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**Please note: These books are not required reading, nor are they a part of the counseling I offer. I am simply listing them here as a resource for couples who want to further explore and enrich their relationship.**
Here are some excellent books that I recommend to couples, regardless of the stage in your relationship. Each book contains insight and wisdom that can help you heighten your intimacy, learn more about each other, increase your mutual respect and understanding, and strengthen your bond.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver
Relationships will always have conflictsuccessful partners will find a way to deal with those conflicts. John Gottman takes a scientific approach to relationships, and his extensive research provides a roadmap to success, as outlined here in his seven principles. He includes quizzes and exercises for couples that will illuminate how you relate to one anotherand show how you can improve. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
The Five Love Languages
by Gary Chapman
If you want a quick and powerful way to transform your relationship, take the love languages quiz inside this book. You will discover whether your love language is Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, or Physical Touch. Based on your "language," that is how you perceive love. You may want to give this quiz to all your friends and family members, as well, so you can learn how to relate to them better.
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
by Patricia Love and Steven Stosny
This book contends that men and women each have one major fear. (I wont tell you what they are, because you need to read the book to get the full understanding of them.) If you are aware of these fears, you can relate to your partner in such a way that he feels like a success and she feels safe and secure. You can change the entire dynamic of your relationship (for the better!) just by making a few alterations to the way you communicate.
Mars and Venus Together Forever: Relationship Skills for Lasting Love in Committed Relationships
by John Gray, Ph.D.
If you feel like there are gaps in your couples communication and youre not getting through to each other (or feel like youre not being heard), this book provides some excellent tips and information. Men and women really do have different needs and dont always understand where their partner is coming from. This is an easy-to-read book that will help both men and women ask for what they need and appreciate their partners desires and frustrations.
Please Understand Me: Character & Temperament Types
by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates
If you have taken the Myers-Briggs test or are a fan of personality quizzes, this is the book for you. Each of the 16 types are described in detail, with a focus on family and relationship issues. The writings a little dry at times, but the book isnt meant to be read cover-to-cover. This can be a nice tool for understanding and appreciating your partner a little better.
Adult Children of Divorce
by Jeffrey Zimmerman and Elizabeth S. Thayer
If one or both partners have divorced parents, this book will help explain some of the added fears, concerns, and issues that may need to be addressed. Its helpful for both the person whose parents were divorced and for their partner to understand behaviors and thought patterns that may stem from thisand to learn to move forward in a healthy, happy, stable relationship.
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