There are so many great relationship books out there that cover topics about relationships, communication, relationship counseling, divorce, connection, couples counseling, affair recovery, infidelity, trust, etc. Here are the best relationship books that Friendswood Marriage Counseling recommends, along with a short summary.
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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
This is the single best book about marriage and reconnecting. I frequently reference this book during relationship counseling. This book is a best-seller, and the author John Gottman has been a pioneer in relationship counseling. Most couples counselors know about this book. It is very well-known and highly recommended. There are exercises and activities included in this book. There are new terms, like “repair attempts” that are helpful for couples to know and apply in their relationships. It has great tips and strategies for relationships. I recommend this book for couples that want to improve their relationship.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This book basically tells you that people give love and receive love in different ways. There is not a “wrong” or “right” way to give love. You just need to be aware that you may be different than your partner, and that is okay. For example, if your love language is “acts of service”, then you may prefer that your partner take out the trash rather than buy you flowers to show you love. (Buying flowers would be the “Gifts” love language.)
If your love language is “Physical Touch”, then you may prefer a long hug as opposed to a compliment. (Compliments are considered the “Words of Affirmation” love language.) It is helpful to know your partner’s love language as well as your own. I recommend this book if you want to learn more about you and your partner’s way of communicating.
Vertical Marriage by Dave and Ann Wilson
This is a Christian based book. The book recommends that you invite God into your relationship or marriage. This book wants you to accept that your spouse will never meet every single need that you have. And actually, that nobody will ever be able to do this. Only God can. I recommend this book if you want a Christian perspective on relationships.
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
This is also a book that has Christian references. The underlying message of this book is that men need respect in order to show love and that women need love in order to show respect.
This book is controversial due to being labeled as “critical of women” and “misogynistic”. I recommend this book for couples that are more traditional. This book is not applicable to those in abusive relationships. I like this book for the overall message, but there are certain examples in the book that are controversial. I do not agree with everything in this book, but it provides an interesting perspective that some couples may find helpful.
These are my recommendations for books about relationships. This list is not exhaustive. These are my personal recommendations and preferences. I incorporate messages and terms from these books when I provide couples and relationship counseling. These books are not a substitute for relationship counseling. These books are also not recommended if you are in an abusive relationship.
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