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When Good Men Behave Badly: Change Your Behavior, Change Your Relationship Paperback – February 1, 2004


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When Good Men Behave Badly: Change Your Behavior, Change Your Relationship + I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression + How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572243465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572243460
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This insightful book offers a user-friendly look at how a "good man"-"a man with fundamentally positive values who cares about his kids and his partner"-can often display bad behavior, including everything from sarcasm or criticism to nastiness, coldness and other kinds of destructive emotional withdrawal. Wexler, executive director of the Relationship Training Institute in San Diego, roots his analysis in the self-psychology theory of the "mirroring self-object," the idea that all children in their development need "validation and acknowledgement from parental figures" who mirror back to them a sense of competence and appreciation. The bulk of the book wonderfully describes the ways that many men, as adults, "are always looking to some outside source of approval or recognition" as a way to resolve feelings of shame caused by an arrested internal sense of confidence and competence. The book's success also hinges on two further analytical strategies by Wexler. First, while he gives a convincing look at how a man's "reliance on women for validation" can lead to feeling emotionally out of control, Wexler never descends to placing any sort of sexist blame on moms or wives; he makes it clear that the power that women seem to have over men "is not a power that women have signed up for in the relationship contract" and that female children are equally harmed by the lack of a mirroring self-object. Second, Wexler provides numerous concrete examples of how men can identify and understand the emotional states that trigger relationship problems, as well as many ways that fathers can help establish a son's home life as "a shame-free zone."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"David Wexler adroitly addresses a central problem in male-female relationships, namely the male propensity for emotional withdrawal, sarcasm, humiliation, intimidation, emotional blow-ups, and infidelity. Wonderfully empathic with men's experiences, When Good Men Behave Badly helps men who do not wish to behave badly develop the needed emotional skills. This book will open men’s minds and hearts to a very different way to approach male-female relationships.”
—Ronald F. Levant, Ed.D., ABPP, Co-Editor of A New Psychology of Men


More About the Author

David B. Wexler, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the non-profit Relationship Training Institute in San Diego, which provides education and treatment internationally for relationship development and the prevention and treatment of relationship violence. He has received the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology from the California Psychological Association in 2003 and the Practitioner of the Year award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, a division of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Wexler is the author of When Good Men Behave Badly: Change Your Behavior, Change Your Relationship, Is He Depressed or What?: What to Do When the Man You Love is Moody, Irritable, and Withdrawn. STOP Domestic Violence: Innovative Skills, Techniques, Options, and Plans for Better Relationship, and Men in Therapy: New Approaches for Effective Treatment. He has been featured on the Dr. Phil show and the TODAY show, in the Washington Post, "O" magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Men's Health, and on hundreds of radio and TV programs throughout North America to help educate the public about relationships in conflict and how to resolve them. Dr. Wexler may be contacted through www.RTIprojects.org.

Customer Reviews

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Remember, you can't control what others do, only your response to what they do.
Bob
Dr. Wexler understands men in a very deep way and in this book he gives them both straight and compassionate talk.
Dr Lisa Love
This book can be a great guide if read with an open heart and an objective mind.
LovestoRead

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
I knew I would love this book when the opening paragraph referred to a novel by Russell Banks, a novelist who writes with sensitivity and compassion for the male world. As a wife, I was heartbroken by my husband's affair. He accused me of being "controlling" - yet could not cite a single instance of my controlling behaviour or explain what he meant. He had a classic mid-life crisis. This book explains it all: the male experience, the emotional handicaps, the bewildering treatment.
All couples grappling with troubled relationships should read it. Great advice for raising boys is included.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dr. Wexler has done something in this book that has the potential to make a lasting difference in male/female relationships. He has given us a simple language and a bright new understanding of how couples with good intentions derail...best of all, both men and women can relate to it and apply it. This is not the 'same old, same old' communication formulations that women get but men are confused and put off by. Men will "get" this book. I wish it had been available when I was doing couples therapy...I would have made it "required" reading.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr Lisa Love on November 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is written by one of the best therapists in the field, Dr. David Wexler. I have at times confronted and dealt with abusive behavior both in my role as a therapist, and personally in my own life. I have read numerous books on abuse and can say that this one is especially good for men to read who have subjected the people they care about to both verbal and physical abuse. Dr. Wexler understands men in a very deep way and in this book he gives them both straight and compassionate talk. And, he is an excellent couples counselor. This book helps men understand why they resort to these behaviors. Better yet, he shows them how to stop. - Dr. Lisa Love, Beyond the Secret
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cedarwalla on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
My relationship with my boyfriend was wonderful in so many ways but one little thing would tip it over and the whole empire would crash down. My boyfriend was utterly incapable of understanding his own feelings and thought that my even having feelings was irrational. It all came to a head one week and my boyfriends life (which was completely normal, controlled, responsible, highly successful in his career) spun out of control, ending in a DUI. An otherwise wonderful man completely lost control.
I was at my END with him for so many reasons and thought there might be no hope for repair. I turned to this book and gave it to him. He actually read it. And now recommends it to ALL MEN when they need and are ready for a wake-up call. Its great because its written by a man for men. Women can benefit too, but men will "get" this book and not shove it aside like other women-perspective self-help books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob on November 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for those of us that are subject to that type of behavior. It helps you realize where your actions are comming from. With this in mind, you can try to find a way to deal with your response to situations. Remember, you can't control what others do, only your response to what they do. Read it with a totally open mind, and a bit of humility and a desire to change ... and you're half way there. Also a great book for the women in that relationship; so they can appreciate the "why".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kerry C. Fitzgibbons on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Actually, I have read this book before, and as a therapist I find it very useful as a bibliotherapy tool. I purchased this copy, because I do not have my copy here and there are no book stores where I live. I wanted a client to read this and do some self reflection on the observations and descriptions the author so artfully recounts.
This is a great book. I would recommend it to any person> male or female that is beginning to date, been dating a long time and not having good experiences to sharpen their perceptions about themselves and the people they are attracted to.
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score keeping, emotional withholding, and bitterness?

Yup, we've all been there in our relationships. But this goes into fundamentally why they do what they do
unfortunately it doesn't go into too deep about abusive personalities, but it goes with infidelity and a man's
loss of self-identity because he hasn't achieved his dreams and the idea of a perfect mate and broken mirrors.

If you're open to the book, I highly suggest it. Read cover to cover
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Someone really needed this to see where they were and why he was acting out. Men, to hard to figure out thank goodness for books on such a complicated human as man and why they do what they do..
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