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Best Books on Marriage and Relationships;
Professional Personal Growth Expert
Gottman's books could easily take up on ten spots on this marriage list; the difficulty is choosing which one to recommend because they are all so terrific. That said, this one is really one of his best. Gottman, who is most known for his “love lab” where he observes couples interacting, claims to be able to predict divorces with 91 percent accuracy. In this book, he breaks every myth that we have about couples, communication, and what makes relationships work. It should be mandatory reading before engaging in any relationship!
Hendrix uses his “Imago” therapy to explain how we unconsciously seek out partners like our parents in order to heal wounded parts of ourselves. He helps readers understand how to heal old wounds that harm relationships. The book is divided into three sections: 1) “The Unconscious Marriage”, which exemplifies how childhood wounds interfere with a current relationship, 2) “The Conscious Marriage”, which shows a marriage that fulfils and heals those childhood wounds, and 3) a 10-week “course in relationship therapy”, which provides exercises for you and your partner to do in order to learn how to “replace confrontation and criticism” with a “healing process of mutual growth and support”. Using this book to its fullest extent requires insight and a willingness to examine the inner self and childhood. This book is also now available in a twentieth anniversary edition.
Lerner uses the best of family systems therapy to teach women how to make lasting changes in their relationships. Her style of writing is friendly and empowering yet enlightening and challenging. Lerner teaches readers how to avoid losing themselves in relationships, set effective boundaries, and how not to be reactive during conflicts. I highly recommend her other books as well.
Chapman believes that we all have different “languages of love” that make us feel appreciated and cared for. When we are not aware of what type of love to which our partners will best respond, we are likely to miss the mark and fail to communicate our feelings effectively. The five types of love he writes about are: 1) Words of Affirmation, 2) Quality Time, 3) Receiving Gifts, 4) Acts of Service, and 5) Physical Touch. While the author comes from a Christian perspective, the book is not entirely religious and can be appealing to those of all faiths.
Tannen, a Georgetown University linguistics professor, explains the gender differences in communication. Tannen does a great job breaking down the finer points of communication between men and women, helping readers to understand how men and women think differently. This book is an important read for anyone who wants to better understand someone of the opposite gender.
Dr. Phil asks readers to be responsible for their own relationships. He asks tough questions that force readers to look at their own roles in creating relationship difficulties. He also gives specific instructions to help couples reconnect within their relationships.
Packed with studies and scientific information, this book is a fascinating examination of the biology of love and courtship. Fischer uses evolutionary psychology to help readers understand dating, relationships, and marriage from an entirely new perspective.
This book is full of great advice and insight from a duo of psychotherapists who dole out over 30 years of successful marriage advice. Divided into 101 short chapters, the book is very approachable and easy read. Aside from being helpful, the book is also uplifting and practical.
Bernstein, a psychologist who specializes in couples therapy, uses cognitive behavior therapy techniques to help couples change their unhealthy thinking and behaviors. If you can get past the use of pop psychology phrases like “toxic thinking”, this is a worthwhile read that will help you change your thought patterns and learn to fight fairly.
While this book is very traditional in philosophy, there is a lot of truth to the points Harley makes. He emphasizes the significant needs of men and women and the importance of staying connected and attentive to one another in a specific ways.
I reread this book from time to time and believe it is simply one of the best guides to understanding how relationships work. If every couple who gets married were given this book for a wedding present, the divorce rate would be much lower!
I've learned a lot about myself and my relationships- both in my family and in romantic relationships with several of these book recommendations. My # 1 is The Dance of Intimacy...
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