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5 Books for a Better Marriage

Five Books for Improving Relationships and Saving Marriages

  • The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
  • The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  • How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

Books for a better marriage come in all shapes and sizes, but some are smarter, deeper and more hard-hitting than others. Here are just five titles that can help people who are struggling with their spouses or relationships.

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1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Dr. Gary Chapman was a marriage counselor for more than 20 years when he decided to compile everything that he’d learned into a book. The result, The 5 Love Languages, is an exploration of the idea that everyone expresses their love in a different way. Everyone has their own “love language.” For example, some people might need words of affirmation while others are more grounded by acts of service or physical touch. For anyone with a marriage in crisis, saving the relationship might mean learning the language of your partner.

2. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert

John Gottman, a psychological researcher, did something a little different in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Instead of relying on emotion-based cliches and stereotypes, he put marriage under a microscope and studied it like a scientist. To his surprise, he was able to identify several key factors in stable, long-term relationships, and he decided to share the data by breaking down the studies and helping the average person understand them. He even threw in worksheets and questionnaires for other students of marriage.

3. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

Written by pastor Timothy Keller with contributions from his wife Kathy, The Meaning of Marriage offers a unique perspective on commitment. Rather than lecturing couples on what they should and shouldn’t do, this book acknowledges the nuances, subtitles, and complexities of the modern Christian life, and it doesn’t propose any clear-cut ways around them. Instead, it encourages the reader to develop their own inner wisdom for dealing with complicated situations and crises of faith, and it offers guidance for achieving personal fulfillment as well as relationship success.

4. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

While not meant specifically for married folk, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 can be a handy guide for anyone who is adrift in their love life. The aim of author Travis Bradberry is to help his readers increase their emotional intelligence (EQ) and overcome their problems in a positive, constructive way. By learning things like how to admit fault in an argument, readers can use this book to improve their dating game, enhance their relationships and even save their marriage entirely.

5. How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

Dr. Patricia Love and Dr. Steven Stosny team up for this eye-opening book on married life. Instead of touting the usual advice about “listening more” and “communicating better,” How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It proposes the idea that you don’t need to talk about a problem to fix it. Action is often better than words, and a strong emotional connection is better for the longevity of a relationship than a strong dialogue. It’s a revolutionary idea, but the authors prove why it’s worth considering.

These are just a few titles that can help a relationship in trouble. From pastors to clinical researchers, there are many authors out there with helpful advice for struggling husbands and wives, and these books for a better marriage are among the finest of their works.