Counseling books are an excellent way for couples to learn and grow together, especially in areas that need work. Because we all know how tricky relationships are. A sunny day where you’re so in love can quickly turn into a day of arguments and fights the following day.
Cue in couples’ therapy. The sessions with a certified therapist are one option that couples take to learn how to fix their issues. However, the one-hour sessions one to two times a week can prove to be insufficient, especially if both partners have busy lives.
This is where counseling books fill in the gap. They’re specially made for partners that are not too keen on attending counseling sessions with a therapist, or are too busy for them, and would rather address an issue with privacy.
There are many counseling books available for all kinds of relationships, issues, conflicts, and situations. Couples could read them together or separately and work in enhancing their relationship.
The nice thing with these kinds of books is they are easy to read and usually packed with real-life situations that partners could relate to. Below are a couple of highly recommended counseling books to give a try.
5 Reasons Why Couples Should Read Marriage Counseling Books
If you’re still not convinced that you should give marriage counseling books a go, below are a few more reasons:
1. New teachings
You might think you know everything about marriage and how to handle stormy days, but there is always something new to discover while reading these types of books.
There are moments when you’re at a loss, and you don’t know why your partner is acting a certain way or feel like your relationship has lost its fire. Maintaining a marriage is a skill that we can never fully master. There are new achievements to be unlocked along the way.
Counseling books teach couples how to be more open, more affectionate, supportive, how to fight well, and understand one another.
2. New insights
While reading a counseling book, you will discover many similarities between what’s written and your relationship. The insights provided serve as your guide on how to approach the situation.
Counseling books also help you pinpoint aspects about yourself, whether the good that should be continued or the bad that should be improved. By making the necessary adjustments and changes, your relationship benefits.
3. Resolution of conflicts
Conflicts are what counseling books are made to fix. Conflicts, the small and big issues, put a heavy strain on any relationship and with time, could cause severe damage. Before it’s too late, readers can follow the steps and examples written on the books to steer the marriage back on track.
Reading is an activity, that when done together, brings a certain closeness between partners. You can read at the same time and share insights or take turns reading and talk about the learnings. The communication and connection build a strong bond in the relationship.
5. Lead through example
Having implemented and adopted your learnings into your relationship and seeing it improve also gives you a chance to share advice with other struggling marriages.
8 Best Marriage Counseling Books For Couples To Read Together
Pre-marriage Marriage Counseling Books
“First Year of Marriage: The Newlyweds Guide to Building a Strong Foundation and Adjusting to Married Life” by Marcus and Ashley Kusi
Marriage is an overwhelming stage of life that no teachings, advice, and learnings could ever adequately prepare us for. You’re both excited to start a new life together with someone you love but at the same time anxious if you would do well in marriage.
If you do not know how to approach the concept of marriage and don’t know when and where to start, this book will ease the pressure. The first year of marriage is all about communicating, learning, and adapting. It is also the hardest year for most married couples because of the transition.
The book is filled with lessons and first-hand experiences to help prepare the couple for marriage.
Noteworthy lines: “Adjusting to marriage is simply the process of preparing a strong foundation to help you build a happy, healthy, and fulfilling marriage with both spouses on board. Before you begin this process, you have to intentionally make your marriage the first priority in your life.”
“Use at least the first year of your marriage, or better still, your first few years of marriage, as an opportunity to discover and learn more about each other.”
“Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman
Preparation is key to the success of a marriage. People spend more time and effort preparing for a career or hobby than marriage. This practical book is filled with wisdom and tips to get the reader ready for a life of fulfilling marriage.
“People do not get married planning to divorce. Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in an intimate relationship.”
“Communication in Marriage: How to Communicate with Your Spouse without Fighting” by Marcus and Ashley Kusi
Communication is critical in marriage. Acquiring the skill of effective and efficient communication with your partner before marriage is like winning 80% of the battle. Each person approaches communication in different ways and discovering that is crucial, especially at the beginning of a marriage.
“Coming together to build the foundation of your marriage and develop a plan of action will help you to communicate through both good times and bad.”
Marriage Counseling Books To Read During Marriage
“The Relationship Cure: A 5-Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships” by John Gottman
Gottman provides the tools needed to make your marriage not just last but thrive. He reveals the key elements of healthy relationships and emphasizes the importance of building an emotional connection with your partner. The simple approach taken in strengthening relationships is effective in transforming the quality of your relationships.
“Awareness of our emotions within ourselves and the emotions generated within our closest relationships can provide a natural guide for our search for meaning, and can give us the direction in our lives that we are continually seeking.”
“Mindful Relationship Habits: 25 Practices for Couples to Enhance Intimacy, Nurture Closeness, and Grow a Deeper Connection” by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport
For those who feel disconnected with their spouse and don’t know how to go back or start fresh, this book is for you. It’s easy to fall in love, but staying in love is a whole other level. Through the 25 practical practices revealed in the book, you will be amazed that being married for 25 years and feel like you had just met 25 days ago is possible.
“Couples who find themselves stuck in a cycle of hurt feelings, blame, anger, reactivity – or simply boredom and apathy – do have a path forward. It is possible for them to find a way back to the loving, fun, sexy, intimate relationship they once shared.
“I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship” by Mira Kirshenbaum
Trust is another critical foundation for any relationship – especially a marriage. Broken trust is a cause for so many problems and even divorces. Before choosing to throw in the towel, why not give this book a try for it shows you exactly what to do to restore trust, no matter how damaged it was.
“Broken trust can heal more often, more completely, and more quickly, than most of us have ever thought. And it’s worth it, because whoever coined the expression ‘The broken places are stronger where they heal’ is absolutely right when it comes to trust.”
Free Marriage Counseling Books To Download
“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman
The seven principles mentioned in the book takes a scientific approach to marriage after years of observation and study of marriages. This book is for anyone who wants their relationship to achieve its highest potential. It’s filled with checklists and tests to get the reader to interact with the pages and absorb the content quicker.
“Although you may feel your situation is unique, we have found that all marital conflicts, ranging from mundane annoyances to all-out wars, really fall into one of two categories: Either they can be resolved, or they are perpetual, which means they will be a part of your lives forever, in some form or another.”
“Once you are able to identify and define your various disagreements, you’ll be able to customize your coping strategies, depending on which of these two types of conflicts you’re having.”
“Model Marriage” by Bishop Dag Heward Mills
This book takes on a simple approach: copy what works. Why not take some advice and guidance from those that have gone through what you’re going through. It covers all areas of marriage, from religion to sex and money.
“No matter who earns more, the man must rule the finances of the home with wisdom and fairness. He must have a clear vision or foresight for the home to better the lot of the family.”
Whether the activity itself is something new, or you are already an avid reader, trying out marriage counseling books is a great tradition to develop because there is always new learning and knowledge to be acquired along the way. Doing so with your partner not only improves you as a person but the quality of your relationship as well.