79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My wife and I separated in June of '10 after fourteen years & 3 kids. She was done with me. Her friends and relatives were done with me. I was devasted.
I must have bought 15-20 books during the next few months searching for an answer to recover my marriage.
To my dismay I found there are very few books out there that address recovering failed a marriage. The vast majority talk about how to "move on" and accept what happened. I didn't want any part of those books. Of those that advocate recovering, most come from the Christian community, so I bought them all, even though I do not consider myself a Christian in the usual sense.
This book was one of several standouts - deeply touching, sincere, non-dogmatic, and emminently practical. The other standouts are two books, another by Gary Smalley: "If Only He Knew; What No Woman Can Resist" and Gary Chapman: "Hope for the Separated; Wounded Marriages Can be Healed". Most of the other Christian books struck me as too dogmatic, guilt-oriented or rigid in their approach.
I studied these books continually while we were separated, practicing what they said, and re-reading random chapters for solace and hope when times got tough. Finally after 4 1/2 months, my wife could no longer resist the kindness, patience and sincerity I showered on her that were coached by these books. We reunited in October. I'm happy to say, my marriage is thriving now after 5 months back together, due almost entirely to the new perspective and behavior I learned from these books. I continue to practice what I learned and it keeps my marriage healty.
Do what these books say. You don't need to be religious. Don't make excuses - change yourself. Your life will change and your wife WILL change. It worked for me, and probably would not have without this philosophy.
63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2000
This book did give some very useful insights as to how to work on yourself and improve yourself. The idea is to recognize your mistakes and shortcomings and work on improving these. After all, this is really all you have control over. I think this book was written from the standpoint of the husband being messed up and causing the wife to leave (emotionally or physically). My particular situation is where my wife has become emotionally involved with another person and yet has told me that I have been the best husband she could ever want. There was one time that Smalley talked about this scenario. She is still trying to resolve her mis-guided feelings, but she says there is nothing I can do to improve. Of course, there is always room for improvement, so I have tried to work on strengthening my relationship with God and continue to show my wife unconditional love and honor as Smalley talked about in the book. This book would be most useful for the husband who has caused the marital breakup.
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2000
She was gone. She loved me but.... now there was this new guy and they were talking wedding bells. I read this book and it laid out for me in simple terms what I had done wrong-and it was me. And what I needed to do and who I needed to be. Using football metaphors, Smalley listed the does and don'ts in simple concise language. He doesn't guarantee results in reconciliation but he does guarantee a better life. I've been around the block but boy did I learn alot about women in this book. When I faced up to what Smalley outlined and realized what I needed to do I called her. Her response was immediate and positive. Thank you, Gary Smalley.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2005
I had client whose wife was in the process of leaving him.... this book (since he followed EVERY step to the letter) helped him immeasurably -- he was able to WIN BACK the heart of his wife..... !!!!! I have no idea what the other reviews were reading but this book WORKS -- it is of course better to provide regular heart, romantic, loving 'maintenance' for your wife but if you have neglected her over some period of time, this book will help you restore relationship....
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a great book for all men who are about to lose their marriage.
I am married to a Korean woman and being a westerner, there was a lot of friction from language barriers, which I thought I had anticipated and prepared for quite well. But then came the cultural challenges and the language problems seemed minute.
After reading this book, I gained a very clear insight about how my actions affected my wife's moods and also learned that I was being selfish.
For around 5-6 months, I felt I was close to a divorce. My sister gave me a copy of this book and after reading it, totally changed my views and now my wife and I are back together again and happy.
I loved the 'checklist' towards the end of the book so much that I actually took the time out to type out all three pages worth and review them at least twice a week if not more.
This book is highly recommended for those men who want to save their marriages. A warning: be prepared to change yourself and face some harsh realities. If you humble yourself, you can save your marriage.
Also, I would like to recommend watching the movie "Fire Proof" and getting the book "Love Dare". These books combined should be sufficient to get you on the road to recovery. It worked for me and I'm confident it will work for you too. God bless.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2001
My wife recently left me and while I have read many book to see what I could do and what was wrong in our relationship this is the one book that gave me straight foward proactive advice on how to start to get my wife back into my life. I have read this book three time since I received it and learn new things every time. I also recommend "Love is a Decision" and "Hidden Keys" both by Gary Smalley. Read them both and allow Christ into your heart and live, He will help in your relationships. God Bless.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
First, the book is a quick read and provides immediate ideas, rules or steps to take in order to gain back your wife. There is no quick fix but it gives you something that you have to consider and if you are willing to put in the time and effort, positives will be the result.
My wife asked me for a dissolution on Dec 3rd 2013. For 2 weeks I begged and pleaded, as this action was a total blindside to me. After reading the book and seeking counseling, my ENTIRE perspective has changed. I have become the leader of my house (or what's left of it) and will only conduct myself using the ideas of this book when I am around my wife and children. 8 weeks into it, my wife has now approached me several times to thank me for being the person that she has wanted. Although we continue to march down the legal path of the separation, I have her entire attention for the first time in many years. Together or apart, I know that I am acting with dignity and will be just fine as I have realigned my life with God and responsibility. She sees it and I know it. I can only be responsible for myself and I am trying every day to follow the book's ideas and to improve myself. If she comes half way and returns to me, we will get the help we need to fix things correctly. If not, at least I will know that I did about everything possible that I could to save the marriage and going forward, I am already a better man for the experience.
I feel the book will work best for the guy that was clueless like me. If there are other issues in your experience like infidelity or drug/alcohol abuse, it will help you but your road may be longer. Self dignity was the thing for me. Once off my knees, and instead, executing my plan from the book, I saw positive results almost immediately. Maybe "too little, too late" for her, but it is now my job to conduct myself this way for the rest of time. It has been very refreshing for me so far.
Best of luck to all. Buy the book!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Married 15 years with 4 kids, my wife's demand for a divorce completely blindsided me. I wish I had gotten this book at the beginning of the crisis instead of 6 months after it started. Early on, I made all the mistakes that Smalley listed, thinking they were the ways to "win" her back. Little did I know that I was making things a thousand times worse! Gentlemen, no amount of guilt, anger, "romance" or logic will restore the love of your wife. Only through true repentance and surrendering your will to the Lord will you get through this. Before reading this book I did exactly that, and God revealed so much to me (through his Word) that were echoed on the pages of this book: Humble yourselves and be a true servant to your wife, as Christ was to His Church. Accept all the anger and rejection she directs towards you, as Christ did willingly on the cross. The focus should be on restoring your walk with God, and MAYBE (God does not change our wives' free will) along the way your marriage may be restored. I am still in the wilderness and my wife could still decide to leave, but even though all hope seems lost, I am putting all my trust in the Lord. Finally, remember 1 Cor 13: "Love is patient...is kind...is not proud...is not self-seeking...is not easily angered...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always PERSEVERES. LOVE NEVER FAILS." Test all your actions toward your wife through these verses and you will never go wrong.
Above all, I am making sure that through this experience my children see that God is faithful and will never leave or forsake us.
BTW, another recommendation is Judy Bodmer's When Love Dies. It is a good complementary read to this book because it addresses the other side of the equation; that is, what leads many women to get to the point where they want a divorce, and how God can work in their lives to want to try again. If yor wife would read it I believe it would help immensely, but at the very least you will understand what caused her to want to leave.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2002
Can a book really change a marriage? Yes, this book is so helpful and so practical. It is written for men to understand in a sports "language" much like Gary and Greg being my coach.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Honestly, I was looking for something else to give to a friend who asked me to help him in his marriage. I found this book on Amazon and purchased two. I gave one to him but wanted to read as well. I went through a divorce 10 years ago and decided if God ever blessed me with another woman I would do everything I can to know all I can about relationships and growing together. So while I read Smalley and Chapman and others to learn all I can to do it right, I also read about getting it right when you error. Barbie and I have been married 8 years and to date we still have not had any major disagreement. I always ask myself, "Five years from now will it really matter"? Seems the answer is always NO.
This book will help anyone who really takes it seriously. It is by far the very best relationship book that I have ever read about trying to fix something that is broke or about to break. This book is not something you skim. You need to read and really digest what the authors are saying. Will it fix everything...no. In my friends case it appears that his wife will continue with the divorce proceedings. However, he knows what he did to hurt and scar the relationship over the years and what he needs to improve for him to have a lasting marriage if God has plans for him to have another chance.
Winning your Wife back is a book I will use with others in the future struggling in their relationships with the hope they will get right with God and with each other. In my friends case his relationship with God is back on track from our talks and he is working hard in all areas of his life to mend fences and build bridges. God bless all of you.