This round-up of the best marriage books will offer inspiration and enlightenment to the most seasoned therapist or marriage veteran.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A practical guide from the Country’s foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver
Even the most perfect of marriages can be enhanced if couples are prepared to implement the seven principles that John Gottman has endorsed. Of course, if your marriage is on the rocks, then applying these seven principles may be the way to save it.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is one of the best- selling marriage books because it offers down-to-earth advice in clear, simple language. Couples can work through the manual using the prompts as guides for discussions.
The seven principles on which Gottman bases his recipe for a successful marriage are: Know one another thoroughly, nurture and admire each other, spend time together sharing special moments, be open to the influences of your partner, solve the small problems that arise, break the stalemate of repetitive arguments and finally construct a unique union.
Gottman believes that following these seven simple principles is a sure-fire way to create a long and happy marriage. He claims that he can spot couples who have not implemented these seven principles and can predict the certain demise of their marriage accurately.
By being informed about the dangers and threats that exist, will enable a couple to be on their guard against them and set up the necessary barriers to defend their precious marriage.
The Seven Principles of Marriage is a bestselling marriage book because it addresses universal problems and offers practical solutions. Some may say that the principles are obvious, but others feel that this book offers a gentle reminder that marriage is hard work but it is worth it in the end.
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts By Gary Chapman
Gary Chapman reveals his secrets to a successful marriage in this bestselling marriage book. He believes that, if we learn the five love languages, we will be able to navigate through the problems that arise in relationships and have a love that lasts.
It’s common knowledge, to anyone who has ever been in love, that it is remarkably easy to fall in love but not so easy to stay in love. The reason for this dilemma is simple –normal life is not romantic and the stresses and strains of modern living can quickly extinguish the flame of love.
The 5 Love Languages is a wonderfully simple book to follow and the ideas are easy to implement. The 5 Love Languages are basically a foolproof way of communicating with your spouse, which leads to a deeper understanding of each other. You can check our article about the best marriage books for couples, where you can find books written by Chapman as well.
According to this bestselling marriage book, we all understand and respond differently to words of love and we need to ensure that we are communicating our feelings of love in a way that our partner understands. There are also gender differences in how we perceive words and loving actions so it is worth investing time in finding out how your spouse wants to give and receive love. You can read more about this topic written by Chapman in our review of the first version of this book. Check out The Five Love Languages book review.
This book is Bible-based and, as such, is not particularly inclusive of the multitude of different forms that relationships take in the modern world. For this reason, Chapman gets some scathing reviews. No wonder that we included his book in our review of the best marriage counseling books.
However, I believe that the ideas that he shares could easily be adapted to the individual couple’s needs and might be just what any couple needs to fortify a flagging relationship. For more information about this book, you can check our The 5 Love Languages book review.
Many couples have found The 5 Love Languages to be an inspirational book and would recommend it to anyone who is contemplating marriage or couples who have run out of steam.
Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs By Dr Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a staunch Christian who uses all his energy to promote his beliefs. He uses a Biblical text from the Book of Ephesians as the foundation for his marriage guidance and relationship advice for couples. This is marketed as the best marriage book, but reviews of this book are anything but favorable.
Because this book is predominantly Biblically based, Eggerichs message has a male bias and some antiquated views on marriage. Some have even gone as far as calling the author a misogynist!
He simplifies the relationship between men and women down to the basic principle that women need love and men only need respect for the marriage to work. Feminists hate this book because it demeans women and re-establishes the dominant male role that they have been fighting against for decades.
These views have no place in the twenty-first century for many other reasons. Marriage, as an institution has changed beyond the belief of our grandparents and has a broader and more inclusive meaning than it did in the Biblical context for certain. The demands and expectations of couples in a committed relationship have also changed.
One theme, in this bestselling marriage book that has universal truth, is the fact that good communication between the couple is essential. To this end, it is a useful tool for marriage guidance counselors when trying to establish conversations between disagreeing couples.
You will probably not find too much of value to your relationship from this book unless you hold the same beliefs as Emerson and his wife. His claims to have done scientific research are not substantiated in this book and many refute his theories. You can learn more about this book in our Love And Respect book review.
My advice to couples would be to skim and scan the book for relevant bits as it has been criticized for being too repetitive. Take the good information that will be of use in your marriage and check that your spouse is on board with the views. There is no point in introducing more conflict into the already difficult arena of holy matrimony.
His Needs, Her Needs: Building An Affair-Proof Marriage By William F. Harley
His Needs, Her Needs has become one of the best marriage books because the author, William F. Harley understands the pressure that couples are under in our modern times. He has applied his knowledge of psychology and years of experience as a marriage counselor to produce this helpful book.
Sadly, the original framework for marriage that was handed down to us for generations, does not meet the needs of the modern couple. Demands of work and family drive people from morning until evening, leaving very little time to invest in the marriage relationship. This leaves couples wondering when their needs are ever going to be acknowledged, let alone met.
His Needs, Her Needs reminds couples that romance will fade and they need to have something stronger to keep them bonded through thick and thin. It also requires the individuals in the relationship to work together to build a strong and lasting marriage.
Sharing the secret of the ten emotional needs that couples need to fulfill in each other, Harley believes that they will produce the same wonderful type of marriage that he enjoys with his wife, Joyce.
The book is presented as a textbook for couples that they can study and discuss in groups. Following that, couples spend dedicated time together to discuss their feelings about the topic. Once they have agreed on how it will look in their particular relationship, they put it into practice.
Reviews of His Needs, Her Needs speak highly of the positive impact it has had on many marriages, especially when introduced to newlyweds.
It is always important to use discretion when taking advice from marriage guidance books – even those that have been received with much acclaim. There is no point in trying to apply every idea that is suggested, especially if it will lead to more conflict or unhappiness.
Remember that the times have changed since this book was written and some of the concepts may be impossible to achieve in the twenty-first century.
Boundaries In Marriage By Henry Cloud And Dr John Townsend
It is a fine example of the insight that authors, Henry Cloud and John Townsend, have on marriage and the basic needs of the individuals in a close union. It has information that is relevant at any time in a marriage and the common-sense ideas are easy to apply.
Boundaries is not a word that is often associated with marriage, but we understand its meaning in the context of property, so it should be quite easy to apply this knowledge.
There are ten specific areas that couples are required to establish boundaries according to Boundaries in Marriage. Once established, it is up to the individual to protect their boundaries and associated emotions.
Establishing these boundaries early in the relationship will ensure that a deep understanding and acceptance develops between the couple. With both spouses fully engaged in the process, there is less opportunity for misunderstandings and hurt feelings further down the line.
Reading the best-selling marriage book, Boundaries in Marriage has helped many couples to view their marriage in a new and interesting way. It is liberating for some and offers comfort and confidence for others. In my view, this book is a valuable addition to any home.
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, And Life Together Book Review By Mark Driscoll
Real Marriage has become one of the best-selling marriage books amongst the Christian community, but Mark and Grace Driscoll have also come up against a large amount of criticism for the views expressed in this book.
For a Christian book, it contains a rather different message to the usual marriage guidance books available. The Driscoll’s put the success of their marriage mainly down to their very energetic sex life, but also maintains that their friendship is the foundation of their relationship.
Many reviews question whether this is pornography dressed up in a religious guise and some find Driscoll’s chauvinist attitude annoying. He is obviously highly sexed and relates sex to as many different activities as possible.
For some readers, this book goes too far and they would certainly not recommend it to young adults or single Christian people.
It would appear that Driscoll does not have a good reputation within his parish and questions have been asked about his conduct. Some of his ideas are very Biblical and only pertinent to a very small sector of the American population.
My review of Real Marriage would have to contain a caution and I suggest that readers do some homework before purchasing this marriage guidance book.