12 Must-Read Books for Couples to Strengthen Their 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. With the right communication and techniques, you can transform your relationship into something beautiful.

The best marriage advice is found in the pages of the experts. In this article, we will examine the books most recommended by marriage counselors. These 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 that contain the best tips and tricks for getting your relationship back on track.

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 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 times, articulate their wants, learn how to listen, and express appreciation for one another.

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.

Kirshenbaum reassures couples that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that a marriage can be saved, even if hurtful damage from dishonesties has 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.

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.

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.

5. Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda by Jennifer Hurvitz

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.

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.

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. 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.

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. With these benefits in mind, 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.

The book delves into the reasons behind sexless marriages and provides ways to reignite the passion that once existed. It is an excellent resource for couples who feel they’ve lost the intimacy they once had.

9. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D. 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 and, Physical touch.

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.

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.

Forward teaches couples how to communicate their frustrations constructively and gives various coping techniques to help partners protect their marriage from outside influences.

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, and sex throughout the different stages of marriage.

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. Weekly marriage meetings afford couples the opportunity to commend and compliment one another on their strengths and successes. It also allows couples to find solutions to the issues that are affecting their relationship.

In conclusion, the twelve books mentioned in this article are hand-picked by marriage counselors, offering the best advice for a happy and successful relationship. Even if your relationship may be thriving, there are endless tips and tricks that can boost communication, increase intimacy, and strengthen your bond.

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