Getting The Love You Want is an interesting and informative marriage guidance book. Harville Hendrix introduces some new and exciting concepts to help couples to achieve and sustain a happy marriage or relationship. Let’s find out more in our Getting The Love You Want book review.
The first idea that he challenges is the one that society dictates. We are led to believe that we can only achieve a successful marriage if we can find the right partner. Hendrix suggests that there is a lot more to it than that and we should embark on a psychic voyage with our partner that involves both people being fully conscious or mindful. For more information about marriage tips, check out our best marriage counseling books.
Each part of the book focuses on elements of the couple’s conscious or unconscious actions at various times in the relationship. Hendrix maintains that an unconscious marriage has limited scope and raises several challenges for the survival of the partnership. He names and unveils each one as follows:
Attraction – The Mystery Of It All
Subconsciously we all look for a partner with the positive and negative character traits of our parents. We seem to have a deep need to replicate what we experience from before birth and through our childhood to heal the wounds that remain hidden there.
Childhood Hurts – What Are They?
According to Hendrix, we all harbor childhood hurts, but they are not all necessarily large or serious. He believes that the act of becoming an individual that is separate from those around us causes us to forget the idyllic place in our minds known as “complete union”. Our primitive brain holds on to the memory, however, and we continue to long for a return to it.
Imago – Our Unconscious Image Of The Perfect Partner
Your initial reaction to the idea that we are looking for a partner who resembles our parents could well be laughter. Surely, that is the last thing we desire? We are looking for someone who has the same positive and negative characteristics of our parents.
In addition to that, we are most attracted to the negative traits because they are the ones that our sub-conscious wants to use in the healing process. So, “Imago” develops in our minds over time and outlines our image of the perfect life partner.
When we fall in love, our brain is flooded with hormones that make the whole world seem like a happier place. This chemical-induced state makes us feel as if we have always known the person we are in love with and we feel complete.
We have arrived back in the state of perfect union. This led Hendrix to conclude that romantic love is just a mirage – sleight of hand performed by our brain.
The Battle For Dominance
Inevitably, we slip into the next phase which is when we take the step of committing to each other. Once we take this step, our sub-conscious demands that our new lover must fulfill all of our needs and desires.
Our unrealistic expectations of our partner and our shattered illusions of them, cause us to wonder why they have changed so dramatically and suddenly. We begin to destroy the reality that we can now see clearly after the love mist has evaporated.
The only way a couple can survive this phase of the relationship is to remember that we were attracted to them because of the positive and the negative traits of our parents and that now is the time to address those childhood wounds.
Once we have dealt with the unconscious phase of the relationship, we need to move towards building a mindful relationship with our partner. There are ten steps recommended by Hendrix and they are completed individually and discussed as a couple, using the exercises set out in Getting The Love You Want book.
If you do not choose to do the exercises, you will still reap the benefits of just having this unique information about how we all progress on the journey of relationships.