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It's (Mostly) His Fault: For Women Who Are Fed Up and the Men Who Love Them Hardcover – March 20, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime couples therapist Alter stops short of promising women who ask their husbands to read his guide that "he'll read it, and like it, and get it, and change, and then things'll get a lot better in your marriage," knowing from his 22 years as a counselor that his intended audience-boneheaded husbands-won't change if they don't want to, but those who do could do much worse than to take Alter's advice. Alter holds husbands accountable for many problems that plague marriages and relates to his male clients in a tough manner that sometimes angers them. The most useful guidance is a suggested "Move" at the end of each chapter, an overture husbands can make to improve at everything from listening to their wives, appreciating their wives' anger and understanding their own sexuality (read: "Please touch it."). Though some "Moves" are less helpful than others (he simply recommends husbands with addictions to alcohol, drugs, or pornography "break all your consuming relationships with substances and behaviors"), most are small, yet meaningful, and worth giving a shot before looking for a divorce attorney.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Alter is a practicing psychologists.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition first Printing edition (March 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446577774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446577779
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We have read SO many books on relationships, mostly Christian books. This one, while written by a secular psychologist, has some biblical parallels and a LOT of wisdom. Alter's writing style is fun and engaging. I bought it to read, my husband stole it from me. We've bought several copies to give away. It's a GREAT book.
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Format: Hardcover
Male-53-Second marriage-children from both, etc. Wow, I read the book and it all makes sense to me. Men do not need to throw gasoline on the fire or even where a fire could erupt. If men forcus on what they really want from their relationship with their wives - a peaceful homelife with a romantically charged woman, this book provides a path. Are women angels, no. Can men help them fell safe enough to be angelic, yes. Read it - Try it for 30 days. If you do not feel better about your wife and she you, then.....
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Format: Hardcover
Have been psychotherapist seeing couples for many years. Often man in heterosexual couple is so defensive about change and threatened by the possibility of responding to his female partner's reasonable requests that he "shuts down" and withdraws from the give and take of a relationship. At times, therapy takes much longer to be successful because of time spent reassuring the man that he will not be wounded if he lets go of some of his defensiveness. What a tragedy because at times when he "gets it", it is too little to late and the relationship is beyond repair. Will use this book at times in my work. Thank goodness the author is a guy! Hopefully men will be more likely to listen to the book's sound message.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't "do" relationship books, but the title snagged me. Being a woman who is married to a man, I HAD to chuckle, so I picked it up and read the jacket, expecting a man-bashing book and the usual relationship blather. Definitely not what this book is about.

I was so intrigued that I bought the book, took it home and read it straight through, every word. I couldn't put it down! I howled with laughter, bawled like a baby and came away absolutely amazed. There is a man out there who actually "get's it"! And he explains it to other men in such a way that they may actually "get it!"

Well written and straight to the point, Alter uses a conversational tone, humor and examples from his own life and from the lives of couples he's counseled over 30 years to de-mystify marriage and the whole man-woman thing.

I gave the book to my husband with instructions to read every word. For the first time in 23 years, I have hope that he may finally "get it", and actually "get" me!
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Format: Hardcover
As a psychologist who has treated couples for over 25 years, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ways to engage my clients. Robert Alter's book is terrific. This book invites men to take a look at how our socialization contributes to how we go about getting our needs met and it offers a better way. It's not about blame. His ideas are provocative but ultimately very compassionate for both men and women. I agree with previous writers that the book is not appropriate when clinical mental illness is involved, but for most couples, it can be a great tool enhancing dialogue and intimacy.
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Format: Hardcover
The author's emphatic style was initially off putting and took some time to get used to. Once I settled in I was offered a lot of great ideas to stop being an ***hole in my relationship (his word, not mine). I used some of them and they worked. The only problem was the gal I was with couldn't do her part and well that's the problem with the book. He's too gentle with the women. His point that guys need a stern talking to is well taken, and he says women are to be excused for being angry and upset after hundreds of millennia of abuse. I say hooee. I understand that they understandably disgruntled, but I do not want to pay for it everyday, when I'm a pretty nice guy, especially when I'm making special efforts to show it. He assumes that women will respond to good treatment. He hasn't met my borderline girlfriend. In this respect it was perfect. Once I took his message to heart and practiced his "moves", I could see how hopeless my relationship was and developed the moxy to leave it. He needs to write another book for women called "Get over yourself and appreciate the guy who loves you and is trying so hard to be what you want him to be ( if you only knew what that was)."
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Format: Hardcover
The good news is that unlike many books written on relationships, "It's (Mostly) His Fault" has a nominal target audience of men, not women. The bad news is that unlike most relationship books, the advice is so laughably bad that it's everything critics worried about "Surrendered Wife" for men without the redeeming message that book sends to women to stand up for themselves on the things that really matter. Despite periodic insights into making some relationships work that almost was worth a second star, unless you want Stuart Smalley as a partner this isn't worth a read. One star.

Apparently Mr. Alter has had a longstanding marriage counseling practice even if his training is both informal and untraditional, and so part of his foundation makes sense: to be a good partner and to be in his words a "grownup", the male needs to take responsibility for his own actions and work with their partner to make things better. As you'd expect from a counselor, he focuses on improving communication and in this some of his tips aren't half bad. While his basic understanding of the sexes appears somewhat flawed ("women aren't competitive" was one of the better laughs of the book) he has heard them talk to each other. He points out how critical it is to listen to a woman, tips to keep her talking, and that women need to stand up for their needs. Along with men needing to get in touch with their emotions and treat their wives generally better than a food-preparing sex machine, that's good advice.

Where Alter goes wrong is that apparently he had an eyeopening experience regarding the sacrifice of firefighters and policemen on 9/11, and decided to apply it to his practice when it came to working with selfish men.
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