Getting The Love You Want Book Summary, by Harville Hendrix

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1-Page Summary of Getting The Love You Want


The author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (1999) uses research data from relationship studies and interviews to analyze common problems that damage relationships. He offers seven key points in his book to overcome those issues.

The “honeymoon period” is a new relationship’s first moments. It’s the time when you feel excited and happy, as if your heart will burst out of your chest or as if you’ll die from all the butterflies in your stomach.

However, the honeymoon period soon ends. Couples tend to have conflicts as they get closer and see each other’s flaws. They start noticing their partners’ annoying habits that were previously unknown or overlooked. An emotional gap opens up between them, making it harder for them to communicate with one another.

How can you maintain a healthy, loving relationship? This article will explain how you can use Freudian ideas of psychoanalysis to do that. It will also show what your partner has in common with your parents and why you should give your partner flowers now and then.

Big Idea #1: The type of partner you choose is influenced by your childhood desires.

People often end up with partners who are like their parents. Many people deny this, but it’s true. The reason is that we’re unconsciously trying to recreate our childhood environment in our adult lives. This can be seen at the beginning of a relationship; people act just like they did when they were kids around each other and show similar traits as their parents showed them growing up.

In the beginning of a relationship, people tend to treat each other like babies. They admire how soft their partner’s skin is or how cute their ears are. For example, they call each other “baby” and “kitten”. These names refer to things from childhood.

Freud also believed that we are all just crying babies. He said as adults, we’re still looking for the love of our parents. So why do people choose their partners based on how they think a parent would treat them? We create an image in our heads of what we want a parent to be like and then look for someone who resembles that ideal caregiver.

The ideal caregiver often resembles our parents and meets all of our needs. We seek out this person unconsciously because we want a partner who reminds us of that caregiver.

However, there’s another reason why we choose our partners.

We also tend to be attracted to people with opposite traits, because we want to regain those traits that we lost when growing up. We all know couples who are opposites of each other. One is loud and the other is quiet. One is organized while the other one can’t stay on top of things.

There are many reasons why people in relationships work. The reason is that both partners long for a sense of wholeness. They don’t have it when they’re alone, and only get it through their partner.

Big Idea #2: When people grow up with a parent that has certain personality traits, they can fall in love with someone who also has those same traits.

It’s not uncommon for people in a relationship to start noticing traits that they had previously ignored. One trait that often comes into focus is that one partner resembles the other’s parent. For instance, it’s not uncommon for someone who grew up in an abusive home to discover a violent streak in their partner. Equally, children raised by alcoholics will often find themselves married to someone with an addiction.

It’s not a surprise that people choose partners who are similar to their parents. For example, Kathryn chose Bernard because they were both quiet and withdrawn.

Getting The Love You Want Book Summary, by Harville Hendrix