The New York Times bestselling guide to transforming an intimate relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship, now fully revised with a new forward and a brand new chapter.
Getting the Love You Want has helped millions of people experience more satisfying relationships and is recommended every day by professional therapists and happy couples around the world. Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt explain how to revive romance and remove negativity from daily interactions, to help you:
· Discover why you chose your mate
· Resolve the power struggle that prevents greater intimacy
· Learn to listen – really listen – to your partner
· Increase fun and laughter in your relationship
· Begin healing early childhood experiences by stretching into new behaviors
· Become passionate friends with your partner
· Achieve a common vision of your dream relationship
Become the most connected couple you know with this revolutionary guide, combining behavioral science, depth psychology, social learning theory, Gestalt therapy, and interpersonal neuroscience to help you and your partner recapture joy, enhance closeness, and experience the reward of a deeply fulfilling relationship.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD., co-created Imago Relationship Therapy, a unique healing process for couples, prospective couples, and parents. Together they have more than thirty years’ experience as educators and therapists and their work has been translated into more than 50 languages, with Imago practiced by over two thousand therapists worldwide. Harville and Helen have six children and live in New York and Dallas.
Read an Excerpt
The Mystery of Attraction
The type of human being we prefer reveals the contours of our heart.-- ORTEGA Y GASSET
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.
Table of Contents
In Appreciation of Jo Robinson ix
Part I The Unconscious Partnership
1 Love, Lost and Found 3
2 Childhood Wounds 15
3 Your Imago 33
4 Romantic Love 43
5 The Power Struggle 59
Part II The Conscious Partnership
6 Becoming Conscious 79
7 Commitment 94
8 Discovering Your Partner 108
9 Creating a Zone of Affirmations 133
10 Defining Your Curriculum 149
11 Creating a Sacred Space 176
12 Portrait of Two Relationships 201
Part III The Exercises
13 Ten Steps Toward a Conscious Partnership 245
Exercise 1 Your Relationship Vision 250
Exercise 2 Childhood Wounds 252
Exercise 3 Imago Workup 253
Exercise 4 Childhood Frustrations 255
Exercise 5 Parent (Caregiver)-Child Dialogue 256
Exercise 6 Partner Profile 258
Exercise 7 Unfinished Business 259
Exercise 8 The Imago Dialogue 260
Exercise 9 The Commitment Decision 264
Exercise 10 Caring Behaviors 266
Exercise 11 The Surprise List 269
Exercise 12 The Fun List 270
Exercise 13 Positive Flooding 270
Exercise 14 The Behavior Change Request Dialogue 272
Exercise 15 The Holding Exercise 276
Exercise 16 Owning and Eliminating Your Negativity 278
Exercise 17 Zero Negativity and Reconnecting Process 280
Exercise 18 Visualization of Love 282
Seeking Professional Help 285
About Imago Relationship Therapy 303
Imago Contacts 305
Additional Relationship Resources 307
About the Authors 319
Ongoing Support for Your Relationship from Imago 323