11 Best Marriage Books to Build a Stronger Relationship

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Marriage takes a lot of effort, time, and compromise to work and last.

For married couples, going to counseling or therapy together can help unearth issues in the relationships and find ways to deal with them.

Although marriage counseling is now offered online, there are still many couples around the country who don’t have easy access to this service for various reasons.

The best alternative is marriage books that can point couples to the best solutions to their marital problems. They can bring spouses closer together and make their relationships stronger.

Today, we’re sharing 11 of the best marriage books ever written. These are books meant to help couples develop stronger relationships.

Read on to see what’s in the collection.

1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

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First on the list is Gary Chapman’s best seller, The 5 Love Languages.

Sure, falling in love is easy and exhilarating, but how does a couple stay in love after years of marriage?

Chapman’s book offers practical and eye-opening advice for couples whose marriage goal is to make their relationship work and last. It helps couples understand how they express love for each other—their love languages—and how they can strengthen their relationships through this awareness.

You can check out your own love language through a Love Language Test here.

2. The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver

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What do couples need to make their marriages work?

In this book, John Gottman introduces us to seven principles that, according to him, are necessary to make marriages work and last.

These include:

  • Enhancing your love maps
  • Nurturing your fondness and admiration
  • Turning toward each other instead of away
  • Letting your partner influence you
  • Solving your solvable problems
  • Overcoming gridlock
  • Creating shared meaning

With years of experience working with couples, Gottman is considered one of the leading experts in marriage counseling. This book is praised for how it has helped a lot of couples achieve the highest potential in their relationships.

3. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson

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You may have heard of Emotionally Focused Therapy. This concept was introduced by Dr. Sue Johnson in Hold Me Tight. It helps us understand how we form attachments with people and how this affects us on an emotional level.

In this book, Dr. Johnson teaches us about the importance of maintaining connection with your partner and how to preserve this bond.

This book is a great help for those who are starting to feel a disconnect with their significant others and want to bring back the spark.

4. The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

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This classic book was written more than 50 years ago, but is still highly recommended for couples looking to better understand the nature of love.

People often understand love only in its romantic form, but Fromm shows readers that experiencing love in its different forms can be a life-changing experience.

This excerpt from the book is as relevant now as when the book was first published:

Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love.” – Erich Fromm

Understanding the true nature of love allows us to have a more mature outlook in all our relationships.

5. How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo

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Speaking of maturity, in this book, David Richo shares with us the basis for mature love.

The book provides a refreshing view about love. It starts with becoming more mindful and authentic as a person.

This mindful way of loving has five hallmarks that Richo shares with readers:

  • Being present in the now, observing and paying attention to the feelings that surface in a relationship.
  • Accepting others and ourselves, with our strengths and shortcomings.
  • Appreciating our talents and limits, and our being human.
  • Showing affection through reverent touch.
  • Living and letting live, loving and letting others love.

Richo’s goal for readers is not only to achieve mature love, but also to transform and achieve their highest potential.

6. The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship by Don Miguel Ruiz

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Don Miguel Ruiz authored several books, including The Four Agreements, where he offered four life-changing tips that transform you from someone who is filled with negativity into a person radiating with positivity.

The Mastery of Love is ideal for those who are in relationships and want to try ways of strengthening the bonds with their partners.

One key takeaway from the book is that we humans often search for love from external sources. We forget that the love that we are looking for is already within us.

7. Mindful Relationship Habits: 25 Practices for Couples to Enhance Intimacy, Nurture Closeness, and Grow a Deeper Connection by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

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For many people, once they’re married, it is often too easy to take the one they love for granted.

Also, life tends to get in the way: career, children, bills, etc. There’s no time to spend with each other like they used to early in the relationship.

Then you wonder “what happened to the spark?”

This book provides practical and actionable solutions that help reignite the spark between spouses. It begins with creating mindful habits that nurture a marriage and help it thrive despite everything else in life that demands the couple’s attention.

8. Eight Dates: Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman et al.

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In this book, John and Julie Gottman share ways for spouses to reconnect and get to know each other more deeply.

The book provides step-by-step guides to eight fun, eye-opening dates. Each date is focused on a contentious issue among many couples: sex, trust, money, conflict, adventure, dreams, spirituality, and family.

Guide questions, prompts, and interactive activities are provided in the book. These prompts are designed to get spouses talking with each other (and help them continue talking). The end result is that the couple builds a stronger and more joyful relationship.

9. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – And Keep – Love by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller

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This book provides readers with a roadmap for establishing stronger and healthier relationships with other people.

It helps you discover and understand adult attachment.

In the book, Levine and Heller share the fact that humans behave in three different ways when they are in relationships.

These behavioral tendencies include being:

  • Anxious (worry if their partner is able to love them back)
  • Avoidant (avoid intimacy, equate it with loss of freedom or independence)
  • Secure (filled with warmth and love, feel comfortable with intimacy)

10. Healthy Relationships: Overcome Anxiety, Couple Conflicts, Insecurity and Depression Without Therapy. Stop Jealousy and Negative Thinking. Learn How to Have a Happy Relationship With Anyone byRachel Chapman

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This book promises to help improve your relationship by teaching you how to nurture love and intimacy.

Chapman states that many people have difficulty interacting with others, especially in relationships, due to shyness or a poor family environment. With this book, readers will:

  • Learn how to be good listeners
  • Improve their communication skills
  • Learn how to show appreciation to partners
  • Have a method for resolving and/or preventing arguments

The actionable suggestions in this book are powerful tools for deepening the relationship with your partner.

11. After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, 2nd Edition by Janis Abrahms Spring

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According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 15% of women and 25% of men experienced infidelity while in a long-term relationship.

While most books on healing after infidelity speak only to the aggrieved partner, this book is for both the partner hurt by the affair and the partner who committed the infidelity.

This book can trigger raw emotions for couples. But although the process of healing is uncomfortable, it helps address the crisis in the marriage and offers proven strategies to help rebuild the relationship.

Final Thoughts

The best marriage books are those that help strengthen a couple’s relationship.

But reading them does not necessarily mean that your marriage is on the rocks.

In fact, reading these books shows your willingness to understand your spouse, develop a more loving relationship, and grow as a married couple.

Even if you are considering going into marriage counseling or therapy, these books can still be of great help.

If you need more resources on marriage or relationships, you can head over to any of the articles below:

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11 Best Marriage Books to Build a Stronger Relationship