Relationship Books for Couples
Love gives us a deep sense of fulfillment we can’t find anywhere else. But healthy, loving relationships don’t just happen – we usually have to work at them. Musician John Lennon said that, “Love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard, or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
Mastering the art of relationships may take practice, but the good news is that all the skills you need can be learned. So whether you’ve had trouble with relationships in the past, or are simply trying to make the most of the one you’re in now, here are 17 of the most celebrated books around to help keep you and your partner happy, hugging, and deeply in love.
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This book has been a classic guide to relationship success since 1992, and it’s still one of the very best resources for figuring out exactly what makes your partner tick. Men and women often feel they’re from different planets when it comes to the way we communicate and relate to each other, and marriage counselor John Gray not only highlights these differences, he shows us how we can vastly improve our relationships by understanding, accepting, and respecting them.
- The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships – John M. Gottman & Joan DeClaire
This innovative, 5-step program is all you really need to dramatically improve the quality of your relationships – from your spouse to your co-workers. Dr. Gottman begins by explaining what the key elements of a healthy relationship are and why an emotional connection is so important. Then he shows us how relating the give and take of that connection to his unique system of “emotional bidding” is the best way to empower both ourselves and the people we care about.
Everyone who’s ever been in love knows how easy it is to get there – the difficult part for most of us is learning how to stay there. According to Dr. Chapman, the secret to staying in love is all about knowing how to show and receive love, and this book is filled with actionable advice. Through a series of simple steps, Chapman demonstrates how both you and your partner can flourish in your relationship by learning to meet each other’s “deep emotional need to be loved.”
As America’s foremost relationship expert, Gottman has spent years studying the nuances of marriage. Now he brings his unparalleled expertise to you in a book that’s specifically designed to keep couples moving forward on a harmonious path through life together. This revolutionary guide uses questionnaires and practical exercises to help define the potential of a relationship, and to teach readers exactly what it is that makes a marriage work.
Communication is the key to every successful relationship, but all too often the way we’ve learned to speak and think leads us toward conflict, and sometimes even violence. This irreplaceable guide is for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate more effectively and to improve the quality of their relationships. You can empower yourself, heal pain, and build trust in your interactions while ultimately getting what you want – and you can do it all, peacefully.
Drawing on what he learned from his success as an author of The Game, and as the ultimate pick-up artist, Strauss’s autobiographical account of what happened after will keep you riveted. Learn what happens when we “fool around and fall in love”, from someone who’s been there and done that. This book looks at the morality and the behavioral extremes behind the conflicted pick-up lifestyle, and shows how our childhood experiences often affect our relationships of today.
This moving account of the author’s journey through recovery after the implosion of her marriage will leave an impression on anyone who’s struggled with a long-term relationship. Just when she thought she had it all, from family to career, Melton finds herself blindsided by her husband’s infidelity and her own struggle with alcoholism and bulimia. When it comes to shedding “good enough” in favor of authenticity, there’s no book quite like Love Warrior to uncover the pain, the healing, and the inspiration behind finding true relationship.
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High – Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Do you ever feel unprepared for those all-important conversations where you care about what’s at stake? Many of us fall victim to emotion when we discuss what really matters to us. In this explosive guide to effective communication by four New York Times best-selling authors, readers are exposed to the ground-breaking concept that life’s quality is directly related to the quality of our dialogues. Learn how to talk about virtually anything in a way that’s powerful, persuasive, and emotionally safe.
- Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success – and Won’t Let You Fail – Keith Ferrazzi
Relationship success stems from our willingness to acknowledge that we simply can’t go it alone in this world. Ferrazzi’s book explains how it’s our relationships with a few trusted individuals – our “lifeline relationships” – that give us the encouragement and support we really need to reach our full potential. No matter your goals, this book will show you how to let your guard down and rely on others to help you reach them.
As the saying goes, if you want to be successful, you need to “work smarter, not harder” – and your relationships are no exception. In Couple Skills, you’ll learn how working smarter pays off in terms of better communication and an improved ability to cope with problems, and resolve conflicts, with the people you love. Find out how a healthy and creative skill set based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can lead you to more intimate and satisfying relationships.
- When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships – David Richo
According to psychotherapist David Richo, if you want to cultivate authentic intimacy in your relationships, you need to understand the emotional wounds you’re carrying from the past. The needs, beliefs, and expectations from our childhood inevitably get dumped on the people we interact with as adults. Find out how to free yourself from destructive habits and patterns, so you can put your emotional baggage where it belongs and get on with your relationships.
- I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship – Mira Kirshenbaum
Trust can be broken in a relationship but it can also be rebuilt, and couples therapist Mira Kirshenbaum is here to show you how.Sometimes trust is breached all at once, but just as often it’s a build-up of smaller dishonesties that happen over time. Wondering whether things can ever be good between you and your partner again? This is the book for you. Find out if your relationship is worth saving with this complete guide to restoring trust.
How do you keep the romance alive?This may just be the most important question there is when it comes to intimate relationships.Author Neil Rosenthal helps you to spot the cracks and crevices that sneak up on relationships over time – before they can cause the foundation of your long-term partnership to crumble. Practical, actionable, and ultimately proactive, this guide to fanning the flames of your romantic bond is a must-read for both you AND your partner.
- Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship – Mira Kirshenbaum
“Should I stay or should I go”, is a common lament among the doubtfully married. Self-analysis techniques designed by world-renowned therapist Kirshenbaum will help guide readers to the core of their relationship issues, and attempt to arrive at a better understanding of where the uncertainties lie. Whether your connection is old, new, or somewhere in between, this book promises to help clarify the decision-making process and clear a path to the answers you need.
- 47 Little Love Boosters For a Happy Marriage: Connect and Instantly Deepen Your Bond No Matter How Busy You Are – Marko Petkovic
Think you’re too busy to invest in the success of your relationship? This book will make you think again. Author Petkovic provides the inspiration for endless ways to reconnect with your partner and show them how much you still care. The best thing about these little love boosters is the fact that they’re so amazingly simple,you can do them at home. They may take only a few seconds – but their impact on your relationship will last a lifetime!
Bet you didn’t know that finding true love is all about tapping into your very own brain chemistry! As a biological anthropologist, Dr. Fisher’s formula for long-term love is unique – and it’s based on her radical personality-type study of more than 28,000 match.com users. By exploring the evolution of our brain’s functionality, this book will help you figure out whether you’re an explorer, a director, a negotiator, or a builder – and how that discovery can lead you to your ideal match.
Power struggles don’t only take place in the boardroom – they can happen in any room of your home. Without effective communication and self-empowering behaviors, it’s all too easy for a marriage to falter and fail. With this practical, problem-solving guide comprised of 16 valuable exercises, Dr. Hendrix helps readers to rediscover the love they may be missing. Find out how you can transform your marriage into a union that benefits both partners – emotionally and spiritually.
Relationship Books For Men
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “There are only three kinds of men who don’t understand women – young men, old men, and the ones in between.” Funny, right? But not entirely untrue. Today’s research supports the fact that men and women really do have very different brain structures, ultimately resulting in very different realities. The bottom line? Women process emotions differently than men.
So where does this leave the guy who’s scrambling to figure out why trying to solve his wife’s problems is constantly ticking her off? It leaves him reaching for any one of the practical resources listed below. Here are 7 of the very best books available when it comes to understanding what women really want.
If you thought seducing a woman was a rational matter, better think again! This game-changing book turns the idea of attracting women on its head by defining the process as one based on emotion rather than logic. Honesty and truth-telling are behaviors that will take you to places where lying and imitating others never will. So throw away everything you thought you knew about impressing women, and prepare to connect.
- The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire – David Deida
Some challenges are universal, and this timeless classic will show you that growing spiritually is a realistic possibility as you wrestle with everyday work and relationships. Between the two extremes of heartless, macho jerk – and spineless, sensitive wimp – resides the Superior Man:fully capable of bestowing all the unique gifts he was meant to give. Delve into the author’s real-world insights on how you can learn to express love and be present in the moment, while conquering the world.
Did you know that only about 3% of the world’s males know how to be successful with women? Now you can be one of the few men who truly understands how to win the woman of your dreams. Discover how to be naturally attractive to women, while still being yourself. Learn how to overcome your insecurities and go after that woman who intimidates you. After helping you figure out who you really want, this book will show you how to keep her – year after blissful year.
Hang onto your hats! Certified marriage and family therapist Glover addresses the “Nice Guy Syndrome” in full-blown style. This is a must-read for any guy who tries too hard to please everyone else, without taking care of himself. Glover shows readers how to move beyond resentment and unhappiness to get what they really want in life: needs that are met, a satisfying sex life, the ability to embrace their own masculinity, and the opportunity to live up to their creative potential.
This thought-provoking read is a ten-year compilation of blogger Tomassi’s take on issues commonly faced by the men of today. In response to the growing interests of online “manosphere” groups, this book explores cutting-edge concepts surrounding intergender dynamics and relations. More specifically, Tomassi provides his personal insights on such topics as positive masculinity, the feminine imperative, and the psychological theories behind Game awareness and“red pill” ideology.
- What Women Want When They Test Men: How To Decode Female Behavior, Pass A Woman’s Tests, And Attract Women Through Authenticity – Bruce Bryans
The title of this book pretty much says it all! Whether they’re aware of it or not, Bryans explains how women secretly test men to discover if they’ve got what they want. And what women want, according to the author, is a man with a backbone. Find out why women need a guy who makes them feel secure by demonstrating personal boundaries and unwavering commitment. Then discover how you can use this knowledge to attract and hang onto the woman of your dreams.
- Worthy of Her Trust: What You Need to Do to Rebuild Sexual Integrity and Win Her Back – Stephen Arterburn & Jason B. Martinkus
If you’ve blown your wife’s trust, you can still win it back – and authors Arterburn and Martinkus are here to show you how. With the right investment of patience, love, and self-sacrificing effort, you could end up with a relationship that’s better and stronger than ever before. This book offers the practical tools and real-life exercises that helped Martinkus to repair his own damaged marriage. Valuable advice includes tips for becoming truly transparent, dealing with outside temptations, and implementing trust-building activities.
Relationship Books For Women
While a lot of women believe that men simply aren’t capable of processing complex emotions, nothing could be further from the truth. Men’s minds may operate differently from women’s, but thanks to neurological studies, we know for a fact that the male brain functions every bit as intricately as that of his sexual counterpart.
So what does it really mean when a guy tells a girl he just needs hiss pace? Probably a little more than he can express in a single sentence. The key to figuring men out relies on establishing a safe and open line of communication. Here are 9 great books that can help to translate “guy-think” into a language that women can relate to and ultimately understand.
- The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun) – Sheila Wray Gregoire
Surveys confirm that the women having the most fun these days are both married and religious! According to this Christian resource, great sex isn’t about acting trashy – it’s about reaping the benefits of what God created sex for. Ideal for newlyweds and married veterans alike, this book adopts a humorous, conversational, and anecdotal style to answer the questions on every good girl’s mind. And it shows readers that Christian marriage and commitment can go hand-in-hand with a great sex life.
- The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband in Mind Heart Body Spirit – Shannon Ethridge
If you’re looking to get the most out of the sexual and emotional sides of your marriage, you need to look no further than The Sexually Confident Wife. Don’t let self-doubt, guilt, memories of neglect, or a negative body image stand in your way: you’re far from being alone in your attempts to find sexual fulfillment. Readers will be inspired by the real-life success stories, and the confidence-boosting techniques that are designed to connect them with the men they love – on every level.
- For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men – Shaunti Feldhahn
Forget what you think you understand about men and find out what it is they really want you to know. One of the biggest hurdles in decoding the man in your life is the fact that he’s probably barely aware of his own feelings – let alone how he should discuss them with you. Rest assured that your guy does want you to “get” him, and author Feldhahn draws on some eye-opening research to reveal the secrets he probably wishes he could tell you himself.
This real-life love story of a young bride’s squelched expectations, and eventually renewed faith in God and marriage, will leave you uplifted. Anyone who has experienced despair or disillusion within their union will relate to the challenges faced and overcome by the author and her husband. Even while working through the darkest hours of our relationships, we are not alone. Discover one couple’s story of how God tore down the veil between them, and showed them how to experience the fullness of love.
Don’t waste time with your female friends trying to puzzle out his mysterious behavior: get the truth straight from the source! Take it from this male author – men usually aren’t as complicated as they want you to think. So you can stop looking for hidden meanings and mixed messages in what he tells you, because chances are good you aren’t going to find any. This raw and straightforward book will help you decide whether a man really likes you enough to waste your precious time trying to figure him out.
- Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment – Steve Harvey
This expanded version of the #1 New York Times bestseller is packed with even more practical advice to help women know exactly what to expect from the men in their lives. Harvey’s guidance is warm and humorous, but don’t let that fool you -it’s also honest, compelling, and a realistic look at what men really think about love and sex. This book shares relationship wisdom ranging from why men would rather fix things than talk about them, to what to do when you think his friends don’t like you.
For any woman who’s ever felt she was just “too nice”, here’s the book that will take you from “doormat” to “dream-girl” in under 300 pages! Find out why men take nice girls for granted, and how you can command more respect simply by standing up for yourself. Author Argov’s delivery may be cheeky, but her advice is right on track. Learning how to be a strong, confident woman will make you more desirable, and help you gain the love and respect of the man in your life.
Real-life husband and wife authors Titus and Fadal have taken their insider experience running an exclusive New York dating service, and turned it into the ultimate guide for females. Their startling insights into the male dating psyche are both enlightening and empowering. Don’t wait by the phone – read this book instead! Discover how to dress to impress, what not to say on that first date, and which guys are really looking for a relationship.
- The Manual: A True Bad Boy Explains How Men Think, Date, and Mate – And What Women Can Do to Come Out on Top – Steve Santagati
Want to recognize and counter the bad-boy tendencies in every guy you meet? Now you can! Relationship expert Santagati is leveling the playing field, and putting more of the power in women’s hands with his revealing look at what makes bad boys tick. Based on his years of personal experience, Santagati makes it clear that if you can get a handle on the bad boys out there, understanding every other guy will be a walk in the park.
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Leanne is a freelance writer living in Vancouver, Canada. She has a multi-faceted background in health, finance and entrepreneurship, and her work has been published in Skin Inc. Magazine, Marketing Magazine, and on Huffington Post. Leanne holds a diploma in social psychology and writes blogs and articles for companies across a wide range of industries. When she’s not creating content, she can usually be found birding on the local hiking trails with the love of her life, or hanging out with her two fabulously creative young adult children.