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125 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, but you must have the fortitude to follow!
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...
Published on May 24, 2005 by B. Coulombe

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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree with some parts and not others
There are some parts of this book that I agree with and some parts that I don't.
Here's what I agree with:
-- that if your spouse tries to leave you for another person, you shouldn't act pathetic by begging and pleading for them to stay. Instead you should act like a person with self-respect and let them go. Makes sense to me.
-- that you shouldn't accept...
Published on October 14, 2008 by Elisabeth


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125 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, but you must have the fortitude to follow!, May 24, 2005
This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Paperback)
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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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great advice, but The Divorce Remedy is better, June 27, 2007
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This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Paperback)
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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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to love when it's not fun, July 16, 1998
This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Hardcover)
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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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this Book!!, March 31, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Hardcover)
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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90 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dobson was tough love before "tough love" was cliche., March 16, 2001
This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Hardcover)
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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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree with some parts and not others, October 14, 2008
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This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Paperback)
There are some parts of this book that I agree with and some parts that I don't.
Here's what I agree with:
-- that if your spouse tries to leave you for another person, you shouldn't act pathetic by begging and pleading for them to stay. Instead you should act like a person with self-respect and let them go. Makes sense to me.
-- that you shouldn't accept blame for an affair. You didn't even know the affair was happening so how can you be an accomplice? Your partner may try to shift the blame to you in order to alleviate their own guilt. The author advises that you shield yourself against blame so that it bounces right back to the cheater where it belongs. Makes sense to me, too.

Here's what I disagree with:
-- the length of the book. There are some parts of the book where the author is simply repeating the same points over and over again. I believe this book could've been shorter in length.
-- that if a cheater comes crawling back to you, you should take them back. I believe forgiveness is good for the soul, but taking back someone who blatantly disregards your feelings is not. I realize I'm in the minority here...every book I've read on adultery encourages the victim to take back the abuser.
However, everyone I know 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 perfectly clear that cheating is unacceptable and won't be tolerated. And yet...after setting these clear-cut boundaries, these people still got cheated on again.
All books I've read on adultery hold the betrayed spouse accountable...even after stating the betrayed spouse is not to blame, the conversation still goes back to what the betrayed spouse did or didn't do that drove their spouse to cheat...but I think this line of reasoning is misguided.

It's not how good or bad the marriage is that's to blame, but how you REACT to problems in your marriage that's to blame...and your reaction will be based on your character.
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, even if this person never commits adultery again, all these character flaws still remain and will most likely pop up in other forms.

The advice in this book comes across as very parental. Your spouse was naughty and you have to train them to behave better.
However, marriages are based on respect...how can you respect someone you view and treat like an unruly 2 year old? How can your partner feel respected being treated like that (even if it's deserved)?
And marriages are also based on trust...but how can you trust someone with a track record for lying?
I'm just being realistic here on the likelihood of you changing someone who's self-absorbed and values lying into someone who's considerate of your feelings and values honesty.
Another point...the reason the cheater could be crawling back to you now is because their affair partner dumped them. You think it's because they realize now how much they love you, but it could really be fear of being alone...and buying time before they find someone better.
Anyway, I'm not saying you shouldn't take them back (that's a personal call), I'm just saying sticking around waiting for an addict to change can shave years off of your life...and they still may not change. I just think people deserve better than that.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved my marriage, October 25, 2004
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This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Paperback)
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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved my marriage, July 7, 2010
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This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Hardcover)
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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, this book saved my marriage!, November 25, 2005
This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Paperback)
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT CHRISTIAN HELP FOR MARRIAGES IN CRISIS!, October 31, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Love Must Be Tough (Hardcover)
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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Love Must Be Tough by James C. Dobson (Unknown Binding - 1981)
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