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Great Books!

Here's an annotated list of some wonderful books on relationship issues, from a variety of different perspectives, in alphabetical order by author.

Chapman, Gary.  The Five Love Languages. 2004.  A bestseller which reveals how different people express love in different ways.

Dym, Barry and Glenn, Michael. Couples: Exploring and Understanding the Cycles of Intimate Relationships, 1993. Excellent review of the different stages and cycles that couples typically pass through in a long-term committed relationship.

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

Goldbart, Stephen and Wallin, David. Mapping the Terrain of the Heart, 1996. An excellent 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 six essential capacities for love.

Gorski, Terrence. Getting Love Right: Learning the Choices of Healthy Intimacy, 1993. An excellent 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.

Gottman, John. Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, 1994. A very readable book by one of the nation's most prolific and influential researchers on marital success. 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.

Gottman, John. The Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers. 2001. Yet another practical book from the foremost marital researcher in the world on creating better relationships with everyone in your life.

Gottman, John. The Seven Principles of Making Marriages Work. 1999. A very practical book by one of the nation's most prolific and influential researchers on marital success. The book describes the seven essential qualities and skills that exist in happy marriages.

Gray, John. Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. 1992.  The classic bestselling book on understanding how gender differences influence communication between partners.

Harley, Willard. Fall in Love, Stay in Love. 2001. A great book discussing the importance of meeting each other's emotional needs and the concept of the "Love Bank". Many practical tooks to use immediately.

Hendrix, Harville. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 1988. A superb book discussing how the unfinished hurts and wounds of childhood cause unconscious and often 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.

Johnson, Sue.  Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. 2008. A new book by a well known couples therapist who teaches the vital importance of intimate connection and bonding.

Love, Pat. The Truth About Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever. 2001. A book which discusses how all relationships go through predictable patterns and outlines the 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 for example, how phenylethylamine, dopamine, and norpinephrine combine to create the natural high new lovers feel that helps them bond. Love goes on to explain that this heady infatuation stage, glorious as it may be, is not what love is really about. Other potential problems, as when a couple has different priorities for their relationship, are outlined and addressed. Including quizzes and lists of questions for discussion.

Luskin, Fred.  Forgive for Love: The Missing Ingredient for a Healthy and Lasting Relationship. 2007.  A leading expert teaches couples how forgiveness is a crucial ingredient of successful relationships.

Markman, H., Stanley, S. and Blumberg, S. Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love, 2001. This is an excellent book for couples, from the founders of the nationwide PREP program, which was developed from over 20 years of couples' research at the University of Denver. This book helps couples understand the warning signs of problems in a relationship, and gives specific structured exercises to help couples greatly improve the health of their relationship. and often 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.

McKay, Matthew, and Rogers, Peter. When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within. 2003.  A bestseller which helps people deal with their anger more effectively in relationships.

Schnarch, David. Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships, 1998. Excellent book describing the interaction between sexual and marital satisfaction, and how to improve both. Includes an in-depth and scholarly discussion of how the process of differentiation in a committed relationship allows couples to develop true intimacy.

Spring, Janis Abrahms.  How Can I Forgive You.  2004; After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful. 1997.  An expert teaches how couples can work through the pain of betrayal and rebuild their relationship.

Tannen, Deborah. You Just Don't Understand, 1990. Very good analysis of the differences in how men and women communicate. The differences aren't going away, so it is best that you educate yourself about them to better understand how your partner communicates with themselves and with you.

Welwood, John. Challenge of the Heart: Love, Sex and Intimacy in Changing Times  (1985); Journey of the Heart: Intimate Relationships and the Path of Love  (1990); and Love and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate Relationship  (1997). Discusses the ideas and practices of consciously seeing intimate relationships as a spiritual path for personal and relational awakening.

Wile, Daniel.  After the Fight. 1993. This book teaches you how to use your arguments to build a stronger relationship.

Important Links and Resources

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

National Directory of Family and Marriage Counseling

Nationwide Marriage Counseling & Family Therapy Directory

Psych Central

Psychology Today

Smart Marriages

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