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How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It Paperback – April 29, 2008

298 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“If you've ever told your spouse, ’I talk until I'm blue in the face,’ or ’It's in one ear and out the other,’ stop whatever you're doing and read this book immediately! You're about to discover why talking things out isn't always the best way to get through to your spouse or achieve more closeness and connection. More important, you'll learn exactly what you need to do today to truly transform your relationship forever.”

---Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, founder of and author of Divorce Busting and The Sex-Starved Marriage

About the Author

Patricia Love, Ed.D., is an acclaimed therapist and speaker and author of four books, including Hot Monogamy and The Truth About Love. She has appeared on Oprah and Today and on CNN, and has contributed to many magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Self.

Steven Stosny, Ph.D., is a therapist who specializes in men’s issues and has appeared on Oprah in two highly rated shows on men and marriage. He is the author of You Don't Have to Take It Anymore: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767923189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767923187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

403 of 418 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Merritt on October 29, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Honestly, this is probably a case of me buying the "wrong book" for my needs. I bought this based on the largely positive feedback. Upon reading, I discovered the book is largely directed to couples that have broken off communication altogether, are on the defensive with each other constantly, and are steps away from breaking it off. I gathered from the title that it would address communication barriers, certainly, which I believe men and women have between each other naturally. I just didn't realize the extent to which the author would build a case tying nearly everything wrong in a marriage back to the male's need for unabashed acceptance and glorification (i.e. not being shamed) and the female need for security.

I DO actually agree with the author that, in general, these are traits of the genders, accordingly. I just feel the book oversimplifies and generalizes things a bit too much. It paints men as neanderthals, unable (biologically) to communicate, while women are all incessant naggers and nit pickers.

In my own relationship, this simply isn't the case. No relationship is perfect, and certainly my marriage is far from it, but I (the husband) am quite often the instigator of relationship talk. She seldom nags, we do tell each other we love one another regularly, and there is a general respect and kindness in our home.

We certainly could use improvement in many areas, which I hoped to find in this book. Instead, by far and large, I found a certainly well developed case that shame and fear are at the core of nearly every relational challenge.

The book did have a few high points for me, which will make the $10 Kindle download pay itself back fairly quickly.
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313 of 325 people found the following review helpful By Elenor on February 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband (of nine years) and I are having trouble, and despite a couple of visits over the years to a therapist we both respect and like, we may be heading toward a divorce (his choice). I began reading this book, and then began reading it out loud to him. (I always read to him while he drives us to and from work; we've gotten through many, many history and philosophy books, and the very occasional marriage and intersex relations books.)

When I would ask if I should continue reading, he always said yes. (!) He was surprised and disappointed when I reached the end of the book. This book explains SO much about the conflicting ways we see things, and each other! Especially this, from page 196:


The Compassion Paradox: If Available Whenever Needed, It's Rarely Needed

Research shows that when people - men and women - feel secure that compassion and support will be there if they need it, they are far more independent. Worry that it won't be available when needed creates a deprivation mentality. You can think of deprivation mentality the following way. If you haven't eaten for over a week, are you likely to hold out for a gourmet dinner and eat it with your napkin in place and cut up your food carefully? Or will you shovel whatever food you can get into your mouth as fast as you can? You're likely to resemble a hungry wolf more than a well-mannered diner. Well, the last thing you want is for your partner to be as hungry as a wolf for emotional support. That will make her think about her emotional needs all the time and want more and more attention, until it seems to you that she can never get enough. The trick is applying preventive compassion in small doses, so that she knows it will always be there when she needs it.
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207 of 222 people found the following review helpful By A Reader... on February 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've never written a review, but five minutes after finishing this book I was logging on to Amazon to give some honest feedback to the potential shoppers out there wondering if this book is worth the money. First off, I'll let you know that it was WORTH EVERY PENNY (and I actually went out in the snow to get it at full price from a B&N bookstore in the middle of the night). This book puts into words exactly what I've been unable to express for the past 5 years of marriage. It describes not only what I've been feeling, it describes what my wife has been trying to get through to me, why I felt how I did, why my wife responded how she did, everything. I have a handful of relationship books from a variety of different authors, and none of the other ones were as useful or powerful as this one. The book doesn't just throw out a few "answers" and treat them as though they're intuitive facts. Instead it goes into supportive information for these simple "truths" that have elements that are physiological, psychological, biological, sociological, (and a few other -logicals to boot). I found it interesting to read about real life anecdotes, historical anthroplogical findings, and chemical brain reactions all on the same page.

The main idea of the book is to show how women are hypersensitive to Fear, Isolation, & Deprivation, and men are hypersensitive to Shame & Dread of Failure. When I actually sat back and thought about it I realized that almost all of my negative emotions can be traced back to either Shame or the Dread of Failure, and most of my wife's emotions fell into one of her F/I/D categories as well. This bit of information alone was useful and worth the the price.
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