Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

3.8 61
by Harville Hendrix

See All Formats & Editions

Bestselling author Dr. Harville Hendrix offers warm, intelligent advice for transforming an intimate relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship.

Dr. Hendrix, a marriage therapist and pastoral counselor, has divided his helpful recommendations into 3 stages. First, he chronicles the fate of most relationships-attraction, romantic love and the power


Bestselling author Dr. Harville Hendrix offers warm, intelligent advice for transforming an intimate relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship.

Dr. Hendrix, a marriage therapist and pastoral counselor, has divided his helpful recommendations into 3 stages. First, he chronicles the fate of most relationships-attraction, romantic love and the power struggle — and suggests ways for you and your partner to identify the conflicts associated with each of them. Then, he explores methods for achieving a "Conscious Marriage," where the early phases of romance are rekindled and confrontation is slowly replaced by growth and support. Finally, Dr. Hendrix incorporates these ideas into a unique therapeutic course, offering a series of proven step-by-step exercises that lead to insight, resolution and revitalization.

If you're not getting the love you want from the person you're with, you need to do something about it. Dr. Hendrix tells you what that something is.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I know of no better guide for couples who genuinely desire a maturing relationship.” —M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled

Getting the Love You Want is a remarkable book--the most incisive and persuasive I have ever read on the knotty problems of marriage relationships.” —Ann Roberts, Former President, Rockefeller Family Fund

“Harville Hendrix offers the best program I've seen for using the love/hate energy in marriage to help a couple heal one another and to become whole together.” —T. George Harris, Editor-in-Chief, American Health magazine

“This book will help any couple find the love they want hidden under all the concealing confusion of a close and intimate relationship. I have seen these principles in application and they work!” —James A. Hall, M.D.

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.93(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Mystery of Attraction

The type of human being we prefer reveals the contours of our heart.

When couples come to me for marital therapy, I usually ask them how they met. Maggie and Victor, a couple in their mid-fifties who were contemplating divorce after twenty-nine years of marriage, told me this story:

"We met in graduate school," Maggie recalled. "We were renting rooms in a big house with a shared kitchen. I was cooking breakfast when I looked up and saw this man--Victor--walk into the room. I had the strangest reaction. My legs wanted to carry me to him, but my head was telling me to stay away. The feelings were so strong that I felt faint and had to sit down."

Once Maggie recovered from shock, she introduced herself to Victor, and the two of them spent half the morning talking. `That was it," said Victor. "We were together every possible moment for the next two months, and then we eloped."

"If those had been more sexually liberated times," added Maggie, "I'm sure we would have been lovers from that very first week. I've never felt so intensely about anyone in my entire life."

Not all first encounters produce seismic shock waves. Rayna and Mark, a couple ten years younger, had a more tepid and prolonged courtship. They met through a mutual friend. Rayna asked a friend if she knew any single men, and her friend said she knew an interesting man named Mark who had recently separated from his wife. She hesitated to introduce him to Rayna, however, because she didn't think that they would be a good match. "He's very tall and you're short," the friend explained; "he'sProtestant and you're Jewish; he's very quiet and you talk all the time." But Rayna said none of that mattered. "Besides," she said, "how bad could it be for one date?"

Against her better judgment, the friend invited Rayna and Mark to an election-night party in 1972. "I liked Mark right away," Rayna recalled. "He was interesting in a quiet sort of way. We spent the whole evening talking in the kitchen." Rayna laughed and then added, "I suspect that I did most of the talking."

Rayna was certain that Mark was equally attracted to her, and she expected to hear from him the next day. But three weeks went by, and she didn't hear a word. Eventually she prompted her friend to find out if Mark was interested in her. With the friend's urging, Mark invited Rayna to the movies. That was the beginning of their courtship, but it was never a torrid romance. "We dated for a while, then we stopped for a while," said Mark. "Then we started dating again. Finally, in 1975, we got married."

"By the way" added Rayna, "Mark and I are still married, and the friend who didn't want to introduce us is now divorced."

These contrasting stories raise some interesting questions. Why do some people fall in love with such intensity, seemingly at first glance? Why do some couples ease into marriage with a levelheaded friendship? And why, as in the case of Rayna and Mark, do so many couples seem to have opposite personality traits? When we have the answers to these questions, we will also have our first clues to the hidden psychological desires that underlie marriage.

Unraveling the Mystery of Romantic Attraction

In recent years, scientists from various disciplines have labored to deepen our understanding of romantic love, and valuable insights have come from each area of research. Some biologists contend that there is a certain "bio-logic" to courtship behavior. According to this broad, evolutionary view of love, we instinctively select mates who will enhance the survival of the species. Men are drawn to classically beautiful women-ones with clear skin, bright eyes, shiny hair, good bone structure, red lips, and rosy cheeks--not because of fad or fashion but because these qualities indicate youth and robust health, signs that a woman is in the peak of her childbearing years.

Women select mates for slightly different biological reasons. Because youth and physical health aren't essential to the male reproductive role, women instinctively favor mates with pronounced "alpha" qualities, the ability to dominate other males and bring home more than their share of the kill. The assumption is that male dominance ensures the survival of the family group more than youth or beauty. Thus a fifty-year-old chairman of the board--the human equivalent of the silver-backed male gorilla--is as attractive to women as a young, handsome, virile, but less successful male.

If we can put aside, for a moment, our indignity at having our attractiveness to the opposite sex reduced to our breeding and food/money-gathering potential, there is some validity to this theory. Whether we like it or not, a woman's youth and physical appearance and a man's power and social status do play a role in mate selection, as a quick scan of the personal messages in the classified ads will attest: "Successful forty-five-year-old S.W.M. with private jet desires attractive, slim, twenty-year-old S.W.E." and so on. But even though biological factors play a key role in our amorous advances, there's got to be more to love than this.

Let's move on to another field of study, social psychology, and explore what is known as the "exchange" theory of mate selection. l The basic idea of the exchange theory is that we select mates who are more or less our equals. When we are on a searchand-find mission for a partner, we size each other up as coolly as business executives contemplating a merger, noting each other's physical appeal, financial status, and social rank, as well as various personality traits such as kindness, creativity, and a sense of humor. With computerlike speed, we tally up each other's scores, and if the numbers are roughly equivalent, the trading bell rings and the bidding begins. Getting the Love You Want. Copyright © by Harville Hendrix. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

HARVILLE HENDRIX, PH.D., has more than 30 years' experience as an educator and therapist. He specializes in working with couples in private practice, teaching marital therapy to therapists, and conducting couples workshops across the country. Dr. Hendrix is the founder/director of the IMAGO Institute for Relationship Therapy. He lives in New Jersey and New Mexico.

Jack Garrett has narrated a number of audiobooks including Mary Jo Putney's The Burning Point, Ed Gorman's Shoot First, and Paulette Jiles's The Color of Lightning, which won an AudioFile magazine Earphones Award. Garrett also read Getting the Love You Want, 20th Anniversary Edition about which AudioFile magazine said, "Jack Garrett's vocal quality and nuanced dramatic skills are perfect for the emotional narrative as well as its prescriptive aspects. His genuine interpretation is steady enough to provide continuity and varied enough to keep listeners engaged throughout."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Getting The Love You Want 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I looked at this book from a different perspective than most readers. I didn't read it as a person in need of relationship advice. Rather, I read it as a person who has been happily married for 22 years. My question was, how closely did the advice in this book match what I was doing successfully?

A bestseller since 1988, the book is separated into 3 sections:

-the first part talks about how unmet childhood needs can affect your future relationships.

-the second part talks about a marriage that can fulfil your unmet childhood needs in constructive ways.

-lastly, part three is the exercises. Here you'll be taken through a series of exercises that you can do at home that have been actually used in the author's practice. They're easy to do and involve writing.

Well, that's a rough synopsis that should give you a little bit of a feel as to how the book is set up- and what its about.

So how closely did the advice in this book match what I have been doing all this time to create a successful 22-year marriage? Perfectly- both the book and I promote the idea that you have to work at your marriage to make it work!

And perhaps that's the best piece of advice of all: find constructive ways to make you marriage better- and that's one thing this book most certainly succeeds at.
dorayogi More than 1 year ago
there is a error in the NOOK version and 10-13 words or less are shown per page. This is apparently a publisher's error and B&N customer service cannot fix it. This book is impossible to read on the NOOK version.
JDT018 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at the recommemdation of my marriage counselor. At the time, my wife and I could barely stand to be in the same room, let alone function in a relationship. Divorce was imminent. Having not had much luck with relationship self-help books, my hopes were not too high. By the time I was 100 pages in, things were already starting to get better. My view of my wife and our relationship completely changed. The methods described in this book, which center around the concept of thinking about what you're not putting into a relationship instead of dwelling on what you feel you aren't getting out of it, made an instant impact. Also, some of the principals taught in this book can be cross-applied other relationships beside marriage. I highly recommend it to any couple in pain and contemplating divorce. I have been enthusiastically recommending it to all my friends. If your marriage or relationship seems irretrievable or like a lonely, miserable death march to the grave, read this book before you make any permanent decisions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently renewed my acquaintance with a book that¿s had a significant influence on my life--Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, the classic relationship handbook by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. This book remains an essential addition to the library of couples who want to create loving, fulfilling, joyful and enduring relationships. The exercises in Part III of the book are themselves invaluable and can empower willing couples to deal with the challenges that arise in every relationship and, perhaps, eliminate repeated visits to the marriage counselor. First published in 1988, I first came upon this book in the early 1990s. My second marriage had just gone down the tubes, and I was struggling to understand why. How could my former wife have left me when just a few short years ago, she was so totally in love with me? It was not until I read Getting the Love You Want, that I realized I was relying on her to take care of me, to somehow make me whole, responsibilities she had not signed up for, needs that were impossible for her to satisfy. So I began a process of deep introspection: How did I help create the breakdown of my relationship and, ultimately, how I could go about initiating a more conscious relationship the next time around? A few years later, a number of Harville¿s exercises included in Part III of Getting the Love You Want played a significant role in forming the foundation for my romantic partnership with the woman who I would later marry, including: (1) Creating a joint vision for the relationship--Being clear about what each of us envisioned for our relationship (2) Mirroring--Learning to really hear what my partner is saying and letting her know I have done so and (3) Re-romanticizing--Sharing specific information with one another about what pleases me, what pleases her and agreeing to perform those acts of pleasure regularly. Today as I was re-examining Getting the Love You Want to write this review, I came upon the final exercise in the book--Visualization of Love. I instinctively began following the instructions--visualizing Shonnie as a whole spiritual being, who like all of us, has been wounded. And I imagined that the love I was sending her at that moment was healing her wounds. Finally I imagined the love I¿d sent her coming back to me and healing my wounds. Afterwards I sat for a few moments in quiet gratitude--for my life, for Shonnie, for Harville and for the wisdom that he so readily shares with us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. My first inclination was to give copies to my boyfriend, mother, friend- anyone in a relationship. It gives me new hope that relationships do not have to end in frustration. I felt like the authors were writing about me- it was very insightful and deep. I couldn't put it down. The exercises are very difficult at times, but well worth the effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book helped open our eyes to why we chose each other and the problems inherent in our relationship. Once we obtained an understanding of how our actions make our partner feel, we were better prepared to start working things out in our relationship. We have also purchased the workbook that goes with this book so that we can better follow the step-by-step process of learning and listening to one another. We are very excited about this process and for the first time, are looking forward to living a passionate friendship together with the right tools!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is an easy and enjoyable read. I gleaned great number of pearls of wisdom and revealing insights about my marriage, myself and the reasons I do those things that make my spouse irritated. The author presents 16 exercises, which you can do together with your spouse to work on your relationship. They are interesting and practical, blended in a very readable format. Keep in mind however that this is not a quick fix book full of easy answers. In it, Dr. Hendrix introduces the imago model, which he developed as a tool for understanding relationship problems. His approach is quite interesting to read as you will discover the 'roots' of some of your marriage problems and will gain greater insight. I found this book valuable and directly applicable to my life. It gives you the tools to understand yourself as well as your partner. From that, you can start resolving long standing problems. It really helps you to get below the surface problems and deal with underlying issues. Near the end you are presented with two couples where everything you have learned is applied to show how situations can go from bad to blissful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book. Definitely makes you look deeper into your relationship, while finding and maintaining balance. The exercises stimulate conversation and open communication between you and your partner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book saved my marriage and made it everything I wanted my marriage to be. It helped me understand why we were always fighting....always on each other last nerve...and why our fights emotionally hurt so deeply. If you are really interested in a lasting relationship with your partner, this book can make it possible. But you and your partner have to BOTH be willing to read the book and follow it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now, because of this book, my girlfriend loves me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't bother reading my review just get the book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago