8 Books That Will Transform Your Relationships

by Liberty Stembridge, Relationships Columnist


Published in Relationships on 5th September, 2018


The Relationship Cure

What Is It?:

The relationship cure is a fundamental read for anyone looking to improve their relationship, or even just strengthen it. In this book, John Gottman draws on a lifetime of research into what makes relationships work to bring you his hypothesis' and suggestions. He emphasizes the importance of emotional connection in a relationship, stressing how it can be one of the fundamental building blocks that will help you to last. He also introduces the concept of a bid - essentially an attempt at emotional connection and teaches you how you can use this to understand and better connect with your partner. This book is packed with tips, tricks and exercises that you can use to re-work, re-wire and strengthen your relationship from the ground up.

the relationship cure

Who Is It Written By?:

Dr John Gottman, Ph.D. is a researcher, psychologist and clinician who has conducted over 40 years of research into what makes relationships work. He has spoken about marital stability and relationships across the globe. He has helped thousands of people work through their relationship problems and also trains relationship therapists through The Gottman Institute. He has written several books, his other most notable work being The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work.

Who Is It For?:

The relationship cure is for anyone who wants to know the fundamentals of how their relationships work and how they can get them to work better. Whether you're perfectly happy in your relationships, or struggling a lot, this book can help you radically change how you perceive and operate in your relationships to make them last longer and become more fulfilling.

The Five Love Languages

What Is It?:

The five love languages is a revolutionary book, written by Dr Gary Chapman, which exposes and teaches how to give and receive love. In this book, Dr Chapman proposes that there are five main "love languages" that we can operate within, and that everyone has at least one, if not two or more love languages that they prefer to give and receive love in. He suggests that if we do not know what our own, or our partners love languages are, this can cause many issues in a relationship because we cannot truly express love to our partner and the relationship can collapse as a result. The five main love languages that he suggests are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. In this book, Chapman walks you through finding your own and your partners love language as well as showing you some simple and practical techniques to better communicate love.

Who Is It Written By?:

The Five Love Languages is written by Dr Gary Chapman an author and senior associate pastor, who holds degrees in anthropology and religious education. He draws upon over 45 years of marriage to his wife Karolyn when writing his books, as well as over 35 years of marriage counselling. His books have now sold millions of copies, and he is a well-respected name in the world of relationships and counselling.

Who Is It For?:

This book is for anyone and everyone, whether you've been married for forty years or have never been in a relationship, this book is widely regarded as a fundamental building block to help you to understand yourself better and create long-lasting, loving relationships. After all, what's the point of being in a relationship if you don't know how to show the other person that you love them?

A Return To Love

What Is It?:

A Return To Love is a beautiful book by Marianne Williamson, that expresses her core belief that a "return to love" can help to heal all areas of our life, from career to relationships. In this book, she outlines how incorporating the core principles of love and the practical applications of love can help us to deal with and overcome any difficulties we may face. It is based on her experiences as a teacher and lecturer, and how she has used the principles of love to bring about healing and personal transformation. Essentially, her teaching is that we are all born as loving people, and along the way that can get pushed down in favor of more "important" things such as money, fear or success, and we forget how to truly act from a place of love, but by removing all these blockades, we can "return to love" and start healing ourselves and improving our relationships.

a return to love

Who Is It Written By?:

A return to love is written by Marianne Williamson, a spiritual teacher, lecturer and author of twelve books, four of which have become New York Times number one bestsellers. She was born in Texas, and after many years of feeling lost and alone, jumping from job to job and being unable to have any successful relationships, she discovered "a course in miracles" which kick started her spiritual journey, and eventually lead to her travelling to give talks on the course. From this she wrote her first bestselling book: A Return To Love and since then has written many more, inspiring and helping others worldwide. Aside from her work as an author and lecturer, she also runs several non-profit projects, such as Project Angel Food, which delivers meals to AIDs patients.

Who Is It For?:

This book is for anyone who is feeling lost, or has read many books on relationships already, but still feels like something is missing. Williamsons spiritual approach to relationships is accessible to both religious and non-religious readers alike, and has helped millions worldwide to transform their lives and their relationships.

Attached: The New Science Of Adult Attachment

What Is It?:

This book is a scientific analysis of human attachment once we reach adulthood, and provides a more in-depth scientific perspective as to how and why we form attachments to others later on in our lives. Using decades of research into the science of attachment, this book suggests that there are three main style of attachment that everyone falls into: secure, anxious and avoidant. This greater understanding of adult attachment can help the readers of this book to find, understand and sustain loving relationships in a way that is effortless. It proposes that science can be the key to understanding and developing successful relationships, both romantic and non-romantic.

Who Is It Written By?:

Dr Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. Dr Levine is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Colombia University. He has working at Colombia as a principal investigator and continues to investigate the development of adolescent brains. He has also written a lot about adult attachment, as well as giving lectures and talks across the country. Rachel Heller is a psychologist with a masters degree in social-organizational psychology from Columbia university

Who Is It For?:

This is for science nerds: anyone who really wants to get a better understanding of how love and attachment work. If you're very practical and scientifically minded, and always want to know the causes behind certain events, this book is for you. It's an inside scoop as to how the brain develops attachment, and how you can use that to your favor.

Deal Breakers

What Is It?:

Deal breakers is a book about men, aimed at women (but really it can be used by both genders). It's a somewhat controversial book that aims to educate and inspire women to take control of their relationships and find out what their "deal breaker" is. Essentially it teaches to see relationships as somewhat like business deals, in that there are clear deal breakers that, if broken, spell the end of a relationship. It aims to show women how to identify dud relationships, and instead of hoping for it to get better in the future, analyze what it is happening in the present, and whether its worth continuing. While Deal Breakers recognizes that relationships will have their ups and downs, it emphasizes that relationships shouldn't feel like an endless struggle and aims to empower women to take control and set boundaries within their relationships.

deal breakers

Who Is It Written By?:

Dr Bethany Marshall, a marriage and family therapist and psychoanalyst, who has been practicing for over twenty years. She holds a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis from The Los Angeles Institute. Alongside her work as a therapist and psychoanalyst she regularly makes appearances on national television and radio shows.

Who Is It For?:

This book is for anyone who is really struggling in their relationship, and can't figure out whether to end it or not. Although being specifically aimed at women, the same principles apply in reverse, and for any relationship. If you are struggling in a relationship where you don't feel like the feelings are mutual or reciprocated, or you just can't get through to your partner, this is the book for you.

The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide

What Is It?:

The soulmate experience is an all-round relationship guide, showing you how to connect with your partner emotionally, spiritually and physically. It's the one-stop-shop for all things healthy, loving relationships, as shown by the thousands of people worldwide that give it raving testimonials. The book itself is split into two parts, the first one being focused on creating your dream relationship, and removing any blockades that may be standing in your way. It shows you how to work through your own difficulties such as emotional baggage and self-esteem issues so you can better create an environment within yourself to foster lasting relationships. Part two focuses on how you can continue to have thriving relationships, to overcome any difficulties you might face and continually create a supportive environment.

Who Is It Written By?:

The Soulmate Experience is written by Mali Apple and Joe Dunn, who have been a couple for many years, and decided to write the book after they felt that they had stumbled upon the secret to a long-lasting and loving relationship. They now travel around the world giving lectures and seminars, as well as counselling others and hosting live chats to educate and inspire others to create their perfect relationship.

Who Is It For?:

This is a book for everyone, single or taken. It's practical aspects combined with heartfelt advice and theories can provide new perspective for anyone who's looking to get into a relationship or who is already in one, regardless of how well it's going. This book can help prepare you not only to find "the one" but also how to deal with any difficulties that may arise when you do.

Getting The Love You Want

What Is It?:

This book is both an explanatory guide and practical workbook. It is written by two pioneers in relationship psychology, and aims to help couples improve their relationships by showing them why they chose their partner, and how they can then transform themselves to better improve their relationship. Using the Imago Relationship Therapy techniques, this book sheds light on why we choose our partners, and what that reveals about ourselves. Within that is tucked in plenty of practical exercises you can use to improve your listening and communication skills, and better thrive within your relationship. This timeless classic has sold over two million copies, and continues to be a lifesaver for couples all over the world.

getting the love you want

Who Is It Written By?:

Getting the love you want is written by Dr Harville Hendrix, a couples therapist, educator and speaker who trains marriage counsellors. He draws upon his own education, experience in marriage counselling and over thirty year relationship with his wife Helen, when writing his books.

Who Is It For?:

This book is for everyone, but particularly for anyone who is feeling like they can't connect and communicate with their partner, but doesn't know why. No matter what stage you are in life, this book is a good read, and may well lead you on a journey to self-discovery.

Love Is Never Enough

What Is It?:

Love is never enough is a book that takes a realistic and very down-to-earth view on relationships. It focuses on what couples can do to overcome some of the most common struggles in a long-term relationship. If you've ever been in a long-term relationship yourself you will undoubtable recognize some of them. Author Dr Aaron T Beck takes you on a journey, teaching you how to address negativity, miscommunication, betrayal and more in a relationship by analyzing the dialogues of real couples he has spoken to. This book is chock full of advice, real-world scenarios and wisdom to help you turn your relationship around.

Who Is It Written By?:

Dr Aaron T Beck is a psychiatrist, regarded as the founder of cognitive behavioral therapy, a pioneering therapy that is widely practiced across the world to combat depression, anxiety and much more. He has won numerous awards for his work advancing the field of psychiatry and his research in the fields of suicide, psychotherapy and psychopathology.

Who Is It For?:

This book is for anyone who is looking for answers and practical solutions that they can apply to the situations they find themselves in. if you're struggling with something in your relationship and want to understand what is happening and how you can fix it, then this book is for you.

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