Whether your marriage is just starting out or you have been together for years, reading relationship advice books can be a great way to strengthen and deepen your bond. There are many different books on the market that offer different perspectives and strategies, so it can be tough to know which one to choose.
That’s why I put together this list of my top 4 books on the best relationship & marriage advice books I’ve read & can personally vouch for!
*The books linked below can be purchased on Amazon and are affiliate links.
1. Understanding How to Communicate Better in Your Marriage & Relationship:
If you are looking for a book that will help you to communicate better with your spouse, then I recommend “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. This book offers practical advice on how to express love in a way that your partner will understand and appreciate. It is based on the idea that everyone has a different “love language” and has been immensely helpful in navigating how to give & receive love.
2. Science & Research-Based Books on Love for Strengthening Your Relationship:
I can’t stop recommending “The Love Sense,” by Sue Johnson. It will help you to understand your partner on a deeper level and offers insight into the science of love and how we form attachments with others. This was a big mind-blowing moment for our relationship. It is not religiously based and we really appreciated understanding the science behind why & how humans love (and how, in turn, we can also be wounded easily).
3. Relationship Books based in the Enneagram (that actually go deep):
“The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships” by Suzanne Stubil is for all my enneagram lovers out there. Diving deeper into not just “personality traits” that so many of us can feel boxed in by, but more focusing on enjoying & loving the pieces that make up who the person is. Their experiences & how they interpret those experiences through their deeper “why” behind it. I truly enjoyed this book and found it an easy, short read that helped me value my spouse’s differences & preferences. Not to mention any relationship in my life!
4. My Number 1 Recommended Book for Relationships & Marriages:
Prior to getting married, Stephen & I went through the book “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires and the Respect He Desperately Needs” by Emerson Echrichs, PHD. It taught us invaluable cues to understand how & when we are becoming triggered, what we need in that exact moment, and practical things to say when we find ourselves in a tough conversation. It has been the single most recommended book we’ve shared with others. We appreciated the research-based approach in explaining how “love” and “respect” are different from each other and why our partners might often desire one over the other. I found myself laughing at a few concepts only to look at Stephen and ask, “Wait, is this true? Do you feel this way?!” Not to be dramatic, but we’ve had a few friends share with us that it was one of the books that saved their relationship from spiraling out of control…
NOTE: If you are struggling with a difficult issue in your relationship, books will help but a licensed professional to guide you through those emotions & circumstances will go deeper. Additionally, surrounding yourself with other couples you respect (meaning, you admire their marriage relationship) who are both “in the trenches” with you & those who are a bit ahead of you in years is key to every day, week-in, week-out kind of support every couple needs.
Other Resources for deepening your Marriage:
- If you are wanting to work on your relationship but aren’t quite sure where to start, then I’ve heard incredible things about “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman. And while I haven’t read it personally (it’s on my list), this book is full of research-based strategies that can help couples improve their relationship and prevent future conflict.
- Marriage Matters hosted by Doug Fields is a local, monthly meet-up here in SoCal. Doug is hilarious, practical & winsome. We’ve found the evening to be deep enough to be worthwhile and lighthearted enough to keep things feeling attainable & approachable to invite others to. It is held at a church and does have a Christian background, but we consider it valuable regardless of where your spiritual beliefs are because it’s just straight up practical.
It will sound cliche, but also: You seriously need to print out photographs of the two of you together and hang them on your walls. If you don’t have updated images showcasing how you feel about one another, can I encourage you to book a photographer? On the good & the bad days, those photographs will remind you of just how much you do love that person next to you.
And more than being a wedding & couple’s photographer, I am a huge advocate for healthy relationships and marriages.
Rooted in clear communication & equality.
Life will always hand you lemons and I believe marriage is one of the best gifts for navigating those lemons, together.
P.S. Book that couple’s session, you won’t regret it (and I’ll make sure you aren’t awkward in the photos too)! Drop me a line via my contact form or email at firstname.lastname@example.org