Keeping the Love You Find!

Having been single for the first 48 years of my life, healthy relationships not only eluded me, but I seemed to repel them. It was not until someone handed me Harville Hendrix’s book, Keeping the Love You Find, did I finally understand my role in the dysfunctional relationships, and I discovered what to do about it.

When I read his book and did the personal assessment worksheets that are included in the book, it was like a huge light bulb went off and illuminated those dark areas that I previously had little understanding about. I was immediately hooked into Hendrix’s work. After doing some investigating on who this man was, I quickly learned that I was not the only one who was hooked on his work. I discovered that Harville Hendrix was one of Oprah Winfrey’s top relationship experts and teachers. As a matter of fact, he was on the show 17 times and Oprah lists Harville Hendrix as one of her top 20 moments on the show. It did not surprise me that Oprah Winfrey would introduce Hendrix to the world and the powerful work he does in helping people to deeply transform their lives. That is what happened for me.

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., is a Clinical Pastoral Counselor. He and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. cocreated Imago Relationship Therapy and developed the concept of “conscious partnership.” Their partnership and collaboration has resulted in nine books on intimate relationships and parenting.

Harville holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Theology from the University of Chicago and has received an honorary doctorate and two distinguished service awards. He is the NY Times Bestselling author ofGETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT: A Guide for Couples andKEEPING THE LOVE YOU FIND: A Personal Guide.

Although his work is mainly working with couples, my personal experience in utilizing his work in my own life as a single woman was transforming. He coined the term “imago.” Imago is the Latin word for ‘image.’ Imago Relationship Therapy is the unique image of familiar love that each of us develops beginning at birth. It is how someone loves us or does not love us from birth that will be with us throughout our lives. In other words, we get involved with people who have the negative and positive traits of our major caretakers. All I needed to do with this information is take a look at my past relationships and clearly see how all the negative traits of the men I dated were the same as my father’s. A light bulb went off in my head, but what I could not figure out was why.

Hendrix clearly explains that we unconsciously are drawn to the same kind of person that wounded us in order to heal the original pain. It is that chemical reaction that goes off in our bodies and is pulled towards the very person that will hurt us. I remember trying to make these kinds of relationships work. I could be in a room filled with over 100 healthy men and yet I was unconsciously drawn to the man who was in some way shape or form unavailable or an alcoholic.

Hendrix’s ideal relationship is one that has both partners stop wounding one another in ways that will trigger their childhood pain. This is accomplished through a process he developed called Imago Dialogue. Normally the behavior that is triggering one of the partners is not a healthy one, but it takes a willingness to stop the behavior. I personally never found a partner who was willing to do this and he also addresses this as well. The miracle for me was when I became consciously aware of choosing men that were unhealthy for me, I started to recognize the “red flags” of the unhealthy behavior and would no longer stay in that relationship.

I fell in love with Hendrix’s work and wanted him to come and speak for us at our annual Celebrate Your Life conference in Arizona. I think there are so many people that struggle with their relationships and he is so amazing at being able to guide people through these challenges.

There is a wonderful short video where Hendrix speaks about his work. Take a few moments and watch the video. Click here to see Harville Hendrix.

Join Harville Hendrix at the annual Celebrate Your Life conference in beautiful Arizona on November 4 – 7, 2011 along with other teachers such as Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and many more. Click here to learn more!


Winifred Wi
Winifred Wi6 years ago

I heard those kind of stories many times about the trend of repeating failure relationships.
The only thing to find a good relationship is change & recognize my inner side of deepist concern i guess

Catherine Y.
Catherine Y6 years ago

thanks for the post!

sandra m.
Past Member 6 years ago


Robyn L.
Robyn P6 years ago

I owned Getting the Love you Need in 1991 (thanks, mom, the book lasted longer than the marriage, good call).
So I have no Oprah relationships to Hendrix's work.

I think he does good theoretical work, and the worksheets are illuminating IF you do them.
(ever look at self help books in a used bookstore? How many have filled in worksheets? I suspect those that USE the books, compared to read the books keep them or pass them on selectively)

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago

thanks for the article.

Keisha F.
Keisha F6 years ago

i just recently bought this book and it seems rather to fixated on the science side of love but I hope it unlock and repair some wounds from the past so I can move forward and have a flourishing relationship

J. Goodacre
Janice G6 years ago


Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi6 years ago

thanks for posting

Diah Lestari
Diah Lestari6 years ago

Well... I think I have to find (and definitely read) this book. Maybe I can find it in the bookstore nearby. Getting ready to search for it.

Anna C.
Anna C.6 years ago

I am no Oprah fan, and usually when her name gets attached to something I head the other way, but I discovered this book in the library and it is indeed insightful and revealing. It's definitely worth adding to one's cache of self-help books.