books on saving a marriage

10 Best Books on Saving a Marriage

It’s everybody’s desire to be married to the most loving and caring partner. While some people are lucky to find this kind of partner to spend the rest of their lives with, others aren’t so lucky and have to experience constant instability in their marriage.

If you’re experiencing uncertainty in your marriage and you would like to rescue it before everything goes south, there are many helpful books that can offer you advice on how to save your marriage. This article outlines the 10 best books on saving a marriage.

10 Books on Saving a Marriage

1. Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity

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Originally published in 2006, this book is available in two main languages: English and Dutch. It was authored by Esther Perel, an American psychotherapist based in New York City. In Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, Perel examines the inconsistent relationship between family life and sexual desires.

She describes the sacrifices that married couples make to form a family unit while still dealing with their sexual lust. As one of the highly esteemed voices on marriage and erotic intelligence, Perel provides bold, challenging, and fresh views on marriage and intimacy. In this book, she uncovers her provocative views on bringing back the spark of lust into the marriage.

She argues that the more married couples allow a certain degree of emotional freedom, the happier and hotter their sex will be. She also shows how playful, poetic, and exciting sex can be in a long-term relationship. The genre of this book is self-help.

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

Hold Me Tight

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Originally published in 2008, this book is indicated by the New York Times and Time Magazine as couples’ therapy. Its tremendous success can be attributed to its view of relationships as an attachment bond. It presents Emotionally Focused Therapy publicly, teaching couples how to rekindle safe emotional attachment and preserve the bond.

Dr. Johnson focuses on important moments in marriage or romantic relationships like recognizing the demon dialogue and revisiting a rocky moment. She then uses these moments to create seven healing dialogues. Her work is based on case studies from her practice as a psychotherapist.

3. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman

Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a practical guide on how to make a marriage work. The book, which was authored by John M. Gottman, a relationship expert, and published in 1999, details seven key principles for married couples to enhance their marriage and the four riders to help you know when your marriage has run its course.

This book is based on studies done by Gottman in his “family lab”, Love Lab. During these studies, Gottman observed over 650 couples for more than 14 years. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Gottman argues that the foundation of happiness in marriage is a profound friendship with shared respect and an optimistic attitude.

He details 7 main principles for married couples that will help them cultivate friendship and enhance their marriage. Gottman believes that these principles can help you to overcome challenges in your marriage.

The seven principles include enhancing love maps, nurturing fondness and admiration, turning towards each other instead of away, allowing your partner to influence you, solving your solvable problems, overpowering gridlock, and developing a mutual sense of importance.

4. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

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Authored by Lori Gottlieb and published in 2019, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed is a nonfiction autobiography in which Gottlieb describes the difficulties she has endured in her personal and work life. The twofold nature of this book enables her to describe her world as both a psychotherapist and someone who needs therapy.

In this book, Gottlieb discusses five patients, including herself, and different situations and opinions on life. She was in a long-term relationship but it, suddenly, came crashing down when her boyfriend decided to end it because he didn’t want a child. This came as a big surprise because they were planning to get married.

This experience taught her how to describe human sentiments and stresses as anyone going through hardships. Although she’s a psychotherapist, Gottlieb had to seek comfort and consolation from her friends to deal with the breakup. The book contains real-life scenarios that will help you to cope with the struggles you’re going through in your marriage.

5. Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin

Wired for Love

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Written by Stan Tatkin, an American clinician, researcher, tutor, and psychotherapist, Wired for Love was published in 2012. It’s a comprehensive insider’s guide to appreciating your spouse’s state of mind so that you can easily promote love and trust in your relationship. This book teaches you ten key scientific principles that you can apply in your marriage or relationship to avoid causing panic and fear in your spouse.

It also teaches you how to manage your spouse’s emotional reactions when they’re upset and understand when their brain’s response to threats stops them from reacting in a caring and loving manner. You’ll learn how to use simple gestures to suppress emotional fires, making your partner feel safer and more secure around you. The book teaches couples to move beyond a “warring mindset” and lean toward a cooperative “loving mindset”.

This book is based on the deep science of neurobiology, emotion regulation study, and attachment theory. Therefore, it’s perfect for couples looking to understand the complex undercurrents that control love and trust in a romantic relationship.

6. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

5 Love Languages

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Written by Gary Chapman and published in 1992, The 5 Love Languages is a comprehensive guide to understanding the five most effective ways to express and feel love. It falls under the special genre of self-help, Christian literature. In this book, Chapman, a popular American author, and radio host outlines five special “love languages” that couples should use to rekindle love in their marriage. These languages include acts of service, words of affirmation, gift-giving, quality time, and physical touch.

The book also offers practical examples of using these languages to strengthen a romantic relationship and questions that can help you determine your love language. Chapman argues that everyone has a primary and secondary love language.

According to him, the best way to discover your love language is to observe how you express love to other people and pay attention to their regular complaints and requests from you.

7. Toxic In-Laws by Susan Forward

Toxic In-Laws

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If your marriage is having challenges because of outside forces like in-laws, then the book titled “Toxic In-Laws” by Susan Forward will help you to learn how to deal with toxic in-laws. The book which was originally published in 2001 offers you practical and effective ways to cope with the dreadful and poisonous in-laws. Forward, who is a New York Times bestselling writer, describes toxic in-laws as in-laws who intentionally start chaos in your marriage through both aggressive and subtle assaults.

She also outlines several kinds of toxic in-laws, including “The Critics”, who only see the negative side of things; “The Controllers”, who always try to control you and your spouse’s life; “The Engulfers”, who always want to manage your time; “The Masters of Chaos”, who always drain you with their issues; and “The Rejecters”, who won’t shy away from showing you how much you’re not wanted in their family.

In this book, Forward brings into play real stories of couples struggling to cope with toxic in-laws. She also offers practical and highly effective social and communication techniques to help you and your partner stand up to toxic in-laws. She also lays out real-world ways to reclaim your marriage from poisonous in-laws. With this book, you’ll always know what to say, what to do, and how to set limits.

8. Marriage Rules by Harriet Lerner

Marriage Rules

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Published in 2012, Marriage Rules by Harriet Lerner is a marriage manual created to help you succeed in your nuptial journey. It’s one of the books that every couple should read before and after they tie the knot. It lists 100 marriage rules that are easy to understand and follow.

These rules cover all the hotspots in marriages and long-term relationships. The book offers modern relationship advice to couples who are experiencing both age-old and modern problems. It encourages you to follow at least ten of these rules religiously to experience positive change in your marriage. All you need to have is a positive mindset and a genuine desire to make your marriage better.

9. Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix

Getting the Love You Want

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Originally published in 1988, Getting the Love You Want, is an old book that still offers practical and effective advice on relationships. It’s one of the top marriage books that relationship therapists recommend to couples going through problems in their marriage. It’ll help you to develop a strong, supportive relationship with your partner.

This book is based on the idea that your unconscious mind picks a partner that will complete the missing pieces in your life. It also takes into account new philosophies and practices that apply to modern relationships. The book offers a practical guide to dealing with stressful situations in your marriage using simple exercises that improve communication, prevent self-defeating behaviors, and achieve shared emotional satisfaction.

10. The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michele Wiener Davis

Sex-Starved Marriage

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Sex creates a strong bond that will hold your marriage together through thick and thin. So, when you deny your partner sex, you’re only widening the wedge between you. If you’re having sex-related issues in your marriage, you need to read the book titled “The Sex-Starved Marriage” by Michele Wiener Davis, a bestselling author.

In this book, Davis explains why it’s costly to be complacent and bitter about boring sex. Her straight-shooting advice will help you discover areas in your sex life you need to improve on and rekindle the spark in your bedroom and relationship in general.

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