Reading and Resource Recommendations for Couples

 The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman and Nan Silver.


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


John Gottman bases his approach on research with couples at his “Love Lab” in Seattle Washington. After watching couples for only 5 minutes, Gottman can predict, with 93% accuracy, which couples will stay together and which ones will divorce. From this research, he has written a number of books to help couples learn the skills and knowledge to have healthy relationships. These are only 2 of the books (all are good) that share some of his knowledge. Gottman’s books also have a lot of self-tests and exercises that couples can use to assess their own styles and develop new habits or ways to acting that make a difference in their relationship from resolving conflict to renewing friendship.


 
 


Why Did I Marry You Anyway? 12.5 Strategies for a Happy Marriage (And the Mythinformation That Gets in the Way) by Barbara Bartlein

This humorous and easy to read book examines some of the misperceptions and unrealistic expectations that people bring to a marriage … and the problems that they cause in marital happiness. The author is a therapist who uses lots of case studies, self-quizzes and interesting quotes to help couples navigate themselves to a healthy relationship.

  And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman

The highest number of divorces occur in the first seven years of a marriage. Many of the reasons for the divorce are related to the fact that, early on, couples focus on careers and children and lose their connection to each other, becoming distant and feeling lonely and abandoned. This can lead to anger, affairs, alcoholism and other problems. This book by Gottman and Gottman offers concrete suggestions for how to get through these times, handle conflict and communication problems and renew and revive a marriage.


 The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage by Michele Weiner-Davis

This book is one to be read and used when there is just one person who wants to save a marriage and needs to find a way to turn things around. The program that Weiner-Davis describes involves a focus on the positives, what is good and working as a way to lay the groundwork for handling the difficult issues. The first half of the book is devoted to laying the groundwork while the second half focuses on specific problems such as infidelity, mid-life crisis and depression.
Several have told us that they keep this book by their bed and read and re-read it to help them stay on track with their efforts to turn things around.


The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman


Author Gary Chapman talks about the ways that everyone feels loved, and they are different for different people. The five love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, quality of time, acts of service and physical touch. This easily read and interesting book challenges couples to find ways that help their partner feel loved and show them in those ways, even if they are different than the way that you feel loved.

 
 Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Susan Johnson

This book talks about the underlying fears of closeness and rejection that lie under many of our fears and come out in ways that couples distance from each other or fight to avoid connection. This book offers practical exercises and ideas of conversations for couples to help them change their patterns.

 

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love, Ed.D. and Steve Stosny, Ph.D.

Women think that the way to improve a marriage is to talk about it. Men think that talking about the relationship only makes problems worse.

This book addresses the powerful feelings for both men and women as they face the dilemmas in their marriage. This is an easily read book with a lot of good exercises. Both men and women will come away with a deeper and richer understanding about their partner and why he/she thinks and acts as he/she does. 



Websites

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy      

This website has a lot of articles and information about healthy relationships. Both John and Sally are clinical members and active in the local organization. Both have received the Distinquished Family Therapist of the Year Award from the Kentucky Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

The Gottman Institute

John Gottman and his research provide the basis for much of the thinking that Sally and John use in their work with marriage and couple therapy.


Counseling Relationships Online This website includes many articles that we have written about improving and enhancing your couple relationships.


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