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Books About Relationship Issues

Here’s a list of some of the most useful books on relationship issues, from a variety of different perspectives, in alphabetical order by author. While many of these books have certain themes in common, there is considerable variation in style and emphasis, and I suggest that you stick to books that resonate for you and discard anything that doesn’t.

Are You the One For Me? Knowing Who's Right and Avoiding Who's Wrong

By Barbara De Angelis, 1992.
A summary for singles of the author’s view of what to watch out for in current and potential dating partners.

Couples: Exploring and Understanding the Cycles of Intimate Relationships

By Barry Dym and Michael Glenn, 1993.
Excellent review of the different stages and cycles that couples typically pass through in a long-term committed relationship.

He Says, She Says

By Lillian Glass, 1992.
Excellent study of the differences in how men and women communicate. 

Mapping the Terrain of the Heart: Passion, Tenderness, and the Capacity to Love

By Stephen Goldbart and David Wallin, 1998.
A book for those who want to go deeper into the theory of how and why our childhood experiences affect our capacity for intimacy as adults. Includes a description of the author’s view of the six essential capacities for love.

Passage to Intimacy: Key Concepts and Skills from the Pairs Program Which Has Helped Thousands of Couples Rekindle Their Love

By Lori Gordon, 2001
The founder of the couples education program PAIRS teaches what she believes are the basic skills necessary for a healthy intimate relationship. Lots of good exercises for couples.

Getting Love Right: Learning the Choices of Healthy Intimacy

By Terrence Gorski, 1993.
An analysis of the different levels of intimacy and relationships available to people, along with a discussion of how the dysfunction in your family of origin influences your relationships choices.

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last

By John Gottman, 1995.
A very readable book by the foremost marital researcher in the world. The book summarizes over 20 years of research into the differences between happy and unhappy marriages. Includes tests to determine a couples' style of dealing with conflict and gives direction to enhance intimacy. 

The Seven Principles of Making Marriages Work

By John Gottman, 2004.
A very practical, excellent book that describes the seven essential qualities and skills that exist in happy marriages.

The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers

By John Gottman, 2001.
Another practical book on creating better relationships with everyone in your life.

10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage

By John Gottman, 2007.
An excellent review of  how to address 10 common problems in relationships, including “All you ever do is work”, “Will we ever get over your affair?”, “You never talk to me”, “You don’t care about my dreams”, “I shouldn’t have to nag”, etc.

Fall in Love, Stay in Love

By Willard Harley, 2001.
Discusses the importance of meeting each other's emotional needs and the concept of the "Love Bank". Many practical tools to use immediately. 

Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment (1992)
And The Conscious Heart (1999)

Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks
Two books by experienced marriage counselors who are also married themselves. Defines a Conscious Relationship and gives numerous examples of their principles in action. Especially useful for how they deal with uncomfortable conflict situations in a conscious way. 

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

Harville Hendrix, 1991.
An excellent book that describes how the unfinished hurts and wounds of childhood cause unconscious and sometimes unhealthy attractions to certain types of people, and how to heal those wounds and the relationship that draws them out. Includes extensive exercises for couples who want to create a conscious relationship. 

Subversive Thoughts, Authentic Passions: Finding Love Without Losing Your Self

By Bonnie Kreps,1990.
An insightful book for singles which shatters the myth of romantic love and discusses how women and men can create relationships based on genuine love, companionship, understanding and acceptance.

The Truth About Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever

By Patricia Love, 2001.
A book which discusses how all relationships go through predictable patterns and outlines four up-and-down stages of love: Infatuation, Post-Rapture, Discovery, and Connection. She explains how physiological changes account for some of the intense feelings brought on by initial attraction and how this infatuation stage is not what love is really about. Includes quizzes and lists of questions for discussion.

Hot Monogamy: Essential Steps to More Passionate, Intimate Lovemaking

By Patricia Love, 1995.
An excellent and practical review of how to create passion, mutual respect, and intimacy in long-term relationships.  Provides suggestions, questionnaires and exercises to help couples discover more excitement and passion in their sex lives.

Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love

By Howard Markman and Susan Blumberg, 2001
A book from the founders of the nationwide PREP program, which was developed from over 20 years of couples' research at the University of Denver. It helps couples identify warning signs and gives specific structured exercises to improve the health of their relationships. 

Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships

By David Schnarch, 1998.
Excellent book describing the interaction between sexual and marital satisfaction and how to improve both. Includes an in-depth discussion of how the process of differentiation in a committed relationship allows couples to develop true intimacy. 

You Just Don't Understand

By Deborah Tannen, 2001
A linguistics professor examines the common communication problems between men and women.

We Love Each Other, But...

By Ellen Wachtel, 2000.
An excellent and highly practical summary of the key ways to strengthen a relationship.  Outlines “the four basic truths about what makes love last”, including a helpful discussion of the importance of truly appreciating our partner.

Challenge of the Heart: Love, Sex and Intimacy in Changing Times (1985)
Journey of the Heart: Intimate Relationships and the Path of Love
Love and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship (1997).

Welwood, John
Discusses the ideas and practices of consciously seeing intimate relationships as a spiritual path for personal and relational awakening.