Customer Reviews for

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking about It

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Has had a lasting effect on how I interact with my husband

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! I read this book in 2009, and I often lend it out or recommend it to other women. I learned that my husband does not see many situations as I do, and I learned how to respond to and respect that. I really do see him differently now, and I think ab...
PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! I read this book in 2009, and I often lend it out or recommend it to other women. I learned that my husband does not see many situations as I do, and I learned how to respond to and respect that. I really do see him differently now, and I think about his actions and words differently. This helps me sort through things when we argue. (Married 12 yrs). The book addresses men and women separately in different chapters. The heart of the matter lies in shame and fear. The fear side relates to feelings of women, and I completely identified with the writing on this issue. The shame side relates to men's feelings. I read the book before my huband did, and sometimes I would stop and say, "Do you really feel this way.." and I would read him an excerpt. He agreed completely with these statements. Basically, your husband feels shame/failure when you are upset or ranting/complaining, and this leads to a husband who lashes out harshly or backs away and won't talk (which is very frustrating to many women and thus leads to a vicious cycle of fighting). After I read the book I felt compelled to type up a summary of the items I wanted to focus on in the future in order to improve our relationship--so that I could refer to it from time to time: The "Power Love Formula" gives one a set of steps to follow each day to keep his/her relationship stronger and more connected. Also, the nightly shame/fear shake out is a nightly embrace without any words/talking about the day. The time during the embrace allows one to let go of all the junk that's happened that day and to remember that the connection with one's spouse is above all of it. It kind of brings one back to center with his/her spouse. On the subject of connection, the book explains that women should "step into the puddle" with their husbands by being emotionally attuned to him when he is upset and realizing that it is not usually comforting to most men to TALK about the issues (which is the opposite of most women) (for men the book explains that they must realize that talk IS comforting to their wives and is IMPORTANT), and that the woman should stop and think about how she would have reacted to her husband in the very beginning of their relationship (before any baggage was created). Often the power of touch is very great for a man, and just touching his arm, hugging him, but then giving him some space or time, will be much appreciated by him. However, she could be available to do something he is good at which can replace his sense of failure with a sense of competence and mastery. Before talking to your husband about an issue, imagine feeling close to him, think about how you would feel if these were your last moments, and/or of a time when you were proud of him. Again, the power of touch is important. The discussion should be non-accusing and non-blaming. The book said that men may need to fidget when you talk---this was an eye opener for me because it would drive me insane for my husband to do this! It was insulting to me until I read this part. The book explained the fidgeting is because emotions can be more physically uncomfortable for him due to greater arousal level and blood flow to the muscles (this is fully explained in early chapters with studies of baby boys vs baby girls, etc...). The above is mainly from the chapters addressing women, but rest assured the chapters addressed to men are wonderful too, and they ring

posted by CPA1 on February 21, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

A good chapter toward the end

Even thought there was only one chapter that I felt was exceptional, I found the book worth reading and worth the money.

Specifically, you get through quite a long read and you come to a chapter that starts out by says something to the effect that since you have gott...
Even thought there was only one chapter that I felt was exceptional, I found the book worth reading and worth the money.

Specifically, you get through quite a long read and you come to a chapter that starts out by says something to the effect that since you have gotten this far, you might as well get the secret to a happy marriage. Then you are told that hugging and kissing with each other 4 to 5 times a day (on waking, one leaving each other in the morning, on greeting each other at night and just before going to sleep) is how to improve your marriage without talking about it.

Up until that point the book is filled with interesting explanations as to why men "don't want" and "are trained" not to want to be "talked to" as a way of improving a relationship. There are lots of other such things in the first part of the book that explain why learning communication skills may not be the best way of solving a marriage/relationship problem. This is quite different from many relationship counseling approaches and I found very refreshing.

A thumbs up but I wouldn't use this as my primary book for solving a relationship problem. There are other books I would recommend for people concerned about their marriage.

posted by Regaining-Love on December 12, 2009

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A good chapter toward the end

    Even thought there was only one chapter that I felt was exceptional, I found the book worth reading and worth the money.

    Specifically, you get through quite a long read and you come to a chapter that starts out by says something to the effect that since you have gotten this far, you might as well get the secret to a happy marriage. Then you are told that hugging and kissing with each other 4 to 5 times a day (on waking, one leaving each other in the morning, on greeting each other at night and just before going to sleep) is how to improve your marriage without talking about it.

    Up until that point the book is filled with interesting explanations as to why men "don't want" and "are trained" not to want to be "talked to" as a way of improving a relationship. There are lots of other such things in the first part of the book that explain why learning communication skills may not be the best way of solving a marriage/relationship problem. This is quite different from many relationship counseling approaches and I found very refreshing.

    A thumbs up but I wouldn't use this as my primary book for solving a relationship problem. There are other books I would recommend for people concerned about their marriage.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2011

    Has had a lasting effect on how I interact with my husband

    PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! I read this book in 2009, and I often lend it out or recommend it to other women. I learned that my husband does not see many situations as I do, and I learned how to respond to and respect that. I really do see him differently now, and I think about his actions and words differently. This helps me sort through things when we argue. (Married 12 yrs). The book addresses men and women separately in different chapters. The heart of the matter lies in shame and fear. The fear side relates to feelings of women, and I completely identified with the writing on this issue. The shame side relates to men's feelings. I read the book before my huband did, and sometimes I would stop and say, "Do you really feel this way.." and I would read him an excerpt. He agreed completely with these statements. Basically, your husband feels shame/failure when you are upset or ranting/complaining, and this leads to a husband who lashes out harshly or backs away and won't talk (which is very frustrating to many women and thus leads to a vicious cycle of fighting). After I read the book I felt compelled to type up a summary of the items I wanted to focus on in the future in order to improve our relationship--so that I could refer to it from time to time: The "Power Love Formula" gives one a set of steps to follow each day to keep his/her relationship stronger and more connected. Also, the nightly shame/fear shake out is a nightly embrace without any words/talking about the day. The time during the embrace allows one to let go of all the junk that's happened that day and to remember that the connection with one's spouse is above all of it. It kind of brings one back to center with his/her spouse. On the subject of connection, the book explains that women should "step into the puddle" with their husbands by being emotionally attuned to him when he is upset and realizing that it is not usually comforting to most men to TALK about the issues (which is the opposite of most women) (for men the book explains that they must realize that talk IS comforting to their wives and is IMPORTANT), and that the woman should stop and think about how she would have reacted to her husband in the very beginning of their relationship (before any baggage was created). Often the power of touch is very great for a man, and just touching his arm, hugging him, but then giving him some space or time, will be much appreciated by him. However, she could be available to do something he is good at which can replace his sense of failure with a sense of competence and mastery. Before talking to your husband about an issue, imagine feeling close to him, think about how you would feel if these were your last moments, and/or of a time when you were proud of him. Again, the power of touch is important. The discussion should be non-accusing and non-blaming. The book said that men may need to fidget when you talk---this was an eye opener for me because it would drive me insane for my husband to do this! It was insulting to me until I read this part. The book explained the fidgeting is because emotions can be more physically uncomfortable for him due to greater arousal level and blood flow to the muscles (this is fully explained in early chapters with studies of baby boys vs baby girls, etc...). The above is mainly from the chapters addressing women, but rest assured the chapters addressed to men are wonderful too, and they ring

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2010

    I think men will like this book; women may find it difficult but worth it.

    After a really promising relationship crashed & burned, I was complaining to a guy friend of mine about how I'd been hurt. Problem was, he knew the guy who had just dumped me, so he knew he wasn't "just some jerk who's afraid of commitment." He gently recommended this book, saying it had helped him & his wife understand each other a lot better. I wanted to punch him in the face. Understand, I'm not a kid. I was married for over 15 years and could probably get a degree in psychology from all the books I've read about relationships and all the marriage counseling I went through with my husband. But there I was...divorced and now alone AGAIN.

    I read the book only out of respect for my friend. I hated to admit it, but it really did give me some great insight into what went wrong. And guess what--a big part of the problem was my obsession with "great communication." I tend to think of men as being insensitive to women's needs and fears. But then I caught myself reading about men's needs & fears and thinking, "well that's dumb, he needs to just get over it." WHAT!!?? Ouch. Maybe I need to work on that. I could point to some irrational behavior on the part of my ex in response to what I thought of as his dumb fears...but I could also see a lot of irrational behavior on my own part, in response to my fears which he probably didn't understand, either.

    We women tend to think of ourselves as the relationship experts and think men are clueless. Well, men ARE clueless, but we are just as clueless in our own way. That was very hard to swallow, but I feel like I have some more tools now to help me be a more compassionate person and a better partner to someone down the road. And I even feel like I can understand my sons a little better now, too--bonus! I'm recommending this book to all my friends.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Men, Men. Why are most books and advice telling women how to ple

    Men, Men. Why are most books and advice telling women how to please men. Maybe more men should do some reading and learn about women. We want affection, emotional involvement, time spent sharing and someone whos has a clue about what we want in bed. Try learning about us for a change.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Really?

    I'm about halfway through the book and I'm so exhausted by all the stuff I'm supposed to do and relearn that it seems easier to divorce his *** and move in with a girlfriend...

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Saved my marriage!

    At a very critical point in my marriage, I presented this book to my husband to read. He read it first and was so comforted to know he wasn't alone - the book is very anectodal, which also makes it easy to read and relatable. He felt that after 20 years together, he finally had an understanding of where I was coming from and no longer felt so resentful. I had the same experience after my turn at the book. Men and women approach relationships differently and have different expectations. This book really put this into perspective and gave us some very easy to use tools to reconnect. It is still a journey, but I now feel we are at least walking the same path. I have recommended this book to so many friends - even those in healthy, positive relationships.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    Helped me to really understand my husband.

    After reading this book, I could finally see things from my husbands point of view. By helping me to understand the real differences between men and women, our minds and emotions, I have been able to modify how I react in situations to stop a fight before it starts. I know what to expect from my husband. Actions that used to hurt my feelings don't anymore because I finally know what they really meant to him. An added bonus from reading this book I have been able to apply what I learned to raising my son as well. He is a seven year old man in the making and I know more of what he needs now too.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'm not sure I would recommend this book. It's a lot about how talking does more harm than good, specifically that ¿having a talk¿ evokes shame. This is because you know that if you were doing things right, there would be no need for a ¿talk¿. Yet reading this book can feel like ¿having a talk¿ ¿ the worst one you can imagine. You will find out you¿ve been doing many more things wrong than you could ever have imagined on your own. Also, I wish the authors would detail more about their credentials. Are their theories based on research? What have their peers said about their theories? What is their educational background - what degrees from what schools? What is their professional experience? It¿s a powerful book, being read by people in deep distress. I would like to know that they have solid credentials as they take on this subject matter with this audience.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    Takes a look at yourself

    This book is good in that it asks you to look at yourself and see the things that YOU are doing that trigger the very things that you don't like about your mate. It also teaches you to try to understand and think like your mate. The corrections come from within which is why you can "Improve without talking about it". Its not a fix all, but definitely gave me some insight on some things that I need to work on.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Although I have not read this book yet, I am trying to read thro

    Although I have not read this book yet, I am trying to read through all the comments and insight to see if its something I need. What I am having a hard time understanding, from what people are saying, is its seems that we as women have to be the ones to read the book and change the way we are and not the other way around. If women like to talk and men dont why is that we need to be the one to make the full change and learn to communicate with acutally communicating and men dont have to communicate. Maybe thats not the way the book is but thats what I am getting. As a 36 yr old married women for almost 10 years and 2 kids, yes I like to try and talk to my husband. There are tons of issues between us now and I dont see how us NOT talking it through cant help alittle. He has no idea whats in my head and I dont know his head either. So how are we to not get all our cards on the table if we keep quiet all the time. my husband has done some pretty crapy stuff to me over the last 4 years and I have been veryyyyyy forgiving but I feel by not talking, he is simply patting himself on the back that he got away with everything and its water under the bridge. Not the case. I am confused.Alot. And not sure where to go from here and weather this book will help me or make me want to through it in the ocean. Any thoughts from those who have read it.?

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Seeing the good..

    As i read this book i decided to try things that were mentioned...and they work. My relationship feels fresh and filled with honest love again. We are re-connecting. Great book, dont be ashamed to read it, youll be glad you did!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Totally new perspective for me!

    Right away in the first several pages there were many "aha" moments for me. I saw myself so clearly in the discription of womens feelings and reactions, our marriage dynamic almost mirrors this book. My husband has agreed to read it too, and tell me if it accurately describes him too. We will proceed from there. I have to say though that even without that confirmation, my attitude toward him and the feelings i am projecting have been modified and I have already noticed a positive change for us. Thank you Pat and Steve for writing a book that may very well be the savior of our marriage!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2011

    It will change the way you think!

    It did for me. I don't think like a guy, I think like a girl. Sometimes, that is the problem. This book delves into the differences & how to catch yourself & overcome these bumps in the road of your marriage. I'd highly recommend it to anyone, but esp women!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very helpful

    I wish i had these tip before I was married, they really help when done with practice, and great read for those looking to improve their marriage!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2014

    Steven Love

    Snow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Read this book in four days

    This is the first marriage book i have read and found it to be helpful. I did learn quite a few things from reading it and was worth buying

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Highly recommended - all women should read this!!!

    I wish I'd known about this book years ago. I went to a relationship therapist who recommended we read this book. I decided to read it first without mentioning it to my husband. It contains such basic information about the complex differences in how and why men and women act and react in such different ways, and gives examples. Within the first two weeks of reading and using the knowledge I was given, the atmosphere in our home is completely different; not perfect, but so much better. I realized how much I impacted the attitudes of everyone in the house. My strong will and independent nature comes across as threatening and insulting, and this book showed me why. I'm still the same person, but by working on me first, I've seen remarkable changes in my husband. I hope one day he'll read this, but not yet; I'm still reading and working on me. Simple changes can make a huge difference. Ladies, you owe it to yourselves to read this book! It's one of the nicest, peace promoting things you can do for your relationship.
    Dee

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Really eye opening advice!

    This book is a must for anyone feeling a distance in their relationship! It is filled with great advice that when you think about it was right in front of you the whole time! Anyone who is married or ever plans to be married read this book if you want the tools to help your marriage last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Change ur expectations.

    This book is totally worth reading. Its not a miracle book. This book will not be helpfull if you are reading it with an angry heart. You need to have an open mind n open heart, n throw away all pride. Expectations play a major role on the fate of a marriage...both parties may have had unspoken expectations, so both may have been disapointed through out the marriage. When ppl get married they make the mistake of thinking they are entitled to so many things or they feel they deserve to be treated like this or like that. Marriage is about choosing to love the other person selflessly, its about loving them because u want to. Not whether they deserve it or not. Love is not keeping track of the spouses wrong and all the times they are forgiven. If you are keeping track of how much you have forgiven ur spouse, then u probably havent truly forgiven him with all ur heart. This book helped me realize perseptions can be deceiving, and expectations can be the path to disappointment. When you truly love someone you throw away pride, and become willing to be the first to bend, the first to be humble, the one to be willing to examine self and see where there is room for self improvement. No one is perfect, so there is ALWAYS room for improvent, even if the spouse is the one making the "big mistakes"

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Enlightening

    This is a quick read. Very interesting and helpful.

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