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Published on January 10, 2020

12 Marriage Books Couples Should Read for a Healthy Relationship

12 Marriage Books Couples Should Read for a Healthy Relationship

Relationships are fickle in nature. One minute you’re in love, and the next you wish you never met. Yes, even the happiest relationships have room for growth.

Are you looking for a little bedtime reading that can completely transform your relationship? The best marriage advice is found in the pages of the experts.

We are examining the books that are most recommended by marriage counselors. These treasured reads have helped thousands of troubled couples boost communication, increase intimacy, and learn new techniques for conflict resolution.

Let’s look at 12 marriage books contain the best tips and tricks for getting your relationship back on track.[1]

1. The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work by Terrence Real

    Have you ever been in a relationship that turned from the best thing that ever happened to you, to a positively soul-sucking experience?

    Real does not beat around the bush when he discusses why couples allow destructive, negative behavior to control their relationship.

    This book also discusses the new marriage for the new Millennium. He talks about the change in the wife’s dynamic from subservient housewives to independent, self-confident career women.

    It also talks about emotionally stunted men and how couples can come together to fix the problems in their relationship.

    The aim of “The New Rules of Marriage” is to help couples move with the types, articulate their wants, learn how to listen, and express appreciation for one another.

    Pick up “The New Rules of Marriage” here.

    2. I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum

      Anyone who has been through infidelity in a marriage has surely asked the question, “Is this relationship worth saving?”

      Regardless of how partners may have betrayed one another, once trust is gone, it can be nearly impossible to get it back.

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      Kirshenbaum reassures couples that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that a marriage can be saved, even hurtful damage from dishonesties have driven partners away from one another.

      This book discusses how to restore trust and leave the past behind. It talks about the various stages of healing and rebuilding intimacy and security in a partnership.

      This is one of the best marriage books for anyone who has experienced betrayal in a serious relationship.

      Pick up, “I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You” here.

      3. The Relationship Cure: A 5-Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships by John Gottman

        American psychologist John Gottman has been exploring the topic of marital stability for decades, and his book “The Relationship Cure” is a testament to his knowledge and expertise.

        This 5-step program understands that your mood, your relationship, and your mental health can affect all of your relationships in life – romantic or otherwise.

        Within this marriage book, Gottman discusses the key elements of healthy relationships and includes exercises and questionnaires to keep the content feeling engaging and relevant.

        Pick up “The Relationship Cure” here.

        4. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson

          Communication is the key to a successful relationship. With the thought that attachment bonds and loving relationships go hand in hand, Dr. Sue Johnson shows couples how to nurture their relationship through conversations and communication.

          One of the most influential marriage books out there, this book, narrows in on Emotionally Focused Therapy and how it can help struggling relationships.

          Pick up “Hold Me Tight” here.

          5. Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda by Jennifer Hurvitz

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            This book has the best marriage advice for those who have been through a painful divorce and are once again looking for love.

            Looking back on her own failed marriage, the author discovers what went wrong and what she ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ done differently to save her relationship.

            Dating after divorce is no joke, but somehow Hurvitz manages to maintain a fun and relatable tone that keeps her book engaging and easy to read.

            Pick up “Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.” here.

            6. Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin

              Have you ever wondered what your partner is thinking? Have you ever been tempted to say, “I can’t read your mind!” when trying to solve a problem as a couple? If so, ‘Wired for Love’ will be one of your new favorite marriage books.

              Everyone is wired differently, and it is with this thought that author Stan Tatkin explores ten principles to improve any relationship.

              This book will delve into such topics as healthy conflict resolution, becoming an expert in making your partner feel loved, and using daily rituals to improve intimacy and connection.

              Pick up “Wired for Love” here.

              7. Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

                Perel encourages couples to unlock their erotic intelligence and keep sex, intimacy, and monogamy exciting. How so?

                The main point and best marriage advice in this book are that couples need time apart for personal growth and to maintain a sense of independence within their relationship.

                Spending time together as a couple is a great way to strengthen your connection, but too much time together can spoil relationship curiosity and make sex feel boring or routine.

                Pick up “Mating in Captivity” here.

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                8. The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michele Wiener Davis

                  The Journal of Health and Social Behavior posits that sex is good for your mental and physical health.[2] The oxytocin released during moments of intimacy with your partner promotes emotional bonding, relieves stress, and enhances cardiovascular health. Sex also acts as a mood elevator.

                  With these benefits in mind, it is no wonder why Davis is encouraging couples to boost their libidos and find a way to connect sexually even when their sex drives aren’t always in tune with one another.

                  Pick up “The Sex-Starved Marriage” here.

                  9. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman

                    If you have ever done an online relationship quiz with your spouse, odds are you have heard of Gary Chapman.

                    Pastor and author Chapman is most famous for his theory that there are five main love languages in any relationship:

                    • Words of affirmation
                    • Acts of service
                    • Receiving gifts
                    • Quality time
                    • Physical touch

                    Even if a couple is in love, they may not always feel like they are on the same page. That is where the five love languages come into play.

                    This book will help you have a deeper understanding of how your partner gives and desires to receive love. This marriage book is an eye-opening look at a whole new world of affection.

                    Pick up “The 5 Love Languages” here.

                    10. Toxic In-Laws by Susan Forward

                      Sometimes it isn’t your marriage that needs reworking – it’s your in-laws!

                      When personalities clash, or you’re dealing with critical or controlling in-laws, it can have an unfortunate effect on your marriage. Spouses will feel torn between romance and family loyalties.

                      While this book acknowledges that you can’t change your in-laws, you can change your outlook. Forward teaches couples how to communicate their frustrations constructively and gives various coping techniques to help partners protect their marriage from outside influences.

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                      Pick up “Toxic In-Laws” here.

                      11. The Normal Bar by Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., and James Witte, Ph.D.

                        Does normal exist? Is your relationship normal? How does the average couple communicate, problem-solve, and maintain a happy marriage?

                        If you have ever had any of these questions, then you are definitely “normal”!

                        This book is all about data. With research-based on 100,000 study participants, this book lets couples know what is normal in a relationship.

                        Take a deep-dive into what makes the average couple tick and look at how couple’s deal with race, age, gender, sexuality, having children, sex throughout the different stages of marriage, and those teeny, tiny habits every couple has to deal with.

                        Pick up “The Normal Bar” here.

                        12. Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love by Marcia Naomi Berger

                          In our final book, author Berger posits that the best marriage advice is to devote thirty minutes each week to couples’ communication.

                          Sitting down together each week to discuss the relationship allows couples to communicate.

                          Weekly marriage meetings afford couples the opportunity to commend and compliment one another on what is going right in the relationship.

                          This reinforces positive feelings. However, weekly marriage meetings also give partner’s a chance to reflect honestly about what in the relationship could make improvement.

                          Having a set time of thirty minutes or less each week takes the stress out of communication. Both partners know that they will be given a platform on a weekly basis to express themselves, problem-solve, and feel heard.

                          Pick up “Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love” here.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Relationships are complicated. Whether you’re dealing with issues involving in-laws, what goes on inside the bedroom, or want to boost your communication skills, you’ll find the best marriage advice on the pages of these best-sellers.

                          Featured photo credit: Edward Cisneros via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          More by this author

                          Sylvia Smith

                          Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

                          How the 5 Love Languages Help Strengthen Your Relationship 12 Marriage Books Couples Should Read for a Healthy Relationship How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner 8 Important Lessons You Can Learn from a Failed Marriage Are You Too Needy In Relationships? 9 Signs You Are And How to Stop

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                          Last Updated on February 25, 2020

                          5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

                          5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

                          “Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose.” – from the popular show, “Westworld”

                          It’s different for us all. My personal quest for purpose began with five stages of grief and one startling realization that everything’s endlessly fragile. Adversity, as it happens by rule, found me terribly unprepared, so I decided to take my time. Today, I can honestly say that I’ve grown.

                          Ugliness and beauty, good and evil, pain and laughter – everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. In the face of difficulty, that is the only mantra you need.

                          Here’s how I learned it and why you should too, with five simple rules.

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                          1. Embrace the Complexity

                          Quite insidiously, adversities come in all shapes and sizes. Paralyzing physical disabilities, mind-wracking mental problems, ruthless emotional havocs, all leading to the same painful acknowledgement: all the beauty in the world cannot possibly make up for the ugliness that surrounds us. Shattered to pieces, helpless and bare naked, we sit in our therapy chairs, apologizing for being so negative.

                          Eventually, what it all comes down to is the nature of negative emotion. Our positives overshadow our negatives, thus wrongly teaching us that the road to well-being is paved with nothing but positive feelings and thoughts. How utterly wrong!

                          “If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative”, Woody Allen said.

                          It’s a classic “learn from your mistakes” rule, but in this case, it implies growing from negative experiences. Make peace with your negativities and embrace beauty and ugliness alike! Accepting this marvellously complex world just as it is will allow you to find purpose in adversity and meaning in misery.

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                          2. Find Balance, Regain Control

                          Still, accepting adversity is only the first step toward eventual victory. One can endure only so much trauma in life; if we’re not prepared to deal with difficulties in a productive way, even the minor setbacks can get us off track. Our strengths come from learning, and the best way to learn is through a series of trials and errors. Just like phases of grief or stages of drug addiction, adversities suggest a disabling loss of control, so find your way to regain it.

                          Some call it the coping mechanism; for others, it’s a spiritual will. However you choose to name yours, know that not all supporting systems are equally beneficial, though each is effective in its own way. Escapism was mine, but it only helped me retain the illusion of beauty. It wasn’t until I opened up toward the ugliness and accepted the naked truth that I was finally free. Whether you choose to dwell in art, religion and spiritualism, thus feeding your resilience from within or to reach out to others for help, choose wisely.

                          Whatever the means, the second rule is a golden one: find your inner balance and stick to it. Eventually, it will lead you out of the vicious circle.

                          3. Fight with Patience

                          My bargaining turned in depression with a single touch. Fearless and free, my dance instructor timidly put her hands on my shoulders and I realized, for the first time, just how tense, stiff and cloistered I was. And just like that, I started letting go. Adversities have their sneaky ways, but in my experience, becoming aware is what hurts the worst. It took me a year to recover from this little moment of self-discovery, and I know remember it as the edge of the rabbit hole.

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                          Some sufferings are impossible to console; I know that now. The only way to get through is to, well, get through. Depression and despair are only the beginning of the excruciatingly unnerving process that ravages the mind and shrivels the soul, and once they strike, there is no easy way back. So, fight them with patience. When your head starts spinning and your feet lose ground, go to your happy place. Over there, you’ll be reminded that nothing is forever, not even our little existential psychosis.

                          Take a deep breath and say “om”. When things cannot be combated, they have to be endured, so practice patience and learn to let go. Finally, keep repeating to yourself that this too shall pass.

                          4. Keep Swimming

                          Nothing is impossible, in the end. Your negative thoughts will gently pour into your positive ones, just as two streams come together to become a river. In the event of the inevitable disaster, one can only be as calm as still water. Suffering teaches patience, and the latter gives rise to flexibility. Ultimately, what is life than a series of unfortunate events and a handful of bright moments in between? If adversities are impossible to avoid, than learn to glide through as smoothly and patiently as water does with rocks.

                          Even if spirituality isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that this is one solid metaphor. Staying adaptable in the face of change will soothe your panic attacks and keep you sane and sober-blooded. Even if you fail, you’ll know exactly how to breathe and face what’s in front of you once it eventually strikes again. Stay calm and visualize a better tomorrow; if anything else, it will give you strength to dive deep and weather the storm. And, in case there’s somebody’s hand to reach out to, grab it firmly and don’t let go.

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                          Being flexible against adversities takes a lot of learning, just as staying brave demands a lot of courage. It’s a long, arduous step-by-step routine, and you can reach the end only by swimming on. Persist, even when you fall.

                          5. Never Stop Searching for Inspiration

                          And, if it’s a guidance you need, where else to seek it than in experiences of others? Find it in art, in people around you, in chance encounters. The pure beauty of perseverance can be discovered where you expect it the least, so never stop searching for inspiration. If self-help literature soothes your pains and clears your mind, don’t let cynics discourage you. Your path toward reconciliation is nobody’s but yours to choose.

                          Ever heard of Nick Vujicic? Or Nando Parado? Inspiring people sound their yawps over the roofs of the world, sometimes voiceless, sometimes limbless, sometimes both. Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the most unusual certified pilot in the world, and you can rarely see her without a smile on her face. If you’ve already ripped all of your bucket lists and said goodbye to your dreams and plans, meet Sean Swarner, who’s officially became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest. The stories just go on.

                          Make your own guidebook! Pen down your positive thoughts, cover your walls with quotes and devise your personal mantras. Whenever things get hard, they’ll be there to remind you of what you need to do. It’s the simplest of all life hacks, and one of the most effective ones.

                          Find beauty in the world, but never stay blind for its ugliness. However daunting, adversities and emotional pain challenge our inner strength, thus making us resilient and allowing us to grow. As soon as you recognize them as the wind in your sails instead of the devastating storm, the purpose will become simple and clear.

                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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