Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! What better time is there than this lover’s holiday to focus on your closest relationship? If you feel like your love life could use some improving, then I’ve got some great book ideas for you! If you feel like your relationship is jolly and perfect, than these books are even more so for you! The thing about a good relationship is that it is always growing and getting better. You should never settle in a relationship, you must always work at it! It takes lots of effort and commitment to have a happy partnership! But it’s possible!
Love. Relationships. Partnership. Marriage. Whether you are a newly wed or have been married for 30+ years, these are great books for couples on love and relationships!
1) 52 Emails to Transform Your Marriage -How to Reignite Intimacy and Rebuild Your RelationshipSamantha Rodman PhD
With 52 E-mails to Transform Your Marriage, you’ll find a year’s worth of e-mails to help you reconnect with your spouse, reignite intimacy, and keep your love alive.
There’s no doubt marriage can be a challenge—we’ve all heard that half of marriages end in divorce. A common problem couples face is feeling stuck or disconnected—lonely within the marriage. Attempts to discuss the problem may lead to painful arguments, and even couples therapy may prove more expensive and time-consuming than effective, putting each of you on the spot and moving so quickly that you may leave, session after session, without feeling closer. E-mail, however, can be a much less threatening way to communicate your true thoughts and feelings.
Based on the author’s popular online relationship coaching sessions, each chapter of this book provides an e-mail writing assignment focused on a different topic, such as sex, intimacy, communication, trust, and the future. These weekly assignments will grant you both the time to write—which can be extremely therapeutic in itself—and read what the other has to say without the need for an immediate response. Read more at New Harbinger…
What a simple way to show someone you love that you are thinking about them. I write about a dozen emails a day, so why not add one more a week to strengthen my relationship with my spouse? I find it hard to have new things to say in letters, cards and emails – so I found this book to be extremely helpful for providing topics for me. There were example emails and useful tips that help me structure my emails so they are new and equally important each week. It is such a simple concept that can go a long way. Each weekly email topic is meaningful and helps build the relationship stronger.
2) The Introvert and Extrovert in Love – Making It Work When Opposites AttractMarti Laney PsyD, MFT, Michael Laney
We use the words everyday, but what does it really mean to be an introvert or an extrovert? And what does it mean to be an introvert in a romantic relationship with an extrovert? Can it work? Surprisingly, psychologists tell us that despite their obvious differences, introverts and extroverts can enjoy a strong, stable-and fun-relationship. The key to introvert/extrovert bliss lies in understanding what makes the other person tick and using your differences to help balance and enrich the relationship.This book offers advice for making it happen.
The book is based on current scientific research and innie/outie interviews. It is also based upon the authors’ personal experiences as a mixed couple—introvert Marti Olsen Laney and extrovert Michael Laney have been happily married for more than forty-two years. They must be doing something right! Read more at New Harbinger…
My husband is 100% extrovert. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I am an introvert. I see now that a lot of our disagreements could have gone more smoothly had I known we have opposite personalities! This book is reassuring that we are a good match, just each unique. All we need is some guiding. It teaches us how we both process information and how to communicate effectively. It helps with decision making and planning. It is a great resource on discovering more about how each other’s mind and emotions work.
3) The Happy Couple – How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a TimeBarton Goldsmith PhD, Harville Hendrix PhD
Bad habits: we all have them! But what happens when these bad habits extend to our relationships? Whether it’s interrupting your partner mid-sentence, acting bored when they are speaking, or teasing them in hurtful ways-over time these bad habits can lead to resentment, and can mean the difference between a wonderful, close relationship, and one characterized by conflict or unhappiness. Fortunately, for all of us, good relationship habits can be learned (or re-learned), and bad habits can be un-learned.
Named one of “America’s Top Therapists” by Cosmopolitan magazine, prominent Los Angeles-based psychologist and radio talk show host Barton Goldsmith, PhD, offers readers simple, accessible tips and tools for developing and strengthening positive relationship habits such as gratitude, humor, togetherness, and honesty.
Habits can be hard to break, but if you love someone, you’ve got to make sacrifices. The Happy Couple shows how simple acts of kindness and generosity can increase the likelihood of a relationship being happy, healthy, and long-lasting. Read more at New Harbinger…
It is clear to me that making relationships thrive takes a lot of effort. The Happy Couple is a quicker read that is broken down in simple chapters such as communication, acknowledgement, playfulness, nurturing and more. This book is uncomplicated and offers guidance that is achievable. It is a very realistic book for building better healthy relationship habits that in turn will achieve happier, healthier and more satisfying relationships.
4) Loving Bravely – Twenty Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want By: Alexandra H. Solomon, PhD, Mona D. Fishbane PhD
Real love starts with you. In order to attract a life partner and build a healthy intimate relationship, you must first become a good partner to yourself. This book offers twenty invaluable lessons that will help you explore and commit to your own emotional and psychological well-being so you can be ready, resilient, and confident in love.
Many of us enter into romantic relationships full of expectation and hope, only to be sorely disappointed by the realization that the partner we’ve selected is a flawed human being with their own neuroses, history, and desires. Most relationships end because one or both people haven’t done the internal work necessary to develop self-awareness and take responsibility for their own experiences. We’ve all heard “You can’t love anyone unless you love yourself,” but amid life’s distractions and the myth of perfect, romantic love, how exactly do you do that?
Loving Bravely introduces the idea of relational self-awareness, encouraging you to explore your personal history to gain an understanding of your own relational patterns, as well as your strengths and weaknesses in relationships. By doing so, you’ll learn what relationships actually require, beyond the fairytale notions of romance. And by maintaining a steady but gentle focus on yourself, you’ll build the best possible foundation for making a loving connection.
By understanding your past relationship experiences, cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness, and determining what it is you really want in a romantic partner—you’ll be ready to find the healthy, lasting love your heart desires. Read more at New Harbinger…
Relationships are two-sided. Of course you need to have two willing people to make love work, but even before that, you need to commit to yourself. While I have always felt in touch with myself, I have never reflected on some of the questions asked in this book, like “What did I learn bout love when I was growing up? How do my relationships with the people who raised me shape who I am in my intimate relationships?” This book has twenty lessons that help grow relational self-awareness. It’s goal is to leave you so you can love more bravely and deeply. And it sure does! I think that is so true!
5) The Two Truths About Love – The Art and Wisdom of Extraordinary RelationshipsJason B Fischer MA, LPC, Sabrina Kindell MA, LPC, LMFT
Some relationships last, others fall apart, and still others seem to thrive and grow as the years go on. The Two Truths About Love is a guide to creating this third type of relationship-an extraordinary partnership wherein each partner feels fully accepted and loved as they are. Designed over the course of thousands of hours conducting face-to-face counseling sessions with clients, psychotherapist Jason B. Fischer’s unique approach has already improved the lives of countless individuals and couples.
The two secrets to creating extraordinary relationships are simple: partners must 1. Give permission for the other person to be who they truly are while also 2. Taking responsibility for their own reactions, behaviors, assumptions, and expectations of their partner and the relationship. This book gives readers the tools to start giving permission and taking responsibility in their own relationships and offers strategies for letting go of dissatisfaction and habitual conflicts. In short, accessible chapters, readers learn how to put these seemingly simple rules into practice to regain balance and peace in their partnerships. Read more at New Harbinger…
I actually discovered on my own that it is important to let my husband be who he is without passing judgement and giving criticism. Because that is not what my role is supposed to be in a marriage! But this insight took my 7 years. This book goes into detail about this very topic. I guess I am not the only one that struggled with that! I really like this book because it is basic – 2 truths – just 2 – to be in a partnership where both people feel fully accepted and so the relationship can strengthen and evolve in complexity for years and years.
6) Wired for Love – How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure RelationshipStan Tatkin PsyD, MFT, Harville Hendrix PhD
“What the heck is my partner thinking?” is a common refrain in romantic relationships, and with good reason. Every person is wired for love differently, with different habits, needs, and reactions to conflict. The good news is that most people’s minds work in predictable ways and respond well to security, attachment, and rituals, making it possible to actually neurologically prime the brain for greater love and fewer conflicts.
Wired for Love is a complete insider’s guide to understanding your partner’s brain and enjoying a romantic relationship built on love and trust. Synthesizing research findings on how and why love lasts drawn from neuroscience, attachment theory, and emotion regulation, this book presents ten guiding principles that can improve any relationship.
While there’s no doubt that love is an inexact science, if you can discover how you and your partner are wired differently, you can overcome your differences to create a lasting intimate connection. Read more at New Harbinger…
There are so many books about how men and women are wired differently. How about Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Like that book, this book not only tells us about our differences, but helps us learn how to deal with them. As simple as learning to use specific gestures and words to help your partner not feel trapped. The book starts off with talking about the “couple bubble” which makes us both feel safe and secure. From there is builds into tips on how to fight so nobody loses and rituals to stay connected. A super helpful guide to understaind our complex differences!
7) Couple Skills – Making Your Relationship WorkMatthew McKay PhD, Patrick Fanning , Kim Paleg PhD
Love takes work, but, when it comes to relationships, it pays to work smarter. Couple Skills, Second Edition, revised and updated from the therapist-recommended classic, will show you how to work smarter in your relationship. You’ll learn to improve communication, cope better with problems, and resolve conflicts with the one you love in healthy and creative ways. Each chapter teaches you an essential skill that supports greater relationship satisfaction and deeper intimacy.
New to this edition is a chapter on using acceptance skills, developed from the revolutionary new acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). These new approaches will help you to accept your partner’s feelings (and your own emotions) without judgment. Using these techniques will help you decide what you really value in your relationship and then commit to acting in ways that further those values every day. Read more at New Harbinger…
This book is popular in couple’s therapy and for good reason! It is easy to follow and split up into four sections: basic skills, advanced skills, anger and conflict, and understanding and changing what goes wrong. There are plenty of charts and fill-in-the-blanks in this book. It has a workbook feel to it, but also has a ton of guidance! What a powerful tool this book is for making your relationship work!
Whether you are in the early, building stages of a relationship or have been together for years and want to improve specific aspects of your relationship – all these books have something to offer! Each book is unique and has lots of insight and practical ways to improve your relationship.