24 Of The Best Relationship Books Ever
It is not uncommon for people to write off relationship help books as being cheesy and not applicable to real life.
However, the advice given in quality self-help books written by professionals and thought leaders can have a huge positive impact on your life.
One of the most important areas for awareness and growth is in your marriage or love relationship.
Relationships are a learning lab for developing empathy, healthy communication, intimacy, and trust.
Whether or not your relationship is going well, it's a good idea to read relationship books.
They can help you continue to grow as a couple and understand each other on a deeper level, which can help prevent problems in the future.
In fact, many couples find it especially beneficial to read top relationship books together. Why not work on your relationship now rather than wait until you have problems?
Benefits of Reading a Relationship Book Together
While it is great if one of you reads a relationship book, it is exponentially more helpful if you read a book together and absorb the same relationship advice.
This will open up deep discussions that you likely haven't had before, allowing each of you to gain a deeper understanding of the other.
Also, reading a book together will help you break up the monotony of your weekly routine.
Getting home from work and watching Netflix every night can get boring, and it definitely won't enhance your lives or provide you with any relationship help.
The lively conversation that once brought you together comes to a halt in front of the television and before you know it, the night is over.
Reading together will give you and your partner an organic opportunity to re-establish intimacy and engage in discussion rather than escaping to another world together by watching a movie.
It will help you learn about the unique love that you share with your partner and allow you to work together to improve your partnership. Some other benefits of reading with your partner include:
- Stress reduction
- Opening your mind to new ideas
- Soothing interactions
- Improving analytical thinking
- Helping you prioritize your relationship goals
Now that you know some of the benefits of reading relationship books, let's look at 25 of the top relationship books that are on the market today.
24 Of The Best Relationship Books Ever
1. The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman
This must-read will lead you to have many “aha” moments regarding your relationship.
Chapman explains that everyone gives and receives love differently, so it is important to understand how your partner feels loved so you can provide that for them.
Knowing this can especially help you if you find your partner doesn't respond to your acts of love in the way that you would expect.
Learning about love languages helps couples show each other love in the way that it will be best received.
2. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottman
After conducting a significant amount of research, Gottman argues that emotional intelligence is what makes a marriage work. In this handbook, he teaches you how to develop the skill of emotional intelligence.
In addition to the explanations of seven principles, Gottman offers plenty of real-life examples, exercises, and questionnaires for couples– either individually or together– to work through.
Many couples turn to this book because Gottman's work has saved thousands of unsteady relationships, often in instances where traditional marriage counseling failed.
3. How to Be an Adult in Relationships, by David Richo
Richo focuses on the fact that one cannot rely on their partner for 100% of their nurturance.
Not only do people also need nurturing from their family and friends, but it is also important to get this sense of wellbeing from a career or a hobby.
He suggests that self-care cannot be overlooked, as you can't be an effective partner if you do not take care of yourself first.
Related: 101 Of The Best Self-Help Books
4. 201 Relationship Questions, by Barrie Davenport
Davenport teaches couples about mutual questioning in this book, which is a powerful technique that people can use to get to the root of their issues and grow exponentially closer to their partner.
When you and your partner commit to mutual questioning, you are opening yourselves up to a more satisfying life together by proactively addressing relationship incompatibilities before potential problems occur.
Even after decades of marriage, readers appreciate the transformative nature of this technique.
5. Couple Skills, by Matthew McKay
Matthew McKay teaches his readers how to work more effectively in their relationships in order to improve communication, coping skills, and conflict resolution.
Each chapter offers a skill that is essential to relationships that will increase both your satisfaction and your intimacy with your partner.
6. Communication Miracles for Couples, by Johnathan Robinson
The methods that Robinson offers in this book to finetune the communication in your relationship are both simple and effective.
Couples learn how to stop blaming each other and develop a greater sense of understanding. Readers appreciate the clear and concise advice given by the author.
7. The Relationship Cure, by John Gottman
Dr. Gottman offers a five-step program in his well-known book to help improve various relationships in your life from your spouse to your boss.
Readers appreciate the actionable tools and exercises that Dr. Gottman teaches in this book and most find the advice to be practical and easy to follow.
Many also find value in the lessons on dealing with a partner who is either passive or aggressive in their communication.
8. Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson
Dr. Sue Johnson teaches Emotionally Focused Therapy in this book. She argues that you have to reestablish safe connections in order to save a relationship and preserve the bond between two people.
Using practical exercises and case studies from her work, Dr. Johnson reveals seven healing conversations to have with your partner in order to improve your relationship.
9. Mindful Relationship Habits, by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport
If the “honeymoon” phase is a distant memory to you, now is a good time to start acting intentional in your relationship to get the spark back.
Scott and Davenport teach readers to become proactive rather than reactive in their relationships to help improve communication, understanding and create a deeper sense of love.
Many insights in this book are backed by scientific research from relationship experts and therapists and can help you and your partner have more valuable interactions with each other.
10. Attached, by Amir Levine
Everyone's attachment style is hardwired into their brain, and it impacts one's intimate needs.
Levine teaches you how to communicate if your partner has a different attachment style than you do and how you can come together and understand what the other person needs by recognizing and learning about their individual attachment style.
Readers appreciate the clear lessons in this book that are insightful and easy to read.
11. Wired for Love, by Stan Tatkin
This guide uses research to help you understand your partner's brain. Everyone is wired differently, and when you are in a relationship, those wires can cross and lead to conflict.
However, Tatkin is able to improve your relationship by teaching you how to respond during times of conflict.
12. Love Sense, by Sue Johnson
Dr. Johnson lays out the scientific research that proves that humans are meant to be monogamous.
This guide to creating a long-lasting relationship is written with humor and wit and offers clinical wisdom for those who need to understand how to weather the storm when things get tough in the relationship.
Readers walk away with a deep understanding of the dynamics of a loving relationship.
13. I Love You But I Don't Trust You, by Mira Kirshenbaum
This guide helps you restore the much-needed trust in your relationship.
Kirshenbaum teaches you how to avoid the common mistakes that hinder the healing of mistrust and learn how to feel secure with your partner again.
Readers appreciate the author's ability to take them out of a life of stress and apprehension with their partner and help them live a more peaceful life in their relationship.
14. Love and Respect Workbook, by Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs uses biblical and psychological research to teach the power of true love and respect.
The lessons offered in this book are great for couples who are trying to repair their struggling marriage and for those who are not yet married but want to go into the partnership with a strong understanding of how they can make their marriage last.
15. Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus, by John Gray
This well-known relationship guide helps you understand the opposite sex using a practical method to improve communication by recognizing and discussing the differences between men's and women's needs, desires, and actions.
Rich with evidence-based insight, Gray's lessons help strengthen your bond with your partner and introduce a new sense of understanding.
There are helpful lessons in this book for anyone who doesn't understand their partner's behaviors.
16. The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm
Published in the 1950s, Fromm's ideas are still relevant today.
He offers a perspective on love as an art and the need to hold onto maturity and individuality in order to truly love someone else.
The thought-provoking ideas that are presented in this book will inspire you to look at your relationships in a different light.
17. Mating in Captivity, by Ester Perel
This is among the best relationship books that address the physical aspect of marriage and the need to keep that spark alive in order to have a truly satisfying relationship.
Sex can be exciting even many years into a relationship, and Perel shows you through discussions and case studies how you can experience this.
The lessons are accessible and written in a witty way that eliminates possible feelings of shame that come along with talking about sex.
18. Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendricks
With the unique perspective of someone who has been through a failed marriage, relationship therapist, Harville Hendricks offers a program to help couples grow and mature together to develop a long-lasting relationship.
His 10-week program involves detailed exercises for you and your partner to do to teach you how to replace criticism with a supportive process of mutual growth.
You might be especially interested in this book if you and your partner have found that contempt has started to infiltrate your relationship.
19. Conscious Loving, by Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks
The authors offer a powerful new way to eliminate your unconscious agreement patterns and use strategies to create a long-lasting, satisfying partnership.
Readers walk away knowing how to release the need for control and power struggles, communicate in a way that prevents arguments, and allow more happiness into your life.
One of the unique aspects of Conscious Loving is its relevance for couples as well as individuals.
20. Boundaries in Marriage, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The authors help you get to the bottom of hot-button topics and past betrayals in your marriage and move on from them to the mutual respect and intimacy that your marriage needs.
This is one of the best relationship books for those who are holding onto a lot of resentment that is preventing them from truly loving their partner.
The authors tie in a religious element, but whether you feel like you have a religious connection or not, this book has something to offer you and your partner.
21. The Meaning of Marriage, by Timothy Keller
This Christian book might be right for you if you follow the teachings of the Bible and want to learn more about what the Bible says marriage should look like.
Keller offers instructions on having a long and successful marriage and how marriage these days is often misunderstood.
Readers appreciate the logic and clarity that Keller has to offer and his ability to present it in a well-written manner.
22. The Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz
This is among the best relationship books that address beliefs that are based on fear and false assumptions that undermine relationships.
Through his insightful stories, the author shows you how to heal your emotional wounds and restore the vital sense of playfulness in your marriage.
Readers appreciate the author's ability to teach the difference between true love and attachment.
23. How We Love, by Milan Yerkovich
This book might be right for you if you feel like you have landed in a frustrating pattern in your marriage that leads you to repeat the same arguments over and over and never seem to make any progress.
Yerkovich shows you why your method of relating to your spouse dates back to before you even met each other. Using concepts from the attachment theory, the authors look at the link between your childhood and your marriage.
Using their ideas, you can identify your love style, break away from unhealthy patterns, understand how your childhood affects your marriage, and find solutions to the deep-rooted problems that you share with your partner.
24. Signs of Emotional Abuse, by Barrie Davenport
This is among the best relationship books for those who are questioning if their partner's behavior is acceptable. It can be difficult to spot emotional abuse because there are no physical signs or symptoms that are clear-cut.
However, Davenport reveals eye-opening patterns that are commonly seen in an emotionally abusive relationship, 125 specific behaviors that are exhibited by emotionally abusive partners, and analytical questions to ask yourself about your potentially abusive partner.
You will finish this book knowing what your next steps are and where to find the best resources for support.
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There are so many great resources and relationship books available for couples to help you maintain a happy and healthy connection. And the truth is, there’s no better time to start working on your relationship than right now.
I hope you found this list of top relationship books useful and relevant for your relationship so you and your beloved can have the fulfilling partnership you deserve.
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