Customer Reviews: Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In
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on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hope to really incorporate the ideas in this book to make drastic changes in my relationship. It is all doable. It is helpful. You can do it even if only one partner is working on it--but hopefully the second one would join in eventually. If your relationship is less than perfect (and whose isn't), check this book out--better to do it even if you aren't having a lot of problems as it will help you prevent big problems in the future.

I think anyone can pick up this book and really understand it and start to implement.
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on April 13, 2013
I didn't find it engaging enough to really read more than about a quarter way through. You kind of get the idea after a couple examples. The basic premise is, when you want to talk to your spouse, best to approach them with, "can we have a 5 minute conversation about xyz?"
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VINE VOICEon September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having had a few rough patches in relationships and spent some time with therapists, I can tell you that this advice is absolutely spot on and truly golden! I wish someone handed me this book on my wedding day as we could have saved serious time and money by following the advice right after the honeymoon.

This book doesn't try to figure out or change your spouse nor does it think about long term strategies: it's all about five minute conversations. How can you have a five minute conversation that improves your relationship-even if your spouse isn't reading this book?

I'm impressed the book truly sees both sides of the relationship. Both parties are equally responsible for their behavior in this book's strategies. In fact, the focus of the book is working towards seeing your partner's viewpoint and finding that middle ground you can work from. The book includes typical real world examples of things couples fight such as basic activities like child care or chores to more difficult scenarios such as infidelity and career choices. Ultimately it comes down to expressing your feelings and being heard. Easier said than down.

If you find yourself fighting with your spouse more than you want, and you want a way to take responsibility for the relationship and work for change, this is a great book. This won't replace couples therapy, but can augment it so you can work towards the big issues in your relationship instead of debating who is going to take out the trash and whether, indeed, how she truly looks in that dress.
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on August 15, 2011
Haven't quite finished this book just yet, but so far really like what I have read. It's a decisive (i.e. not wishy washy) down to earth point of view and has so many handy little tips I can see it helping any relationship improve. I would definitely recommend it if you are having troubles in paradise and are committed to making the relationship work.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
இ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Summary:
ѾѾѾѾ Recommended with warm fuzzies.

As a family and divorce lawyer, Laurie Puhn applies her knowledge of mediation and negotiation skills to this book about how couples can communicate better without either blowing up and causing discussions to spiral out of control, or giving in and possibly feeling like you are a doormat because you frequently allowed your partner to "win" an argument. The book starts by suggesting that couples have a daily communication routine that brings manners and politeness back into their verbiage. Throughout the chapters, a lot of useful relationship advice is presented. Essentially, it boils down to treating your partner with respect and compassion, learning to pick your battles when deciding if you should bring up a topic for discussion or avoid possibly overcriticizing, and how to deal with difficult behavioral patterns. The 5-minute conversations are presented using a variety of situations and scenarios, and most conversations are divided into three sequential steps: cover the past events, discuss the present situation, determine a future, action plan, or resolution. As befits the author's background as a divorce lawyer, much of the book focuses of working through issues in the interest of preserving the relationship.

Even though I think this book has quite a lot of useful tips for how couples should, and should not, communicate with each other whenever issues arise, all too often, the scenarios are presented a bit too tidily perfect, all neatly packaged into 5-minute resolutions. At various points in reading this book, I had this nagging question that kept popping up in my mind of: Can everything be discussed in *JUST* 5 minutes? And I am not talking about huge issues such as someone discovering that their partner has been having an affair or their partner made a $4000 shopping purchase without consulting with them first. But even the small-sized to medium-sized issues that can sometimes appear on a monthly basis may need more than just 5 minutes for both partners to engage in a back-and-forth discussion before wrapping it up, even if they choose to defer further discussion for a later time. Nowhere in this book is there any suggestion to take a discussion "timeout", which can be especially useful if your partner is becoming defensive or overreacting emotionally. An entire chapter covers the logistics of criticizing rationally, instead of emotionally, and being prepared for a defensive response, but there is no mention of ways to defuse a tense situation (such as utilizing the effective approach of agreeing to a temporary timeout).

Many years ago, I read the great book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and it's all small stuff" by Richard Carlson. Likewise, many relationships can be occupied by the pitter-patter of daily opinions, complaints, and negotiations that, if ignored or swept under the rug for too long and left to fester, grow from being "small stuff" into really "big stuff" over time. The author writes that her husband's blood pressure is raised the moment that he hears the words "Honey, we have to talk", but that he feels better when he hears it worded as "Honey, can we have a 5-minute conversation?" Imposing an artificial time limit of 5 minutes might help to defang an impending discussion, but over time, I really think that the "Uh oh, here comes another confrontation" mindset can happen to a partner regardless of whether you word it as "Honey, we have to talk" or "Honey, can we have a 5-minute conversation?" And in my opinion, some conversations just simply cannot fit into a 5-minute time frame. I would be more receptive to this book's concept if its subtitle was "15-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship ..." instead of its advertised "5-Minute Conversations" in much the same way that I think a diet book called "10 Months To Lose 10 Pounds" is more achievable and sustainable than "10 Days To Lose 10 Pounds". Overall, this was a good read with lots of useful tips. Just don't become too focused on the "5-minute conversation" goal. In fact, I think that depending upon your situation, you may get more buy-in from your partner if you repurpose this book's approach by referring to it as a "10-minute conversation" or "15-minute conversation" with your partner. The value in this book's content is far less about how to fit discussions with your partner within 5-minute conversations (which I am dubious of), and more about the other suggestions that Laurie presents throughout the book.
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on February 15, 2014
This is simply the best book on communication I have ever read. It is simple, direct and effective. Everyone that has ever been in a relationship hates those 4 words: "We have to talk". Puhn's simple 7 word alternative completely changes the dynamic of that. Brilliant. Buy this book, read it, use it. It will change your relationship(s) forever.
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VINE VOICEon October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've seen a lot of self-help books and many of them are full of fluff. This one actually has fresh ideas and they seem pretty solid.

Author Laurie Puhn offers insight into the patterns that we fall into when we communicate with one person repeatedly and provides alternatives. It's all about improved communication. Many of the ideas can be applied to other relationships but she really focuses on the life-partner relationship and gives plenty of examples. Even if your marriage (or whatever) is basically good, you will probably recognize yourself in some of the negative patterns she describes. We all fall back on habit at times and it's helpful to look at them clearly.

The 5-minute gimmick can be taken with a grain of salt; her point is that short discussions about change can be to the point and non-threatening. The book is fairly short and easy to understand.
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on December 29, 2012
I got 4 marraige help books, but this is the best.The book gets right to your issues.Some other books go on and on about studies and the authors go on about how great they are. This book is easy to understand and laid out well.If you have a certain problem, you can go right to it.The chapters are short with a solution at the end.GET THIS BOOK. It has helped alot.My husband didn't want to read it but he was willing to give it a try. The short chapters and straight talk made it easy for him and he read the whole book.
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on November 21, 2010
I do not read self-help books ,generally, but I heard the author speak and I was so impressed that I read her book.
After the first two chapters, I realized I had many small changes to make in my marriage; I made them and the improvement
was immediately noticeable. Don't hold on to perceived past wrongs and remind yourself of your mate's many positives; use these behavioral- based recommendations to make each day
what you wanted it to be when you first got married- a partnership.
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VINE VOICEon November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The author does a good job at presenting the need for improved communication skills for couples within a committed relationship, and at giving a lot of practical advice for how to get started and improve communications. The main vehicle for this is a series of 5-minute conversations that you can have with your spouse/partner. Topics include short-circuiting an argument, keeping confidentiality, how to engage a silent mate, kick starting intimacy, guarding against affairs, how to (or not to) criticize, the art of the apology, and more. How much you get out of the book will be a direct reflection of how you apply the principles and conversations presented here :)
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