The 10 Best Marriage Books for Couples of 2021

Grow closer than ever

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Anyone who claims marriage is easy is either single or lying to you. Marriage takes a lot of work, commitment, and compromise, with many learning curves as the relationship progresses. Spending time with another person around the clock—whether legally married or not—can lead individuals to realize just how difficult a relationship can be.

While this struggle is felt by couples all over the country, there are ways to use this time to grow closer as a couple instead of growing apart. Sharing a new hobby, learning new things about your significant other, and creating a memory that is certain to last are just a few ideas.

Hope is not lost for the stir-crazy couple stuck in the same house. To assist with this growing process, we’ve rounded up the best marriage books for couples who want a stronger, healthier relationship.

Our Top Picks
Marriage and family counselor Gary Chapman brings to light simple coping mechanisms that benefit all couples.
It provides couples with effective communication strategies to confront their biggest relationship issues.
This interactive guide is set up with fun dates that couples can choose to partake in, prompting open, safe discussion.
The authors discuss the trauma that comes from unfaithfulness while giving the reader a glimpse of hope and repair.
It includes an easy-to-follow eight-step exercise guide that inspires problem-solving on every level.
Therapist Judy Herman explains how no one is above a complicated relationship—or a complicated relationship with relationships.
It discusses how the concept of a good marriage and relationship can often lead to anxiety about meeting expectations.
Includes realistic strategies that sharpen both parties’ communication to create better habits for a healthy relationship.
It leads readers toward marital success with questions to help you better understand yourself and your partner.
Dr. Snyder discusses why you need to prioritize sex in your relationship and how to reignite the flame.

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

Marriage and family counselor Gary Chapman understands how difficult it can be to put in the effort when it seems like you’re the only one trying to make your relationship work. He teaches readers how to recognize what’s bothering them, understand their partner’s behavior, and make choices that positively impact both people in the relationship.

His guide isn’t intended to discredit the very real struggles that marriages can face—he speaks to relationships experiencing poor communication, verbal abuse, unfaithfulness, addiction, mental illnesses, and more—but he brings to light simple coping mechanisms that benefit everyone involved.

No More Fighting: The Relationship Book for Couples

No matter how picture-perfect a couple’s relationship may seem, every couple fights—that’s just a part of being in a committed relationship. Licensed counselor Alicia Munoz, LPC, explains that while fights are often necessary to air differences, they can also easily overwhelm a relationship. "No More Fighting" provides couples with effective communication strategies to confront their biggest relationship issues.

This is a workbook, intended to be read in short, 20-minute sessions that address problems from intimacy to equality. Even if couples don’t think they’re struggling with a specific area, working through the book's 52 chapters will increase communication and knowledge in any relationship, laying a strong foundation for future discussions.

Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

Eight Dates

While every couple is different, many relationship problems are similar. Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman break down what they consider to be the eight most important conversations that every couple needs to have for a strong relationship: trust, conflict, sex, money, family, adventure, spirituality, and dreams.

Their interactive guide for these conversations is set up with fun “dates” that couples can choose to partake in, prompting open, safe discussion. With 40 years of research behind them, Dr. Gottman and Dr. Gottman’s "Eight Dates" will help any couple learn more about what makes their relationship work and what they need to change for an even stronger bond.

Healing From Infidelity: A Practical Guide to Healing from Infidelity

Very few people, if any, enter into a relationship with the expectation of being cheated on. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of couples that deal with infidelity in their marriage, whether someone cheated physically or emotionally. Jackson A. Thomas and Debbie Lancer discuss the trauma that comes from this unfaithfulness while giving the reader a glimpse of hope—that relationships can heal from infidelity and come out stronger than before.

In "Healing from Infidelity," the authors include the main causes of cheating, strategies for repairing hurt, and explanation of the need for sexual intimacy while repairing a relationship. They’re not claiming that it’s easy to bounce back from a partner cheating, but they do help readers gain control of their emotions and healing while maintaining hope for the future. 

The Marriage Counseling Workbook: 8 Steps to a Strong and Lasting Relationship

Dr. Emily Cook, Ph.D., LCMFT, has spent her career helping couples pinpoint their “problem” areas. Whether that means communication, sexual intimacy, anger, or financial stress, she’s seen it all!

"The Marriage Counseling Workbook" describes each of these problems, asks questions that help couples evaluate where they need to grow, and includes an easy-to-follow eight-step exercise guide that inspires problem-solving on every level. Dr. Cook’s simple, practical steps bring her counseling expertise to your living room, no appointment necessary.

Beyond Messy Relationships: Divine Invitations to Your Authentic Self

Beyond Messy Relationships

Mental Health therapist Judy Herman, LPC, shares her impactful story of divorce and remarriage in "Beyond Messy Relationships." She explains how no one is above a complicated relationship—or a complicated relationship with relationships—and the necessary healing actions she took that helped her prepare for a healthy, happy second marriage.

Her story is not only a memoir but also a how-to guide for anyone who is searching to overcome relational shame, understand their own relationship habits better, and bring intention to every relationship they have. Dr. Herman’s transparency and research background make this book an eye-opening read for anyone who picks it up.

Marriage Counseling and Anxiety in Relationship

"Marriage Counseling and Anxiety in Relationship" works from the foundational elements of relationships up to the bigger issues many couples face. It discusses how the concept of a good marriage and relationship can often lead couples to feel anxious about meeting expectations, feel jealous, or indulge in negative thinking. The book guides readers into resolving conflicts caused by these fears with healthy communication skills and renewed security.

Married Roommates: How to Go From a Relationship That Just Survives to a Marriage That Thrives

Talia Wagner, LMFT, and Allen Wagner, LMFT, have dedicated their careers to helping couples improve their relationships with efficient communication skills. "Married Roommates" is full of simple, realistic strategies that sharpen both parties’ communication to create better habits for a healthy relationship.

Learning to live with someone—even when you love them—isn’t easy, but it is necessary. The overarching goal of the book is to increase attraction and intimacy and halt disrespect, jabs, and low blow comments.

Easy Marriage Counseling: 52 Self-Guided Exercises to Deepen Your Relationship

Emelia A. Blank, MA, LPC, understands how much work relationships take. She also understands that marriage counseling needs to be all-inclusive and quick for more people to participate.

"Easy Marriage Counseling" puts this into practice with 52 engaging activities (complete with case studies, research, and personal stories) for couples who want to strengthen their relationships. It leads readers toward marital success with questions to help you better understand yourself and your partner.

Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship

Dr. Stephen Snyder has 30+ years of experience as a sex therapist, working with over 1,500 individuals and couples. He has seen firsthand the importance of healthy physical intimacy in relationships and understands how sexual attraction changes and grows with each couple.

In "Love Worth Making" he discusses why you need to prioritize sex in your relationship and how to reignite the flame that may not be as strong as it once was. Dr. Snyder reminds readers that it’s never “just sex,” but rather a crucial aspect of a healthy relationship.

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