You’ve asked for it, so here it is. I’ve gotten many requests asking for books that support relationships and marriages . It is almost Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d share some books to help you rekindle the romance or refocus on your relationship or marriage. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to write a post about the top SIX books for improving your relationship.
The focus of many of these books are communication skills. This is because many couples have issues with communication skills and there are typically many unspoken expectations in relationships that people do not discuss. Communication is essential for understanding one another’s feelings, emotions, thoughts, fears, etc. If you are not communicating effectively with your partner, or have other issues, these books are for you! Also, there are many other issues discussed in these books such as overcoming the affair, overcoming annoying habits, rekindling the romance, and how to improve your marriage when there is stress or the focus is on the children.
So, I’ve gathered the TOP 6 just for you (in no specific order)!
Here they are:
1. Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work, Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning & Kim Paleg
This book was a MUST HAVE when I have worked with couples either via counseling or coaching. It covers the most common communication problems and how to overcome them. It covers active listening and helps with people who get caught up in emotion. When in a relationship it is easy to go from being a team to opposite teams. The thing to remember is that you are a team and working together to achieve the same things. However, when communication is piercing, there are problems that come from this “separation” that occurs when people think they are working against their partner instead of WITH their partner. So, this book helps with the most common communication issues and helps you gain the RIGHT type of relationship skills.
2. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman & Nan Silver
Anything by John Gottman is pure gold! His workshops and seminars are world renowned. This book is excellent for getting back in touch with your partner if you have been on autopilot for a while. For marriages on autopilot this book helps you to reconnect. Additionally, I love this book because I think the “love maps” are stellar. I’ve used them in my practice and they do awesome things for marriages. He talks about why marriages fail, why most marriage therapy fails, and how you can overcome the statistics. Another great book that I recommend by Dr. Gottman for new parents is “And Baby Makes Three”.
3. The Couple’s Survival Workbook: What you can do to reconnect with your partner and make your marriage work, David Olsen & Douglas Stephens
This book gives examples of why some marriages feel like work. It covers how beliefs are reinforced in the relationship or marriage. Also, it talks about how sometimes there are outside influences that you may not even realize which affect your relationship or marriage. This book also gives help to couple with kids, those who are remarrying (and mixing families), and how money becomes a topic for many relationships/marriages.
4. His Needs, Her Needs, Willard F. Harley
I used this book with couples frequently in my practice. Dr. Harley’s book uses the philosophy of the love bank which is awesome. So many couples “keep score” which actually can ruin your relationship. Instead, the love bank is not about keeping score but instead its a philosophy that reinforces giving more to your partner. When you give more, you receive more and this is a philosophy that Dr. Harley expands upon in his book. He also helps couples to reinforce romantic love and to rekindle the romance so that the couple in love stays in love. This book also highlights how men’s needs are different from women’s needs and how a couple can understand these differences and achieve a solid relationship by understanding what their partner needs.
5. Love Busters, Willard F. Harley
This is another great book by Dr. Willard F. Harley. I would refer the couples I worked with to his books and would also refer them to the Love Busters Workbook for homework assignments. Love Busters are the top six things that can ruin a relationship or marriage. They are selfish demands, disrespectful judgments, angry outbursts, dishonesty, annoying habits, and independent behavior. This book helps you to figure out which love busters have entered your relationship or marriage and how to overcome them. Additionally, if you have not encountered these, this book is great to have on hand so that you know how to prevent these issues from invading your relationship or marriage. This is a top recommendation! Also, check out other books by Dr. Willard F. Harley as well.
6. Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, Dr. John M. Gottman & Julie Schwartz Gottman
This is another fantastic book by Dr. John Gottman and his wife Julie Schwartz Gottman. Each of the chapters in this book is dedicated to an issue that may break relationships or marriages apart. They also go over the solutions or breakthroughs for change. These ten lessons are essential for transforming any relationship. Topics covered include the workaholic partner, recovering from an affair, a lack of communication, struggles with depression, relationship distance, stress from anew baby, family crisis, no time for the marriage due to the focus being on the children, no passion/no fun, and many others. This is really a must have for couples going through issues that seem to be leading to divorce. You can transform your marriage or relationship.
I hope these will help you in rekindling your romance or getting back in touch with your partner. Also, please feel free to reach out and let me know which of these you like best.
In love and light,