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4.1 out of 5 stars34
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 23 October 2001
After a major blow-up in our relationship I bought this book as a last hope. It has explained to me why conflicts arise, to understand them, and deal with these differently. It has made me see that the root causes of arguments are totally different to the subject of an individual conflict. The book lets you explore your relationship with tasks leading to "ten steps" to recovery. An excellent and encouraging book - a "must buy" if you love the person, but hate the conflict. TWD.
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on 7 December 2006
This ten step book encourages an acceptance that there is no 'magic answer' to resolving conflict - yet what counts is wanting to change, and being willing to work at it.

Anyone who has ever had an argument with a loved one will know the anguish that such conflict can cause, especially if it is prolonged. It can seem hopeless - but it doesn't have to be. Susan Quilliam's book offers examples of how many different couples can make it work if they choose - their strategies depend on their individual problems. Where this book is most helpful is the case studies of genuine couples who have seen Relate counsellors.

The book encourages you (alone or, preferably, with your partner) to start pinpointing exactly what is the real problem underlying your relationship - often, what you are arguing about is a mere cover for more deep-rooted, fundamental issues and unresolved problems, often stemming from as far back as early childhood.

The reader is encouraged to examine why they fight - but also HOW they fight, with different approaches to argumental 'tactics', crucial to reccognise both in yourself as well as your partner. Susan Quilliam helpfully provides both good and bad 'replies' to a partner during a 'step by step' argument, guiding couples to a more focused, productive mode of communication that does not fall back on aggression.

We are encouraged to discover what pushes a partner's 'panic buttons' as well as our own, and how to tackle problems as a couple. With useful features such as 'Anatomy of an Argument', we become more able to understand how an argument can develop - but also, crucially, how to divert or 'steer' it to a more fruitful and peaceful conclusion.

With the in-depth, clearly analysed and expertly proffered advice within these pages, we may become far more adept at handling our conflicts and start talking - but we may also become more able to help our friends, family and children - who rely on us to provide patterns of behaviour.
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on 22 January 2002
An excellent book looking at why but more importantly how couples argue, distinguishing unhelpful sytles from helpful styles. It gives clear guidance on steps to take to make a change. We argued and it has caused significant damage to the relationship over a period of years. I was unaware of what was going on in an argument, how its a behaviour dynamic between the two of you, how your behavior has part to play (tough to accept but true) even if your certain its your partners fault. Another excellent source looking at this is Divorce Busting by Michele Weiner Davis or her more updated 7 Step Divorce Avoiding Programe. These are very good, "how to" books. To understand the behavioral risk factors for divorce I'd read the 7 Principles for a Successful Marriage by John Gottman. Thats based on research findings and is excellent again with specific where to start material. All of these are written by people with lots of practical experience in their subject which I believe is a must for real life problems.
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on 21 April 2008
This is a practical and constructive 10-step plan to help couples in conflict to resolve arguments. However the book goes beyond just settling your differences temporarily, examining the reasons why conflict arises in the first place, the sides to each of you which create and aggravate problems and reasons why arguments can rear their ugly heads again in exactly the same guise even after you think you have finally succeeded in conquering them. So rather than simply resolving an argument once only for the bickering to continue the next day, you end up with a much wider view of the situation and its causes and are able to avoid the argument arising at all in the future rather than having to diffuse it afterwards.

The book includes useful advice not just for the couples directly involved but for those which it (insightfully) recognises are likely to be closely affected by a couple in conflict - most notably any children in the relationship. It includes useful practical guides such as a comparison of 'What's happening' and 'What's happening underneath', to help you understand your partner's behaviour, your childrens' behaviour, and your own behaviour, and to analyse its causes. This provides a really helpful insight as it encourages you to understand why your partner is reacting in a certain way rather than just taking his or her anger or aggression at face value and reacting to it in kind.

The book includes real case studies which help to illustrate practical ways of tackling specific problems, and is useful both for couples who have decided together to look for help in resolving the problems in their relationship, but also for individuals looking for guidance to steer a turbulent relationship towards calmer waters.

Overall a helpful and practical guide, but don't forget that often a book cannot be a substitute for counselling, and that if your relationship problems are deeper you may need to contact your local branch of Relate for personalised help.
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on 18 December 2012
I know some times I can't help but start an arguement this book is great at making you think twice.
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on 9 February 2014
As self help books go im not convinced, however I bought this as a hint to my moody boyfriend. I started to read it and everything made sense. I could see how arguments developed, my part in them and how to deflect. I still read bits as a reference book now.
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on 5 June 2013
I have a good relationship, 99% of the time, but this book may well make it 100%. A must-read for anyone wanting to understand themselves and their partner better!
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on 6 February 2011
I bought this book based on the reviews listed on Amazon. I could'nt wait for it to come in the post (thinking based on the reviews this book is the answer to all my prayers). As soon as I got it I read it straight away. I have to say this book did'nt help me at all. It did get me 1 or 2 tips but thats it....very disappointed). This book is more for people who argue over how much sex they have or don't have. Would not reccomend this book at all. Sorry.
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on 20 November 2010
I read the reviews, bought the book... and the arguments stopped! I explained to my boyfriend that I was sick of the arguments and I had bought a book I would like us to read together. We didn't actually get beyond the first few pages, as he took the mick constantly (I later read it myself), but I think the fact that I bought the book made him realise that our arguing was a problem, and demonstrated my commitment to him and the relationship. It's been about 3 months now and we still exchange the occasional cross word, but the constant bickering has stopped, so I feel that this was money well spent!
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on 7 December 2011
I bought this in the hope that my husband & I could resolve our problems without needing to involve anyone else. However the book is full of very useful ideas & things to try as a couple, but my husband flipped through it, saw the suggested exercises & thought that they were silly & pointless. Maybe this might help in the early stages of a relationship rift, but we had to find a counsellor!!!
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