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Why Can't You Read My Mind? Overcoming the 9 Toxic Thought Patterns that Get in the Way of a Loving Relationship Paperback – November 3, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bernstein, a psychologist specializing in couples and family therapy, and Magee (The Power of Positive Confrontation) offer partners a way to renew the spark in their relationships in this succinct self-help guide. They claim that one of the most significant steps is to focus on yourself rather than your partner by ridding yourself of toxic thoughts, "negative thoughts that have lost their basis in reality and have gotten out of control." Examining nine toxic thought patterns (such as jumping to conclusions, labeling one another and playing the "blame game"), the authors provide well-researched explanations, relevant examples and practical alternatives to transform negative thoughts and behaviors into positive and constructive ones.
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Review

"All couples should read this book and give their relationship a chance for a deeper and longer lasting love." -- Nadine J. Carpenter, LCSW

"Bernstein and Magee ... will assist any motivated couple in making meaningful changes in their relationship." -- Monroe A. Bruch, Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Albany, State University of New York

"This book [will]...help your relationship become better, less conflicted, and more romantic—even if your partner doesn’t read it!" -- Steven D. Mullinix, Ph.D.

"This excellent book ... gives detailed guidance on how to create a lasting love. I heartily recommend it." -- Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., New York Times best-selling author of Getting the Love You Want
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1 edition (November 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569244758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569244753
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book really makes you take a look at how you are contributing to the problems in your relationship, I found myself saying "wow, i do that"....A LOT. For me, and i would guess most people when they are having relationship problems get to a point where they think they have done everything they can to fix it....when really we do just the opposite. I always considered myself extremely giving and open and my partner totally selfish, and reading this book made me realize how selfish i am. I think this book is a great tool for looking at our own behavior..Also, it gives plenty of great examples and ways to improve.
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Format: Paperback
Before we found this book, my husband and I were highly discourgaged and didn't think there were any solutions to repair our miserable relationship. All I can say is that this book finally stopped us from resenting and blaming each other for the crumbling of our marriage. I had seen Dr. Bernstein on the Today Show a while ago when they had a segment on toxic relationships and I remembered the title, Why Can't You Read My Mind? This book helped us to understand and appreciate each other in ways we never have before. I only wish that I had bought it before our relationship got so bad. My advice is don't wait till the 11th hour to read this outstanding book.
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Format: Paperback
1) The All or Nothing Trap (which leads to black and white thinking)
2) Catastrophic Conclusions
3) The Should Bomb (feeling like your partner should be able to know what you are thinking/feeling)
4) Label Slinging
5) The Blame Game (seeing yourself as a victim)
6) Emotional Short-Circuit (feeling like your partner's emotions can't be handled; can lead to the silent treatment)
7) Overactive Imagination
8) Head Game Gamble (trying to read partner's mind)
9) Disillusionment Doom
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Format: Paperback
I read several good relationship books (including Relationship Rescue) but this book really does bring to light a problem I never knew I had--toxic thinking. Just since reading the book over the weekend, I've already improved my relationship with my husband of nine years. I know this sounds crazy but it's true. The author really gets you thinking about how you think about your relationship and sometimes it's not very positive. Though it's very common sense, it's just not the kind of thing I would have realized on my own. I also like the author's style, very upbeat and fun, not at all psycho babbly like a lot of congnitive relationship books.
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By A Customer on November 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I agree with the first reviewer, it's crazy, but this book really does make a difference and fast. I learned that I'm a Blame thinker and an All or Nothing thinker when it comes to my relationship. The scary thing is, negative thoughts about my fiance, who won't move forward and set a date, are very automatic. I'm working now to break the habit. I'm glad I read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll start off by saying this book worked for me and my girlfriend of 6 years. We have been in a rut for probably a while now. I bought it for myself, but she read it too. It really should be read by both people.

I don't think the title fits the book. I feel like this book could easily be overlooked because I told myself "that just doesn't feel like what our problem is." But I got it anyway. I'm happy. My girlfriend is happy. We aren't dancing in the streets like a couple of loons, but we are more open, honest, and able to recognize our problems before they get blown out of proportion. The tools in this book should be required reading in every relationship. I almost feel bad for people who haven't read it yet. I'd buy it for my friends if it didn't seem like I was "saying something."

The downside of the book is it's quite boring. I love to read. I read about one book a week. But this book was a bit difficult just because it didn't really have a lot of fluff. Which is a plus in some ways, but some humor, motivation, more success stories, or just some interesting analogies would have been nice to hold my interest.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like his writing style, not so deep that you get bogged down, the book unfolds in a way gently gives you the tools you need by the time you reach the end. He has case histories that he uses through out the book over and over which quietly reinforces what you learned, to help you retain it. He then gives great you tools to use to make the changes you might need to make. I could not identify with any of the case histories at first, so I had to keep reading on trust, and I am glad I did. Even though none of those situations he described have to do with my situation directly, as the first week went by, I repeatedly caught myself thinking a toxic thought, realized that I was reacting in one of the toxic ways... this book opened my awareness of my own behaviors that were poisoning my life. Sad to think I am 52 years old and am just now getting a clue, but dang glad that I finally am. As the case histories play out through the different stages in the book, the example of how the different people used the tools he gives, showed me how to use those tools in my situation. Be sure to read the 2nd half of the book. This is where the excitement comes in. The first half is the recognizing and identifying of the problems, the 2nd half tells you what to do about it and what to do to change your thought process. I am on my second read and will keep it handy to re-read every now and then to keep me on my toes. My husband finally picked up the book after much resistance, and came away in tears as he too realized he has unknowingly been sabotaging himself for his whole life. Just a few pages into the book, he could see things he had never known were wrong in his way of thinking. I will share this book with my kids and friends. It has the potential to change the life of anyone who picks it up.Read more ›
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