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Recommended self-help books for married couples
So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday.
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
The journey of living together, revealing each and every bit of oneself, not only paves way for intimacy, but also conflicts. The initial phase of a marriage is full of excitement―the excitement to know each other, to explore each other, and to be under each other's care; as time passes by, this proximity begins to seem more like an obligation. Call it the result of a monotonous routine, perceived behavioral tendencies, or lack of compatibility, the tide does begin to seem turbulent when things were once smooth sailing.

Many married couples succumb to this initial drift, that eventually turns into irreconcilable differences. They need to take the effort to mend these gaps, by working on their marriage. While there does come a time when it may seem impossible to talk it out with one another, there are various ways through which one can find what once seemed a non-attainable solution to their marital differences. Not all couples are comfortable discussing their personal matters with others, even with a counselor. However, if you truly wish to do something about your marriage, that is losing its strength and charm as each day passes by, there are various self-help books that can not only help you bridge the gap, but also ensure that the bridge never breaks again, but only gets stronger. The following section will give you some recommended options, that will surely change your marital life to a happily ever after one.
Recommended Must-reads for Married Couples
couple reading together
Books are our friends that don't judge, don't intrude, and don't spread the word around. They are the ultimate source of guidance that not only counsel you in your time of need, but keep your issues private from gossip mongers. Yes, you can avail the benefits of these highly-trustworthy confidantes, provided you know where to go. Numerous books on the subject have been written by varied authors, each having their own flair of writing, which may or may not appeal to esurient readers. Which is why, we have prepared a special list for you that consists of some of the many appreciated works of authors, who have successfully penned their experience and understanding of what it takes to make a marriage successful, and the relationship infrangible.
His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, by Willard F. Jr. Harley
Dr. Harley is a marriage counselor and a nationally acclaimed clinical psychologist. He has authored many other books, this being one of them where he focuses on the emotional needs of man and wife. He explains how each person is unique in the way they think and function, and how it is important to learn how to focus on their emotional desires, which he distinctively categorizes under 10 points, namely: Admiration, affection, conversation, domestic support, family commitment, financial support, honesty and openness, physical attractiveness, recreational companionship, and sexual fulfillment. This books unravels the mysteries of indifference, frustration, affairs, and a failed marriage.
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman
Haven't you felt unloved, even if your partner continues to say that they love you? Dr. Chapman brilliantly puts forth in his book, the five different languages of love, along with quizzes to help you identify what the language of love is. He categorizes these into five sections that are: Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch, stating that each person has his own way of expressing love. Consider this book as a complete guide that not only helps you learn and identify your partner's behavior, but also gives you practical steps to work towards building a never-ending journey of love and companionship.
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, by Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Eggerichs has over three decades worth of counseling experience, and this book does a commendable job in summarizing what he and his wife have been imparting to troubled couples. As the title suggests, this book focuses on the two requisites of a successful relationship―love and respect. While a wife seeks love from her husband, a husband wants his wife to respect him unconditionally. Dr. Eggerichs also brings about a biblical angle to this book, explaining the relationship of a man and wife in the true sense, as God intended it to be. We are sure that this book will reveal the purity that lies in the bond of marriage, without which a relationship is nothing.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottman, Nan Silver
In this marriage-saving book, author John Gottman puts his years of experience and blends it with a mix of his romantic self. This book introduces an all-new facet of married life, where the author successfully explains his research and study on the subject into seven principles. This book also consists of exercises and practical questionnaires, that helped many couples―who once faced the harsh winds of marital indifference―to live together in harmony, appreciating their bond more than ever.
Other Good Reads for a Successful Marriage
  • The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian
  • Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together, by Mark Driscoll, Grace Driscoll
  • What's It Like to Be Married to Me?: And Other Dangerous Questions, by Linda Dillow
  • The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Timothy Keller
  • The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships, by John Gothman
  • Marriage: From Surviving to Thriving: Practical Advice on Making Your Marriage Strong, by Charles R. Swindoll
  • First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages, by Reva Seth
  • The Marriage Clinic Casebook, by Julie Schwartz Gottman
  • For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men, by Shaunti Feldhahn
  • Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (20th Anniversary Edition), by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.
  • In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want, by Iyanla Vanzant
  • What's It Like to Be Married to Me?: And Other Dangerous Questions, by Linda Dillow
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up, by Harriet Lerner
  • How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking about It, by Patricia Love, Steven Stosny
  • Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, by Kevin Leman
  • Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?, by Gary Thomas
  • Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last, by John Gottman
  • Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage, by Laurie Watson
  • Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies for Protecting Your Marriage, by Susan Forward
  • Making Marriage Simple: Ten Truths for Changing the Relationship You Have into the One You Want, by Harville Hendrix, Helen LaKelly Hunt
Marriage happens to be one of the most strongest as well as delicate relationships. When nurtured with its due share of love, care, respect, and honesty, it can become the most marvelous bond one can ever experience. These wonderful books listed above will show you the way, guide you, and in miraculous ways, speak to you regarding your needs. They will help you understand your partner, and in time you will notice how it brings about a positive change, not only in your marriage, but in your life, as well. If you have a favorite one that is not on the list, do take some time out to tell us about the book and how it helped your marriage.