Books About Love and Relationships
Jack and I have been married for almost 12 years (and we've been together for almost 17!) When we first started dating, and even first got married, I thought that the only thing we needed in our relationship to keep it going was love, and we had tons of that! We were young and in love, and extremely naive.
Over the years we have definitely had our ups and downs. We're not this perfect little couple that most people see us as. We've had our fair share of problems. But what's made us stick them out and continue to love each other through the good and bad is acknowledging the changes in ourselves and each other and growing our love with it.
I won't lie to you, this can be extremely difficult to do. Some find it to be too difficult, and decide to move on from the love they once had for each other in hopes to find it with someone else. Some strive for years to recoup the love they once had, always in search of it. While there are the lucky few who never have this issue, and are perpetual honeymooners.
In honor of Valentine's Day - which is just around the corner - I have compiled a small list off books that I highly recommend for any couple. Whether you're dating or married; living on cloud nine or going through a rough patch; calling it quits or a perpetual honeymooner. Even if you're single and looking for love, the following list is a great little list for anyone to read!
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Last
By Gary Chapman
Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts "just because," to linger in our embrace. The things that say "I love you" seem to either not get said or not get through. This is a book about saying it - and hearing it - clearly. No gimmicks. No psychoanalyzing. Just learning to express love in your spouse's language.
With over 10 million copies sold, The 5 Love Languages has transformed countless relationships. Its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this book as practical as it is personable. You'll be inspired by real-life stories and encouraged by its commonsense approach. Reading this book feels like taking a walk with a wise friend. Applying it will forever change your relationship - starting today. (Northfield Publishing)
Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married
By Gary Chapman
Before you plan your wedding, plan your marriage.
Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author has spent over forty years counseling couples. In Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married, he shares what he and these couples have learned from experience. Among the twelve things you should know:
that being in love is not enough to make a successful marriage
that romantic love has two stages (and how to make the transition)
that mutual sexual fulfillment is not automatic
that personality profoundly affects behavior
The stakes on marriage are high, but the rewards of preparing are even higher. Whether you're single or dating, this book can be your rtelationship blueprint and help you decide if and when you're ready to tie the knot. If you're engaged, even recently married, it will help you examine your relationship foundation and learn the skills necessary for building a successful marriage.
Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married was written to help you realize your goal of marital happiness. But don't just read it - experience it. Grapple with the practical tips and ideas discussed, honestly share your thoughts and feelings, respect each other's opinions, and find workable solutions to your differences. The more you do so, says Chapman, the more you will be prepared for marriage. (NorthField Publishing)
For Women Only:
What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
By Shaunti Feldhahn
The Truth about his inner life he desperately wants you to know.
What's going on in there? Ever been totally confused by something your man has said or done? Want to understand his secret desires and fears, his daily battles that you know nothing about?
In a woman-to-woman conversation you'll never forget, Shaunti Feldhahn takes you beneath the surface into the inner lives of men. This book is about the things we don't "get" about guys. With findings from groundbreaking national survey and personal interviews of over one thousand men, For Women Only is full of eye-opening revelations you need to not only understand the man in your life, but to support and love him in the way he needs to be loved. Grounded in biblical hope, you will discover how to love your man for who he really is - not who you think he is. (Multnomah Publishers)
For Men Only:
A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women
By Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn
Finally-You Can Understand Her!
Women: Complicated and impossible to understand? Do you love and want to please the woman in your life, but just can't seem to figure her out? That was before For Men Only. Now at your fingertips is the tool that will unlock the secret to her mysterious ways. Through hundreds of interviews and the results of a scientific national survey of women, this book demonstrates that women are actually not random and that they really can be systematized and "mapped." In fact, much to men's delight, this book shows that women are actually quite easy to understand and please-as long as you know what it is they need. This simple map will guide you to loving your wife or girlfriend in the way she needs to be loved. (Multnomah Publishers)
I love these books so much that I often give them as wedding gifts. I like to give them as wedding gifts for a couple different reasons:
- The obvious reason: I love books and I love to share them and their knowledge with others.
- I wish someone would have given them to Jack and I as a wedding gift. We were very young when we married - I was 19, he was 21 - and these would have been great to have as a young couple.
- While the likelihood of you needing one of these books on your wedding day is small, the likelihood of you needing one (or all) of them later in your marriage is rather significant. Forty to 50 percent of first marriages in America end in divorce, and the number continues to grow for each subsequent marriage thereafter. (source) I believe with the help of these books, this number could go down if more people were to read them and put forth the effort.
Now, obviously I'm not saying these books are magical and if you read them your marriage will be fixed. Like anything in life worth having, you still have to work hard to keep your relationship with your spouse strong. And if the relationship is toxic and very unhealthy for you, your spouse or family, then I'm not saying you should stay in it. But I am saying that I believe these books can help make a difficult time easier; give you an idea of what your spouse may be needing and/or missing; and help push you in the right direction if you're truly willing to make the relationship work.
If it's worth having, then work hard for it!
From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.