A self-iterating soft equalizer (SISE) consisting of a few relatively weak constituent equalizers is shown to provide robust performance even in severe intersymbol interference (ISI) channels that exhibit deep nulls and valleys within the signal band. Constituent equalizers are allowed to exchange soft information in the absence of interleavers based on the method that are designed to handle significant correlation among their soft outputs. The resulting SISE works well as a stand-alone equalizer or as the equalizer component of a turbo equalization system. The performance advantages over existing methods are validated with bit-error-rate (BER) simulations and extrinsic information transfer (EXIT) chart analysis. It is shown that in turbo equalizer setting the SISE achieves performance closer to the maximum a posteriori probability equalizer than any other known schemes in very severe ISI channels.