Let’s be honest. Sometimes, relationships can be hard. And even the best marriages can hit rough patches.
Thankfully, there are resources that can help. Here’s a look at six books that offer powerful insights, helpful tips and moving thoughts about love, communication and how to have a happy marriage.
The End of the Affair
Graham Greene’s classic tale of faith and infidelity is a worthwhile read, not because of its insightful exploration of extramarital sexual temptation, but because it ends up being even more an exploration of the vast connections between divine love and marital love—how we substitute one for the other, and why it doesn’t work.
The Meaning of Marriage
Hey, if it’s good enough for Justin Bieber, it’s good enough for you. That saying doesn’t always apply, but Tim and Kathy Kellers’ book about marriage is solid, especially for the way it describes the higher purpose of our marriage relationships.
Messy Beautiful Love
Darlene Schacht pulls no punches in this book, which is far more transparent about the difficulties some marriages endure than other, shallower fare. By opening up about her own marriage struggles, Schacht helps couples brace for the difficult days.
The 5 Love Languages
There’s a reason why Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages is one of the best-selling relationship books of all time: It’s genuinely insightful and can actually help you become a better communicator. As the title indicates, the book looks at five different ways people tend to express and receive affection.
Sure, not everyone will fit into a neat box, but learning the different ways people have been observed to communicate within relationships can make you better at interpreting what your partner is expressing and better at expressing your own intentions as well.
Pride and Prejudice
Sure, you probably read this one in high school, but if you’re getting married soon or are in a serious relationship, it’s definitely worth revisiting.
Even though it was written back in 1813, the book’s themes—true love, social pressures, the power of family—are truly timeless. And, not only is the story itself entertaining and funny, the lessons about emotional growth and what love can look like are truly moving.
Love & Respect
The premise of Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ influential relationship book is pretty simple: Within relationships, many men and women have different emotional needs.
The book unpacks Ephesians 5:33, which says, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband,” and examines how the verse can apply to modern relationships and social dynamics. It also gives practical advice on how to avoid conflicts that can arise from miscommunications, and how you can improve your relationship by understanding your partner better.