excercises" but some of the results I found were amazing (and instant).
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on October 7, 2002
I am presently separated after 37 years of marriage- we both said we needed some space. I have spent years in therapy because I was told it was "my fault". I am a pleaser and I am married to someone who refuses accountability. I have read many books on "helping marriages" and communication. This book is different. I am about to send it to my husband and ask him to read it- at least chapters 7 and 8, if he cant read anything else. This book is intimate and an easy and comprehensible read- it makes you see how you can change circumstances and you don't feel as if this is a burden- it is simply a way of life. I found out alot about myself in this book and I accepted myself as doing the best that I can. I also accepted my husband from an entirely new point of view. I gave us permission to be who we are and accepted that. I don't mean to make it sound easy- but actually it is- and it will change you yourself and make you care for yourself. It affirms good will and loving intentions- even though we may interpret it differently. Read this- and make your life different- and your relationship understandable. If you have been married a year or 37 years like me- and there is a thread of love there- READ THIS BOOK!
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on January 3, 2002
First of all, Susan Page is a good writer. She's fun to read. She doesn't condescend, she doesn't oversimplify, she doesn't use examples that sound like they come straight off the Jerry Springer show. Unlike a lot of self-help books, this one won't insult your intelligence.
Second of all, Susan Page knows what she's talking about. She may not have a whole new way of looking at relationships -- let's face it, there are only so many variations on that theme -- but she's got a way of putting it all together that's not only smart, but wise.
How do I know? After about a year and a half of barely speaking to someone I wanted to be close to, I read this book and started doing some of the suggested "experiments." And what do you know? It only took a few weeks before our problems started to recede and our pleasure in each other increased. And now -- okay, things aren't perfect, but they're very very nice indeed.
Besides, if you're buying this book because you're unhappy with the way things are right now, what have you got to lose?
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An action leads to a reaction. A reaction then leads to another action. Many relationships get suck quickly into the sinking sand, before you know it, it is over!

Our marriage was just like that! I've seeked help- clinical psychiatrist, marriage counselor, and read enough books on building relationships. No "improvements" seem to last!

I came across this book right around the time when i decided our marriage is over. I thought, one more book, what have I got to lose?

I have to admit it as NOT easy to "act loving towards your spouse" when it felt like there's no love left in the relatioinship. There were times that I felt like screaming and throw in the towels. " I don't have to put up with this!" came to my mind often. But if you persist and use Susan's guidelines, your new behavior/action will lead to new and different reaction. Slowly things does improve.

Our marriage is far from "smooth sailing", but we are no longer hostile towards each other and I can see us growing old together. BTW, my husband has never read the book! He does not think he has any problem! (Yea, right!) This book offers some interesting views on how you can work on improving your relationship even if your other half is not totally cooperating. Some changes are simply contagious.

Beware, you must change yourself first!
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on April 21, 1999
I cannot say enough about this book. It opened my eyes in so many ways to the things I could positively do to work on our relationship without my husband. He does not believe in marriage counseling. I recommend this book highly if you need help, but the other person does not want counseling. Susan Page knew what I was thinking throughout this book. I could not believe that someone had put this on paper so well!
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on April 28, 1999
Really. Page is a voice of sanity! Her advice, tips, and rationale for changing one's own behavior and attitude to improve relationships is great. And, she frames changes in the context of getting what you want out of relationships, which provides tremendous motivation for making them. I feel like it puts me in control of creating a win-win situation. This has the uncanny effect of feeding my ego while I'm learning to let go of it (and being right) at the same time. It's an exquisite balance. And, the quality of my intimate relationship has improved, as advertized. I hope she's making a lot of money, because it's priceless information.
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on March 15, 2004
When you really look at them, most advice books for couples spend most of their pages telling you how much YOU contribute to the issues and problems in your relationship. Page's title comes right out and says what the titles of other "couples" books don't: Improvement starts with YOU!! Inside the book, she immediately starts giving you practical ways of improving your relationship. Her "experiments" are useful and effective. Also, it's written in a clear and accessible style. This book empowers you with the skills you need to improve any relationship, so anyone would find this book useful.
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on December 21, 2005
I wish I'd had this book when my first marriage ran into trouble. My counselor at that time told me the marriage could be saved only if both persons were willing to work on it and that one person could not save it alone.

The focus of this book is on developing fresh perspectives about the relationship, overcoming resentment, recapturing lost intimacy and solving major problems, one at a time. Don't give up without first trying these techniques.
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