10 Books for Couples Seeking a Healthy Relationship
Before we start, I’ll just mention that many of these books can be read for free with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited Plan. You can sign up for that here. Regardless, these are all great books. Let’s get into the list.
This list was written by Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC.
As a therapist, I work with a lot of couples. While we can do important work during our sessions, they are limited to 45-60 minutes every 1-2 weeks. There are so many tools and techniques for the couples to practice between sessions, not to mention all the additional information many of them are seeking to supplement their sessions with. There are many resources available to help couples learn new ways to examine and strengthen their relationships. Here are 10 of my top picks from the last few years.
1. “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” By Gary D Chapman
This book by Dr. Gary Chapman looks at one of the most common issues in relationship issues, that we speak different love languages. The languages he has identified are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Chapman is able to demonstrate each of our unique needs, and how they must be met for effective relationships. Examples from his own practice are used to illustrate his concepts. The book contains a questionnaire, questions and answers throughout the book, and a journal for further consideration. You can get it here on Amazon.
2. “Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work” By Matthew McKay PhD and Patrick Fanning
This book will demonstrate how to work effectively in your relationship. Some skills focused on are: improved communication, coping with problems, and resolving conflicts in healthier ways. This version of the book teaches the reader acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT helps each person to accept his or her partner’s feelings and emotions, without resorting to judgment. This book helps the couple decide what is important to them, and put these skills into practice. You can get it here on Amazon.
3. “Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away” By Dr. Bethany Marshall
This book discusses emotionally unhealthy men. It has you examine the people you choose, and the patterns you repeat. It makes you ask yourself while relationships can and cannot succeed. It is based in the reality of people’s willingness to change, or likelihood to remain in their same bad habits. The book helps women examine what their deal breakers are. What they will and will not tolerate in a relationship. When it is worth fighting for, and when it is time to leave. They learn to set healthy boundaries, and to stick to them. You can get it here on Amazon.
4. “The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships” By John Gottman
John Gottman is probably the most well know couples expert we have. He has authored numerous books that help people turn troubled relationships into positive and workable ones. This book is based on 20 years of proven research. He discusses what a healthy relationship consists of, looks at emotional connections, and how the couple responds to each other’s needs. You can get it here on Amazon.
5. “When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships” By David Richo
In this book, David Richo explores how being stuck in the past can destroy our present relationship. He states, “We all have a tendency to transfer potent feelings, needs, expectations, and beliefs from childhood or from former relationships onto the people in our daily lives, whether they are our intimate partners, friends, or acquaintances.” If we can become more aware of dysfunctional patterns, we can prevent ourselves from repeating them. This can be the key to a healthy relationship in the present. You can get it here on Amazon.
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