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How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women Paperback – January 7, 2003


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How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women + I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression + The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684868784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684868783
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Conventional therapy has failed most couples," Real writes, and with over 20 years of marriage and family counseling experience, he's qualified to judge. Though traditional marital counseling has been prevalent for 30 years, divorce rates remain the same, and studies show that counseling has no lasting effect on either marital satisfaction or endurance. The author of I Don't Want to Talk About It, the national bestseller on male depression, Real is attuned to the characteristics of contemporary marriages and demonstrates insight into both male and female perspectives. The fundamental problem, he argues, is American culture's deeply entrenched "psychological patriarchy," which devalues all things feminine (including healthy relationships) and wounds males at an early age by disconnecting them from themselves and others. Men can't relate, and women can't teach them how ("If a wife truly demands that her emotional needs be met, she may indeed put her marriage on the line"). Counseling, too, fails them both in a "collusion of silence" as to what's really wrong. Real's alternative is "relational recovery." Identifying a healthy marriage as one following the repeated pattern of "harmony, disharmony, and restoration," Real teaches five skills for accomplishing the crucial, ongoing task of repair: holding the relationship in high regard, preserving intimacy and relational (i.e., authentically connected) speaking, listening and negotiating. With numerous scenes from his therapy sessions including quarrels most married couples will recognize Real deftly shows readers how to transcend "our culture's anti-relational bias" and move "out of patriarchy into healthy relatedness." This is a well-balanced and exciting new addition to the marriage-manual genre. Agent, Beth Vesel. (Jan.)Forecast: This breakthrough handbook should cause a stir in the marriage guidance field, with its acknowledgement of counseling's failings and exposing of what Real considers unhealthy fundamental American cultural values.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Two veteran family therapists have each written an excellent book on communication between partners. The author of I Don't Want To Talk About It, Real analyzes the reasons why men and women don't speak the same emotional language: boys' emotional relationships are squelched early on by peers, siblings, and fathers, whereas women learn to accommodate. Written with couples' therapy dramatizations, Real's book demonstrates his five relational skills: how to hold the relationship in regard, how to speak, how to listen, how to negotiate, and how to stay on course. Real, who is often called upon to arbitrate between couples as a last resort, is excellent at showing how couples can uncover hidden issues from the past and begin healing. The author of How To SayR It to Your Kids, Coleman takes a workbook approach to marriage therapy. He opens with six questions to which the couple must answer "happy" or "unhappy." He then explains his GIFTS technique in conversations: be Gentle, fix arguments with In-flight repairs, Find hidden concerns, use Teamwork, and reassure with Supportive comments. Each chapter begins with a scenario and continues with short tips under the "Have you heard?" heading, followed by "How to say it" and "How not to say it" and ending with "How to say it to yourself." Since chapter layouts are the same, the reader can easily pick out a problem area and read the two- to three-page chapter. Some topics include encouraging more conversation, rigid vs. flexible personalities, pregnancy, and cybersex. As popular marriage therapy manuals, these books are both suitable for public libraries and medical collections. The Coleman title is easier to use for a quick "fix," but Real's theories about men and women and how to take care of a marriage, though challenging, may prove more fruitful. Lisa Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Binghamton, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Terrence Real is the bestselling author of I Dont Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression and How Can I Get Through to You?: Reconnecting Men and Women. He has been a practicing family therapist for more than twenty years and has lectured and given workshops across the country. In March 2002, Real founded the Relational Empowerment Institute. His work has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Today, Good Morning America, and Oprah, as well as in The New York Times, Psychology Today, Esquire, and numerous academic publications. He lives with his wife, family therapist Belinda Berman, and their two sons in Newton, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

This is the smartest book on couples I have ever read.
Elizabeth
Now I get it." This book is to be read slowly and carefully so you can understand, for the first time in your life, what is going on.
Barbara Brennan
This book explains the therapeutic approach he has developed and that has helped many couples resolve relationship problems.
Ed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Ed Shea on January 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After 30 years as a licensed Marriage and Family counselor, I now
make it a point to recommend _How Can I Get Through to You?
(Reconnecting Men and Women)_ to every couple in my practice. As
a man, husband (32 years) and father (of a son and daughter), I
credit this book with changing my life.

Although I have seen these issues play out over three decades of
leading partners through couples therapy, the wisdom and insights
that I've gleaned from this book have offered me a new
perspective from which to help couples help themselves.

Terrence Real speaks of the breakdown of couple relationships as
a mirror of societal gender conflict. We (patriarchal culture)
socialize boys to be competitive and girls to be compliant. When
men and women become joined in marriage, it is a union of two
different species. However Real moves beyond merely describing
the differences between men and women by recommending a radical
course of bringing the genders back into balance - and wholeness.
He refers to this as 1) empowering the woman and 2) reconnecting
the man. This core concept really speaks to me for I find that
the majority of the couples in my practice are living examples of
the corrupted communication patterns that Real describes through
his model and illustrates so well in case studies.

The greatest insight that I received from this material is an
understanding of the profound impact of the early disconnection
of men.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have read everything out there to try and salvage an eighteen year relationship. I saw myself and my husband on every page of this book. It was amazing. For the first time I understood what was going on and why it has been so hard to talk to each other. I gave this book to my husband and insisted that we read it together and we actually talked about it.
This is the smartest book on couples I have ever read. It explains why so many men and women have so much trouble. It's full of ideas about how to make it better. The stories made me laugh and sometimes even cry, like a good novel. I loved every minute of it. And it's just brimming over with casual comments that are so profound. Like this - "The great paradox of intimacy is that in order to sustain closeness we have to be capable of bearing solitude inside the relationship." Or what Terry calls, "normal marital hatred." There are a million of these. I honestly can say I'd like to see everyone who wants their relationship to work to read this. It should be passed out along with marriage licenses. It is far and away the best thing I have ever found. Thank you!
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Say Grace on November 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
because, Im telling you... you will be sorry like I am now, going through the book the second time with a yellow highlighter (use the color of your choice,blue, pink whatever) On the other hand if you read Real's other book "I Dont want to Talk about It" first (but I'm not talking about it now) and then read this book you will receive an education of a lifetime, especially if your married and would like to stay that way. The part about greiving for what you dont have in your marriage was especially critical to me, but there is SO much! I'm astounded that there are so few reviews here... I can really relate to the parts about Reals own marriage too. Excellent..10 stars!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Shannon on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book right after starting therapy for depression which has plagued me most of my life. I wanted help in finding a way to reconnect to my husband so we could both benefit as much as possible from therapy.

First of all, I was surprised to find this 'self-help book' to be a real page turner. This book isn't only insightful, it's masterfully written with wonderful imagery that pulls you into the stories of Terry's clients and his own life. The book doesn't just tell you how to fix your problems, it provides characters and situations you can relate to.

This book provided so much more than I'd expected. Though it didn't give simple solutions to my particular relationship problems, it opened my mind to HOW relationships and our society work. I don't think you should pick up this book expecting an easy answer to getting through to your man. It simply gives you the tools to look at your relationship differently, and understand how our culture has crippled men's ability to relate to others emotionally.

Unlike some of the reviews I've read, I didn't find this book to be 'man bashing' at all. I wonder if those who thought of it that way even finished the book. Terry simply addresses the fact that men have learned to shut off their emotions as a defence against our culture's expectations while women are expected to learn to deal with emotional situations such as relationships. After reading this book, I immediately felt more forgiving and understanding of the men in my life and the harsh realities they're faced with. I no longer felt the need to blame my husband for the difficulty he often has relating to me emotionally, and that to 'get through' to him, I'm the one who has to change my approach rather than expecting HIM to change.
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