Trouble in Paradise
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Books that have helped your marriage?

Hi, My husband and I have hit a slump, and we're having real problems communicating and addressing our mutual needs to help get ourselves out of it. I feel like he doesn't do anything to treat me special anymore, and based on his (lack of) responses during discussions/arguments, it seems like he just wants me to go get happier on my own and in the meantime as long as we're not actively fighting then we must be OK. Has anyone has any good experiences with relationship books that helped you improve your communication and increase your bond/intimacy? There just seem to be so many options available, that it's hard to pick ones worth trying. Thank you!

Re: Books that have helped your marriage?

  • "You Just Don't Understand:  Women and Men in Conversation" by Deborah Tannen

    She's a linguistics professor who is AMAZING.  Really, any of her books are useful, but I've found that one to be the most useful one I've ever read.  It hasn't helped just my marriage (before I ever even MET DH), but it's helped many of my interactions with friends and co-workers.
  • The Five Love Languages
    How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Thank you for your suggestions!

    I'm very interested in looking up the "You Just Don't Understand" book.. because I feel like we're saying that a lot to each other right now! 
  • I'm going to have to check that book out. The "You just don't understand book" My DH and I really seem to have communication problems too. We will argue about nothing when he doesn't like what I have to say. It sucks. Its like, when I express my feelings he doesn't agree with it turns in to huge ordeal instead of just a simple conversation. Grrr

       Image and video hosting by TinyPicimage image

  • The Five Love Languages
  • I'll admit, when I first read "You Just Don't Understand", I was casually dating the guy who recommended it to me.

    And some of the stuff Tannen said in there...I kind of tried on men who wanted to date (or just hook up), because I was curious about how accurate she was.

    Pretty damn dead-on. 

    It's one of the ONLY books in my personal library of books that I will jot notes in it or highlight when I feel something is important.  It's also one of those that I keep two copies at all times; one to keep, and one I will give away if a friend needs it (I'll then go replace it at Half Price Books for the next person in crisis).
  • CloudyMeatballs, yeah that's how I"m feeling these days.  I try to bring up an area where my needs aren't being met (lack of emotional/physical affection these days) and try to be forthright and clear in my statements, and it devolves into an argument or me literally saying too much while he literally says nothing.

    I feel him pulling away, I feel distance in our marriage..  I just want to find some tools that will work for both of us to use to try to repair things.   In general, things are just fine, we can perfectly great nights of making dinner, casual conversation and tv watching... but I don't want a roommate I'm married to, I want a husband and a lover.

    I've read the 5 Languages of Love before and tried to get him involved in identifying his language and trying some daily mindfulness regarding our actions towards to the other... He even said he had read the book, but little to no effort in regards to putting that stuff in practice.  I'm willing to try it again though. 
  • Half Priced Books!!  Duh!!  Why am I looking at all of these for full price from Amazon or B&N? Thanks for the reminder  ShaylaGirl.  :)
  • @KCsLacey; you're welcome!!  HPB is my drug dealer (along with B&N and Amazon, truth be told).

    Not sure if you have a Kindle or Nook, but maybe your local library might have it as well?  Just a thought!!
  • Counselling can help you two learn how to communicate effectively.  
  • KCsLacey said:
    Half Priced Books!!  Duh!!  Why am I looking at all of these for full price from Amazon or B&N? Thanks for the reminder  ShaylaGirl.  :)
    @KCsLacey You might also check Since it's a single central location, they generally have a more comprehensive used book selection.
  • The Surrendered Wife.  I am only halfway through, but reading slowly because the book while thin has a lot of information and techniques.  It is hard to stomach - basically follow your husband blindly - but it really works.  I read the 5 Love Languages as well but the 5 Love Languages doesn't really address respect - it just talks about showing love and receiving love but not really analyzing daily interactions. The Surrendered Wife is about if you love your husband, respect and trust him and watch him step to the plate and not let you down.  It's amazing.  So far, I think it works.  
    photo Isbell-232_zpsdaf64dd5.jpg
  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I picked it up at a yard sale so it might be out of print & I don't remember the author but it was called Fighting For Your Marriage
  • The Four Seasons of Marriage (By Gary Chapman, who wrote the Five Love Languages)
  • OtterJOtterJ member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
    Hidden Keys of a Loving Lasting Marriage by Gary Smalley

    My husband and I went through the Love & Respect curriculum (it's available as a book, or a DVD based study kit), and it was wonderful!!  Our relationship was good before, but in general, it helped our communication a lot.  As others have mentioned, the Five Love Languages by Chapman is a good book, and the two do share lots of similarities, but Love & Respect better addresses the issue of respect that men naturally have a desire obtain.  It helped me understand how to show my husband respect, to which he naturally responds with love (which I need).

    I think Love & Respect would more directly address your slump & communication issues, but really, I would recommend anything by Gary Smalley just for general marriage improvement.  The book that I read is actually a combination of two of his other books.  The husband reads the first half, the wife reads the second.  Great insight into the differences between men and women, and how to better communicate between the two.  He has another book, The Language of Sex that I plan on reading in the future. 

  • The Five Love Languages -- it has definitely been good for my husband and I, as we have different love languages, and understanding and responding to it helps you to love one another better 

    The Love Dare Day by Day -- my husband and I are reading this now, and it just requires you to sit down together for a couple minutes to read the day's devotional, maybe talk about it, and each week you are given a "dare" to work on as a couple. It really helps you to focus on those little aspects of your marriage that need to be strengthened. 

  • The Five Love Languages is amazing! I almost feel like including it in every wedding gift I give because it helped our relationship out so much but I won't go that far lol. Just read it!


  • The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

    It was an eye opener for me. It changed my perspective of marriage.
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