Originally published in 1988, Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, PH.D., I was sure that I would find this book old fashioned and outdated; however, I was pleasantly surprised. This information, Hendrix puts forth, brilliantly holds true for now. I read a lot of books (2-4 per month), and this book was well worth the time put in. I will use the information in my practice on a daily basis. Anyone can use it to know oneself better and/or to become a better relationship partner.
Getting the Love You Want informs the reader about the three stages of an intimate relationship, while providing case studies which include beneficial advice and suggestions for couples to navigate the inherent obstructions and create a robust connection in a marriage/partnership.
First, he explains the stages: falling in love/attraction; romantic love and the union; and inevitably the struggle of conflict. He also proposes techniques to recognize the conflicts related to each stage. Next he comunicates how to re-capture the early phase of romance and convinces the reader it can be restored, and the ugly struggles are replaced with empathy and indelible support. Finally he introduces Imago Relationship Therapy, the process to help you create a “conscious marriage.” CM is “a marriage created by becoming aware of and cooperating with the drives of the unconscious mind: to be safe, to be healed, and to be whole”
Finally, Dr. Hendrix integrates these concepts into an exceptional therapeutic curriculum (better explained in the workbook version), submitting a thread of exercises that lead to acumen, resolution, and restoration. He offers how to communicate more accurately with sensitivity, how to change self-defeating behavior, and how to focus on meeting each partners’ needs.
As a mental health therapist, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for couples in crisis or anyone wanting to learn how to be a better relationship partner.
Wendy J Poole
MA, MS, Licensed Associate Counselor
Disclaimer: By no means does this blog capture the whole heart of Wendy J. Poole's practice. There are many therapists and many points of view gathered there. It is JUST A BLOG, so don't take it too seriously and don't substitute if for real therapy. Reading and writing about how to manage a better happy life has been an ongoing project for Wendy...most of her life.