My 10 Favorite Marriage Books

November 24, 2017

Hello my friends!  For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope it was a warm and wonderful time with family and friends.  We had an amazing day with extended family and delicious food.  So, so much to be grateful for! With the holiday season in full swing, one thing I’m especially thankful for […]

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Hello my friends!  For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope it was a warm and wonderful time with family and friends.  We had an amazing day with extended family and delicious food.  So, so much to be grateful for!
With the holiday season in full swing, one thing I’m especially thankful for are my relationships with my family, particularly my relationship with my husband.  My husband and I were high school sweethearts; we began dating at 17 and married at 22.  Thinking about it now, we were such babies but we were so in love.  Still are, thankfully.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned after 12 years of marriage and 10 years of counseling couples it’s this:  marriage is freaking hard.
Like, one of the most difficult things I’ve done.  Despite the fact that my husband is an amazing guy and my absolute best friend, we are both far from perfect and that can cause issues at times.  Which makes sense – at its core, marriage is the union of two imperfect people.  We promise to love each other and forgive each other and stick by each other no matter what the future holds.  When we say it, we have no idea what that even means.  But nevertheless, we enter into that promise and choose to love and forgive again and again and again till death do us part.  Some days that’s easier than others, but having a thriving marriage can be one of life’s greatest joys if two people are committed to making it all that it should be.
Over the years, I have read a lot about marriage, both for my professional and personal use.  I feel so strongly that a healthy marriage is the cornerstone of a healthy family, so today I’m sharing my top 10 marriage books in hopes that they can help you too.  In no particular order, they are:
The Marriage Builder – This book was one my husband and I read as part of our pre-marital counseling and it is still one I recommend to anyone even considering marriage.  Focusing on men and women’s needs for significance and security, Dr. Larry Crabb clearly defines what each partner needs and how those needs are meant to be met in and outside the marriage relationship.
The Power of a Praying Wife/Husband – So often people pray to change another person, but the heart of prayer actually changes the pray-er first.  Stormie Omartian illumines all that is possible in a marriage (even when things seem impossible) by providing practical ways to pray for and care for your spouse.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – This book by John Gottman is a classic…and for good reason.  It’s a fun and easy-to-read book that partners can read together.  It begins by providing several quizzes for partners to recall why they got together in the first place.  From there, it addresses all the issues married people commonly face and troubleshooting for those problems.
The Five Love Languages – One of my absolute favorites!  This book seriously transformed my marriage, and I recommend it to all of my married clients.  I also refer to it with just about every single client, married or not!  Gary Chapman posits that once you know your love language (and your partner’s), you can begin to give and receive love in a way that is meaningful to you.  It is a must read!

Have a New Husband by Friday – Dr. Kevin Leman is full of wit and humor in this book that teaches women how to respond to their husband in a way that actually makes sense to their husband.  This book is perfect for any woman who is tired of nagging but doesn’t know what else to do.
10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage – Another Gottman book, this one utilizes an incredible amount of clinical data to present once and for all, what works and what doesn’t work in marriage.

Lasting Love:  How to Avoid Marital Failure – My husband and I read this book in the early years of our marriage and it is one we still reference from time to time.  Written by our former pastor Alistair Begg, this book is full of practical advice for both spouses to do what is necessary to maintain a healthy marriage.
Sacred Marriage – Gary Thomas explores the question:  what if God intended marriage to make us more holy than happy?  If you are a Christian, this book will be helpful in illuminating the ways you and your spouse can be selfish and what to do to actually have a healthy marriage despite each other’s flaws. 
The Meaning of Marriage – Tim Keller does an amazing job of exploring the purpose of marriage.  Written for both singles and married couples, the book is uplifting and full of wisdom and insight on why we are the way we are and how to manage the difficulties of marriage with grace. 
His Needs, Her Needs – Willard F. Harley, Jr. writes about the ten most vital needs of husbands and wives in this best-selling book.  This book would be particularly valuable to couples facing extreme difficulties like infidelity or distrust.
What are your go-to books on marriage?  Feel free to share them with us in the comments!  Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, my Besties!

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