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137 of 145 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2007
I got this book right when I discovered my husband was having an affair with a coworker. I was pregnant and taking care of two toddlers, and totally devastated as I went through the nightmare of shock and grief that infidelity causes. I started out clinging to my husband, begging him to come to his senses. Then I got this book, and immediately told him he was free to go. It took tremendous pressure off, but it was excruciating to really let him go at a time I desperately needed him. The hardest part was just getting through the denial stage. it takes so long to actually come to grips that your spouse is so far gone. But once I did that I was able to put Dobson's advice to work. That was six gruelling months ago, and I have just found Michele Weiner Davis' book, The Divorce Remedy, which I WISH I had known about from the beginning. She isn't christian, but her philosophy is near identical to Dobson's. She takes you through a very emotion stabilizing, proactive, productive journey at a time when you feel totally powerless. Her book is about finding solutions that work; Dobson's is more about just the 'tough love' philosophy, with christian sensibilities.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to me you will find both books incredibly inspiring and encouraging. All I can say is that the more self respect and detachment I can muster up, the more my husband seems interested in sticking around. The more I cling, the farther away he goes. I have now experienced this phenomenon repeatedly over the months. Every time I am tough, it gets my husband's attention. I have made some big mistakes, and had some triumphs. I am still trying to wait out my husband's mid life crisis, and I am learning so much about respecting myself while I do so.
If you are neither comfortable with filing divorce, or being a doormat, you will find lots of excellent advice here.
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143 of 153 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2005
Dr. Dobson is 100% correct in his methods. It IS guidance by the Lord. Showing TOUGH LOVE is the only way to help someone you love. Be it your spouse, a child or a relative. The methods in this book are not tricks. They delve into the psychology of what happens when someone feels "caged" in a relationship. It's based on the well known fact "the harder you try and hold on to someone, the harder they fight to get away."

And this book is not just for Marriage issues. Dr. Dobson lists 16 things you need to know when you enter into a relationship that can keep you from blowing it. Had I known then what I know now, I would be upset at myself. I blew 14 of the 16 things and it's no wonder she ran away calling me "clingy" and "soft." I was and Dr. Dobson showed me exactly why.

This book is NO GUARANTEE that you will win your spouse or significant other back. But, like anything else, if you don't do something you will more assuredly lose them anyway. Pray hard and read this book if you want to keep them. Learn to give them space.

While I may have blown my chances with my ex (and I think I have) at least I am sure I will never repeat the same mistakes again.

Single or Married, you need this book!
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99 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 1998
Dr. Dobson deals with another everyday issue that many of us don't know how to deal with. How to say no to the ones we love.
I read this book when I was dealing with an unfaithful wife. Everything I had said hold on to her and "force" her to come back. Dr. Dobson recommended giving freedom since in the end no one can force another into staying in a relationship. He also deals with rebellious children which is basically the same thing as a wayward spouse. Sometimes NO is the answer. Yes you have the freedom to act that way but NO I will not tolerate you acting that way toward me. Yes you have the freedom to leave, but, NO I will not be here when you get back. Yes you have the freedom to commit adultery, but, NO I will not stay married to you if you choose that route. Yes you have the freedom to stay out all night, but, NO you cannot live here and continue to practice that behavior.
A lot of the advice Dobson gives is common sense, that some of us can't see! ! when we are in the middle of those emotional situations that require us to think logically.
I highly recommend this book.
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116 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2008
Some parts of this book I agree with and some I don't. I agree that if a cheater dumps you for their affair partner, you shouldn't beg for them to stay. Instead, you should hold onto your dignity and let them go.

However, I disagree that if they come back, you should take the back. First of all, their return could be because their affair partner dumped them, so they come to you, not out of love, but as a temporary ego boost 'till they find someone better. Second, everyone I've known who's taken back a cheater has been cheated on again...and these weren't weaklings either. These were tough love people who made it clear that cheating was unacceptable and yet, still got cheated on again.

When people cheat, it's very likely because they have a victim mentality, a narcissistic sense of entitlement, poor impulse control, an inconsistent conscience, and a passive-aggressive way of dealing with problems. So while taking back a cheater is a personal call, with that deadly combo of traits, it's very likely you'll get cheated on again because those traits don't just go away.

I also disagree with the length of this book as many points are simply repeated, so this book could've been much shorter in length.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
I was going through a terrible time in my marriage and my wife had left me and I did not know what to do. My wife said that she did not love me anymore and she did not think she could ever love me again. I was desperate and had tried everything imaginable to save my marriage. I read every e-book online and spent lots of money on so-called experts and prayed and pleaded with God to do anything to save my marriage. Then, as a last ditch effort, I purchased a used copy of this nearly 20-year-old book. After reading this book and applying the advice given by Dr. James Dobson, my marriage turned around completely. Within a week of reading this book my wife had moved back with me and we were once again working on the marriage. It is a practical and effective book with tried and true wisdom that goes to the heart of the matter with your marriage. If you feel like you have tried everything or even if you have not tried everything but are desperate to save your marriage, do not waste one more moment and buy this book. I have absolutely no financial incentive to encourage you to buy this book. I do not know the author personally or otherwise and my only interest is passing along the great benefit I have received in reading this book. The advice will be counter-intuitive to what you may be thinking but trust the advice and apply it in your marriage and watch as things begin to change. I was amazed at how quickly I started to see results. When I first got the book I was a little skeptical because it was published nearly 20 years ago and I doubted whether or not it would be relevant. Dr. James Dobson is not perfect and I do not agree with all of his political/religious views on everything, but with respect to marriage and the advice he gives on the marriage relationship in this book, I could not endorse his views more. The reason it is so effective is because it gives the "desperate" spouse confidence and self-respect once again. It helps you get your head on straight and put things in perspective. Without confidence and respect for yourself, your spouse will not want to come back. Dr. Dobson walks you through the steps necessary to get your head on straight and give you the strength to handle whatever may come your way. That is the only way to get a spouse back who has lost respect for you and does not love you anymore. The book is cheap and the risk is low and you owe it to yourself and to your marriage to give it a try. Dr. Dobson does not guarantee results and I am not trying to offer any guarantee either. I can only tell you my experience with this book and as I write this, my wife is happily sleeping next to me on our bed. A few months ago I never would have imagined my wife and I would be together again but this book showed me a way to regain control of my life and my mind and my wife responded and we are now together. I pray that you find what you are looking for and I strongly believe that this book can be a catalyst towards enacting a positive change in your life and in your marriage.
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92 of 109 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 16, 2001
This must be one of Dobson's most well-known books and for good reason. First of all, it is NOT a book on child discipline - "tough love" is used so much in relation to child rearing that one might be led to think that, but Dobson was probably teaching on this topic long before the phrase became part of popular culture. (Dobson does have excellent books on child rearing, too, though!)
This is a book on relationships, and how one must always maintain their dignity and confidence regardless of what the relationship throws his way, and how appeasement may force a relationship apart because lack of self-respect causes a lack of respect for you among others.
Although the bulk of the book talks primarily of divorce, separation, affairs and other marital problems, the principles apply to ALL relationships, and I, a never-married single adult, benefited greatly from it. There is, in fact, one chapter, "Loving Toughness for Singles" which discusses applying the principles of the book to dating relationships.
The principles of this book need to be understood by everyone who desires to have healthy relationships. And it would be better to understand them sooner than later, and have to apply the principles in an attempt to repair a broken relationship.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2004
My husband began having an affair with a co-worker but I only suspected something was amiss. I eventually did get confirmation of this. During this time of suspiscion (sp?), I had been reading books on how to improve my marriage and how I should be treating my husband. I tried those techniques and he said basically, "Too late, anything you do might just backfire." He moved out then filed for divorce. Then I heard about this book and thought I might as well give it a try too... after I'd been reading lots about affairs and such. I followed this book to the letter. Thank you so much Dr. Dobson. You helped save my marriage. My husband said one of the reasons he came back was a letter I sent to him - suggested from this book. He was gone 8 long weeks before he decided that this divorce wasn't what he really wanted. I know if it hadn't been for this book, he might've eventually come home (maybe), but I'm not so sure. Please get this book. You will not be disappointed. I told my husband that the day he called me wanting to see me, I'd been praying constantly that he'd come to his senses. He said he heard it loud and clear. We are not even religious people, but it worked...!
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 1999
Seven years ago, my husband left our marriage and told me he no longer wanted to have anything to do with me. I begged and pleaded with him to return, but the harder I pushed, the more he pulled away. I felt like I had lost every bit of dignity I ever possessed until I read this book and realized that begging is not an effective form of human communication. I decided to open up the cage door and let my husband go -- come what may and to stand tall, no matter what the outcome. The result was not what I wanted: my husband flew out of the cage and never came back. In spite of that, however, I learned that it's not worth giving away your dignity to anyone, no matter how much you love them. This book was one of the main tools God used to help get through the most difficult times of my life and I recommend it to anyone who is going through a divorce or seperation.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2005
This book is about loving toughly and I believe what it says is true. I followed his advice and it saved my marriage. Its been almost a year and God has done so many miracles in my life. The people who write bad reviews of this book are the ones too afraid to follow the advice in it. You have to respect yourself before anyone else will. !! :)
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 1998
Thank you Dr. Dobson for writing the perfect book for marriages in crisis! While my husband wasn't having an affair with another woman, he WAS having an affair with drugs and irresponsibility. Your book helped me kick him out and he was forced to hit bottom. I am proud to say that he quickly learned what he was going to lose and has changed his life for the better. As a Christian, it was very hard to swallow the act of separation (and possibly divorce). Through prayer, God does change things! Read this book if you have a spouse who is being disrespectful! It will change your life for the better.
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