The Book Club
User Topic: Need a generic book on marriage improvement
Member # 27065
Default  Posted: 9:36 PM, March 3rd (Thursday)

Not just A-related.

Our problems are:

differing needs
opening up to each other

all the usual a married couple faces, I guess. Any good ideas on something we could use as a tool together? As in read it together with exercises or something to help us learn?


February 2011: I love my husband.

Posts: 369 | Registered: Jan 2010
Member # 26919
Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, March 3rd (Thursday)

I recommend Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson. This book really altered the way I see love relationships and was a fundamental part of my IC sessions as a wayward spouse looking to change. You can check out more about it at

Other standard reads that you might see mentioned here are The Five Love Languages, and also Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Posts: 1648 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Ontario
Member # 22068
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, March 4th (Friday)

5-Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (I had the audio cassette of the "MM/WV:In the Bedroom" version quite a few years ago. Not sure it helped, but it was quite interesting to hear his take on the opposite sexes).

Me/BS:39(former cybersex addict 1992); fWH:41; DS:15; DS:11; OW:34; OC:10
Together: 22yrs; Married: 18yrs
D-day#1: Jan99, then FALSE R (subsequent conception of DS#2)
D-day#2: Told about OW/WH pregnancy July2000
D-day#3 (same mOW): 19sep2008

Posts: 1721 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Attemping R #3
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 11:03 AM, March 4th (Friday)

The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman.

It's not overwhelmingly long. It cuts right to the root of all the things you've got listed there. It gives you specific exercises to do with your spouse to improve those things.


Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Member # 1298
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, March 4th (Friday)

The Divorce Remedy by Michelle Weiner (I think).

Me BS 55, WS 55

Posts: 4059 | Registered: Mar 2003 | From: California
Member # 30860
Default  Posted: 3:54 PM, March 4th (Friday)

I have 3 books that I have read, maybe not for my former marraige to xwh ( even though I would consider R if his "fog" would lift :P )

1. "Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married" by Gary Chapman (author of the 5 Love Languages)
2. The Love Dare (goes along with the book Fireproof)
3 Love Secrets for a Lasting Relationship

Good Luck!

BW (me) 51
XWH 53, but acts like a 15 y/o
M 18 yrs
DS 16, DD 14 (on D-day)
EA,PA with OW, 30 yrs his jr.
DDay 11/30/09 (DS's B-day), WH moved out 4 days later.
I filed for D-1/29/10,
DIVORCED 10/22/10
You can't reason with an NPD!!!

Posts: 337 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Midwest
Member # 28410
Default  Posted: 8:38 PM, March 5th (Saturday)

Like others have said, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is an excellent book. It has exercises and it is completely focused on the most common issues in a M.

We started Hold Me Tight but it required more emotional awareness than FWH can muster at this point. He's trying, but he's just not there yet. If your H isn't in tune with himself emotionally, you both would have a hard go of it. If he is, I'd highly recommend this one. It doesn't address practical matters, but it gets to the heart of emotional disconnections between spouses.

Me: BW, 40.......Him: FWH, 40
D-day: 3-22-10
DS1: 11, DS2: crawling
Status: R going well

"When you can tell the story and it doesn't bring up any pain, you know it is healed." - Iyanla Vanzant, Broken Pieces

Posts: 7279 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: NC
Member # 30487
Default  Posted: 10:12 PM, March 5th (Saturday)

Gary Chapmans "Now Your Speaking My Language". Hits on all of your topics and in great depth with great application methods. It's also covers briefly what his other books mentioned here cover so it has it all.

"Others often have an awareness of, or question, what we think we have been able to conceal or cover."

Posts: 258 | Registered: Dec 2010
Member # 15902
Default  Posted: 1:19 AM, March 6th (Sunday)

For the Woman:
The Secrets of Happily Married Women: How to Get More Out of Your Relationship by Doing Less by Scott Haltzman

For the Man:
The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife's Heart Forever by Scott Haltzman

For Both:
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

For Stress:
The 14 Day Stress Cure: A New Approach for Dealing With Stress That Can Change Your Life by
Morton C. Orman

Me: BH, Her: FWW - Long Term EA/PA
d-day: June 25, 2007
Married 30 years, Reconciled

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.

Posts: 5695 | Registered: Aug 2007
Member # 30537
Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, March 6th (Sunday)

Surprisingly, these books were awesome for marriage improvement.

Marriage Fitness: 4 Steps to Building & Maintaining Phenomenal Love (Paperback)
by Mort Fertel

Love Dare - Steven Kendrick. There's also a movie about this called Fireproof. Horrible acting but really hit home with us.

BS (me)- 44
WW - 42
PA - 10/2004 - 11/2004
EA - 10/2004 - 11/2010 (6 yrs)
DD - 11/25/2010. Nice Thankgiving present.
Together 22 years, married 15 years
2 kids - 10, 8


Posts: 166 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: from the D
New Member
Member # 31322
Default  Posted: 6:26 AM, March 7th (Monday)

"Fighting for Your Marriage" it covers all of the areas that your looking for.

Posts: 49 | Registered: Feb 2011
Member # 22068
Default  Posted: 8:16 AM, March 17th (Thursday)


Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas.

Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way by Gary Chapman

And, here's an oddball one but can help M if $$$ issues are a weak point in the M:

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

It's surprising how being out-of-debt (or out of credit card debt) can lighten the stress in a M.

Me/BS:39(former cybersex addict 1992); fWH:41; DS:15; DS:11; OW:34; OC:10
Together: 22yrs; Married: 18yrs
D-day#1: Jan99, then FALSE R (subsequent conception of DS#2)
D-day#2: Told about OW/WH pregnancy July2000
D-day#3 (same mOW): 19sep2008

Posts: 1721 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Attemping R #3
Topic Posts: 12