19 Of The Best Books For Couples
Do you and your love partner make daily efforts to strengthen and improve your relationship?
If not, you might want to pay attention, because the quality of your love relationship determines your overall happiness and even your health.
All couples, whether married or dating, straight or gay, have to consciously take action to keep their relationship strong in order for it to be successful for the long haul.
One great way to do this is to read books for couples that offer concrete steps to maintain and enhance the love, trust, respect, and intimacy between you.
Without being proactive, two people will start to grow apart and disconnect rather than evolving and thriving as a couple.
Some of the key aspects of a strong relationship are regular communication, active listening, compassion, and conflict resolution skills.
The common factor in all of these is being able to put yourself in your partner's shoes to consider their perception of a situation. You are a team, and your partner's happiness should be as important as your own.
You have to be considerate of your partner and his or her feelings to have an open and honest relationship that will stand the test of time and life challenges.
While couples counseling is always an option, you can address these issues preemptively by reading some relationship books that have proven to help couples get on solid footing.
It's best if you and your partner read these books together, but even if one partner doesn't participate, the other can share and model some of the positive skills he or she is learning.
Here are 19 of the best books for couples that I recommend:
1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
By Gary Chapman
This best-selling book has helped thousands of couples improve their relationships with their partners.
Dr. Chapman gives insight into the five ways we prefer to show and receive love to reach deeper levels of intimacy in our relationships.
By discovering your own love language and your partner's, you can build understanding and better communication.
With this knowledge, readers are able to increase their partner's satisfaction in the relationship, which then helps the other partner to be happier as well.
One of the best things about this book is that the strategies outlined can apply to other relationships in your life in addition to your love relationship.
Dr. Chapman provides a “love language test” in the book to help you determine your primary and secondary love languages.
2. 201 Relationship Questions: The Couple's Guide to Building Trust and Emotional Intimacy
By Barrie Davenport
Readers have suggested this book is like having an on-call relationship counselor. It teaches people the questions to ask your partner to help create the relationship that you both want.
The author argues that the power of questioning someone else to elicit their deep emotions can help address potential conflicts before they happen and damage your relationship.
If you know the right questions to ask, you can increase mutual understanding and create a positive change.
Being proactive instead of waiting for conflict to occur is the best way to address your needs and reinforce your commitment to each other.
Readers have found this book to be fun, enlightening, and even challenging at times, but it comes with many rewards and teaches a strong foundation for a happy life as a couple.
Some readers even like to keep a personal journal of the changes they want to make to strengthen their relationship.
After doing this and reading this book, it is easy to spend some sacred time together each day asking the questions suggested by the author, which will keep your relationship exciting.
Says one reviewer, “This book really helped my partner and me with our communication. We had been to counseling twice and were at the point of calling it quits after a decade of hurt feelings and anger and disappointments. This book was a last-ditch effort. It worked and it helped us listen to each other.”
3. I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships
By Michael S. Sorensen
This book teaches a very powerful but simple tweak that people should make in their relationship in order to make it more meaningful and loving — validation.
This book is written in a conversational tone to pull the reader in and teach them how to provide validation for their partner.
Those who want to improve their relationship with their spouse, work through difficult conversations in the workplace, or even make a deeper connection with friends and family, can benefit from reading this simple and practical book.
Readers have found that this book is great at eliminating uncertainties in their relationships and increasing their feelings of respect for their partner.
It has also been helpful for people who are looking for a fast way to resolve their arguments. It provides support to couples who need a bit of extra encouragement to make their relationship work.
The skill of validation is a powerful one in relationships and before reading this book, and this book shows how to use this to your advantage in all of your relationships.
4. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition
By Dr. Harville Hendrix
This book was originally published in 1988 and has reached millions of couples to help them have more loving and satisfying relationships.
This new edition has extensive revisions, including a new chapter, new exercises for couples to try, and an updated philosophy to help eliminate negativity from any daily interactions that occur in a relationship.
Readers have found this book offers great advice on how couples can work together to mature through the years.
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You'll find the situations described in this book are not only recognizable but very relatable to your own relationship with your partner. It has allowed people to feel less alone in their relationship struggles.
Dr. Hendrix uses extensive research to show how people choose their partners for specific reasons that are often subconscious.
Everyone marries into some problems, which can end up driving a wedge between people. This book provides the reader with practical exercises for couples to practice regarding how they should interact with each other.
Readers warn people who have not yet read this book to be prepared to do some soul searching and be ready to relive some painful experiences from the past.
It is important to be open to unlearning the conditioned responses that you have used and prepare to be honest with yourself and your partner.
Author Susan Heitler teaches the necessary communication and conflict resolution tools that can help people have a great marriage.
Heitler offers a practical guide with easy-to-follow steps to teach readers how to evoke interest when speaking about sensitive issues with their partner rather than setting up an environment for defensiveness.
Couples have found this book provides actionable techniques for effective communication, techniques to recover from arguments, and ways to make sure that apologies are effective in fostering healing.
It offers great lessons on changing moments of anger into opportunities for growth.
Many have found that every chapter in this book offers important skills for acquiring a happier and more satisfying relationship.
This book can be beneficial to anyone, no matter how far into their relationship they are.
6. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert
By Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver
This book is a collection of John Gottman's extensive studies of couples over several years that let him discover the habits that can either improve or destroy a marriage.
The seven principles offered in this book guide couples toward a compatible and long-lasting relationship.
It is written in a relatable way that allows readers to learn these principles and teach their partners new approaches to resolving disagreements and create common ground to reach new levels of intimacy.
Couples can benefit from this book in many regards, whether their issues are related to sex, money, communication, religion, work, friends, family, or anything else.
Dr. Gottman offers exercises inspired by recent research to help anyone who wants their relationship to reach its highest potential.
7. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
By Dr. Sue Johnson
The Emotionally Focused Therapy that is taught in this book is effective because it views relationships as attachment bonds.
This idea has been supported by science and has become very popular among therapists worldwide.
This type of therapy focuses on saving and enriching relationships by reestablishing a sturdy and emotional connection while also preserving the attachment bond.
The author focuses on seven healing conversations that couples can have to help nurture their bond.
Readers appreciate the author's ability to teach them how to focus on their emotions as a couple and refrain from making existing problems worse.
This book is commonly used by marriage therapists to help their clients resolve deep-seeded issues.
Says one reviewer, “I saw myself and my husband in these stories. I cried reading these, and when he came home, I had the courage to talk about what I need, giving him the strength to talk about his needs.”
8. Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
By Dr. Sue Johnson
Another great book by Dr. Sue Johnson, Love Sense offers readers new scientific evidence that proves humans are meant to be monogamous.
Dr. Johnson does a thorough job explaining how a romantic relationship is an attachment bond, and she shows readers how to develop relationships that can last a lifetime. She argues that love is actually a recipe for survival.
This book covers the three stages of every relationship and explains ways to get through the tough times. It also addresses the intelligence and logic of people's emotions and their feelings of love.
Readers have found this book helps them understand the work that needs to happen when couples have hurt each other.
The author is able to expose the various challenges people face when trying to be present with their partners. She uses a conversational style to help relate to the readers and keep them engaged.
9. Boundaries in Marriage
By Henry Cloud
This book is a great tool for married couples to learn how to set their boundaries with each other.
Spouses need to know and respect each other’s needs in order to completely give themselves to each other. Once boundaries are in place, any marriage can improve or be saved.
The authors of this book show readers how to apply ten laws of boundaries to make a difference in relationships.
They help couples identify the serious problems and betrayals in their marriage and move on from them to achieve mutual respect and intimacy.
Readers have found that this is a very well-written book. The advice that is given is practical and reasonable, allowing couples to quickly apply the techniques from the book.
10. Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
By Emerson Eggerichs
This is a great book for people who are trying to keep or repair their marriage. The author focuses on the fact that men and women think differently and why they think they way they do.
The author demonstrates how to work on avoiding conflict and repairing the relationship through mutual understanding. If both partners want the marriage to work, this book can help a couple make repairs and improve communication.
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11. The Marriage Counseling Workbook: 8 Steps to a Strong and Lasting Relationship
By Dr. Emily Cook
With this book, Dr. Cook will help you improve how you think about, communicate with, and show love toward your spouse.
While most people want their marriage to be stronger, not many know how to strengthen it. This book helps couples pinpoint the cause of problems and recreate a deep connection.
Dr. Cook gives a step-by-step guide and marriage counseling exercises to help people learn how to talk about difficult issues and build skills for effective communication.
Readers have found this book offers insight into some of the most common marital issues, such as money and intimacy.
The author's use of real-world questions helps people relate to this book no matter what stage of their marriage they are in.
12. Communication Miracles for Couples
By Johnathan Robinson
This book helps readers keep their love alive with their spouse through powerful and simple methods that increase their ability to communicate with each other.
This is a great book for people who want to improve their relationship by learning ways to communicate without blaming the other person and offering more understanding.
Readers have found this book help increase the love in their relationship, decrease arguments, improve listening, and repair trust.
The book is broken down into three parts: Creating Intimacy; Avoiding Fights; and Solving Problems without Bruising Egos.
Says one reviewer, “I was literally on the way to divorce court the morning I ordered this book. We decided to make one last-ditch effort and try better communication skills. After thousands of wasted dollars in counseling, this little book was the key to hope. It offers very clear and concise advice in a brilliant and insightful.”
13. Love Warrior: A Memoir
By Glennon Doyle
In this book, Glennon Doyle tells her story of self-discovery after her divorce. She experienced infidelity in her marriage which forced her to realize that nothing in her life was what it seemed.
Rather than allowing herself to go down the wrong path, Doyle decided to make the best of her situation.
Doyle's story shows readers that healing is possible for anyone who refuses to settle for less than they deserve.
This memoir links ideals of masculinity and femininity to make it possible for a man and woman to be in love and shows what can happen when people let go of the things they have been taught about what marriage should look like.
This is a great book for people who are searching for a more meaningful relationship in their life.
14. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: Practical Guide for Improving Communication
By John Gray
This popular, New York Times #1 Bestseller, is relationship guide that helps people in their understanding of the opposite sex.
Relationship counselor, Dr. John Gray, offers a practical way for men and women to improve their communication that has been proven to be effective year after year. He teaches couples the differences between the needs, wants, and behaviors of both sexes.
Readers appreciate the evidence-based insight that is in this book to help strengthen and nurture relationships.
While some reviewers found this book tilts more toward favoring men, others have been able to sort through the information that doesn't apply to them and focus on the points that can benefit their relationship.
This book was written to help people create relationships that are connected on all levels, including emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual.
It offers a guide to teach people tools they need to create these deep relationships. It also tells the readers some tips for keeping your relationship loving and passionate each day.
Readers will walk away from this book knowing how to tackle tough challenges with their partner in ways that help bring them together.
This book is great for anyone, whether you are single or married. The strategies and the real-life stories included in the book can be applied to our everyday lives and awaken couples to new possibilities in their relationships.
16. Mindful Relationship Habits: 25 Practices for Couples to Enhance Intimacy, Nurture Closeness, and Grow a Deeper Connection
By Barrie Davenport and S.J. Scott
This book recognizes that while it is easy to fall in love, it is often difficult to stay in love when you are living in the real world and the spark begins to diminish.
However, in a mindful relationship, you are intentional with your actions and interactions with your partner. This allows each of you to respond to each other's needs and not react negatively to challenges that come up.
The relationship advice that is given in this book will give you insights from a variety of experts, both in the field of relationships and mindfulness.
Everything is backed by science, which readers appreciate because the information offered can be trusted.
The relationship habits that are suggested all come with an explanation of why it is important to your relationship and a guide on how to turn the habit into a natural part of your life.
17. The 5 Little Love Rituals: Connect and Keep Your Love Alive No Matter How Busy You Are
By Marko Petkovic
No matter how long you have been in your relationship, there are likely days when you are having a hard time keeping it exciting.
You may already be growing apart from your partner but don't really know how to make that stop. Or maybe you don't know who to reach out to for help?
This book is about five small habits you can do each day to help connect with your partner and keep your love strong.
Readers like this book for its simplicity and creativity. Reviewers have found that the results from following through with the advice in this book are instant and can be powerful for any kind of relationship.
The author offers great advice and discloses his own personal relationship experience and how these rituals have helped him.
Says one reviewer, “Having a happy, successful marriage these days often feels like a crap shoot. Still, the book makes an awesome job at reminding (and showing!) how the ‘little things' can dramatically improve your odds for a healthy and successful relationship.”
18. The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship
By Don Miguel Ruiz
This book looks at the fear-based assumptions that often overpower the feelings of love and lead to suffering in relationships.
The author uses insightful stories to illustrate his messages and shows people how to heal their emotional wounds and restore their spirit of love and playfulness.
This book emphasizes that you must be able to create your own happiness in order to be happy with someone else.
Many readers have found that they have been positively impacted by the message in this book. While it may seem simple or like common sense, it is not often addressed.
19. Our Q&A a Day: 3-Year Journal for 2 People
By Potter Gift
This journal offers readers a question for every day of the year (for three years) with space for two people to answer the questions.
While some questions relate the relationship, others focus on a couple's dreams or long-term goals. Others also suggest writing about each other.
After each year, the couple can look back at their previous answers to see how they have grown and changed as a couple.
People love this as a keepsake to track their relationship and see how it has evolved. It is also a great gift to give to newlyweds so they can document their feelings as they grow together.
Couples often find this book is more than just a fun activity. Answering questions together can turn into deeper conversations with one another.
There are many great books out there for people who are in a relationship and are looking to rekindle their love, maintain their connection, or repair some deep-seeded hurt.
These 19 books offer advice for people in all stages of a relationship and couples who have various goals for their relationship.
Do you have a favorite book for couples?
Please share it in the comments below.