Because some of our members have requested this, I am listing 10 of the most helpful books I could find in my library about committed relationships. I’m sure there must be some missing that we’ve loaned out. But here’s what I got.
(Now, I want to assert that the best way to make a good relationship is to be healthy yourself. This is always the first step. Take care of yourself and you’ve mastered the work. Because, let’s admit it, you’re not going to change our partner. That’s their job!)
So here are some books that Lisa and I count among the most influential in helping us:
- David Schnarch, Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships. (A must! This outshines them all. If I could only recommend one book, this would be it! From communication to sex. #1 on Amazon for this topic.)
- Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. (This is a powerful book that applies to all relationships but is also helpful for marriage. This caused a turning point in our marriage.)
- Daniel Coleman, Emotional Intelligence. (A great book that helps people realize the importance of expressing emotions with guides on how to do it.)
- Psaris and Lyons, Undefended Love: The Way That You Felt When You First Fell in Love is the Way You Can Feel All the Time. (Dropping our defenses is the best way to open ourselves up to the love of another.)
- Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship (He wrote “The Four Agreements”. Just plain simple wisdom for healthy love.)
- Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk (Although we read this tiny paperback to help us raise our kids well, it actually taught Lisa and me how to communicate with each other in healthy, non-aggressive and respectful ways.)
- Sandra D. Wilson, Shame-Free Parenting (Her tagline is “Are you trying to love your children a lot when you don’t like yourself even a little?” That, in my opinion, counts for our partners as well.)
- David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates, Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types (One of the best ways to make a better relationship is to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of the other. There’s a short test at the end of the book to help you discover your personality type that is fun to do together. Eye-opening and revelatory! It even has a section that will describe your relationship based on your personality types.)
- Edward M. Hallowell and Sue George Hallowell, Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Interruption (No joke: Lisa’s read this book and says I need to but I’ve been too busy. She says it’s awesome and a must. I will. I promise. Soon. It says it’s for “those hungry to move beyond conflict and condemnation to connection and understanding.”)
- What’s your suggestion? Anyone?