What books on marriage do you recommend?

I get asked that question a lot.

Since I’ve spent the last 18 years working with couples in the context of church, community mental healthy and private practice, I’ve had the opportunity to read a lot of books on marriage.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, the majority of my therapy work is working with couples, usually in the context of marriage.

Sometimes that is a tough question because there are thousands and thousands of books on marriage. So it can be hard to wade through all the books and figure out which books are good, and which ones are not so good.

About two and half years ago I wrote a post on the books I would recommend that couples read in their premarital preparation…but it’s time for me to re-think and update that list.

Because there are so many books on marriage, these days I’ve really been focusing on the books that I would define as paradigm shifting (i.e. those books that posit such important ideas that they literally redefine how you see yourself and your marriage).

Paradigm shifting books are the ones that people re-read time and time again and constantly refer to.

So over the next several weeks I’m going to talk about the 10 books on marriage that I think are the most important for couples to read.

My criteria is simple:

  1. They have to be books that I have read.
  2. They have to be books that have fundamentally changed my life, relationships, and marriage.
  3. They have to be books that I have seen change the lives of couples I work with and others that I know.
  4. They have to be books that I find myself constantly thinking about, using in my therapy work and referring to.
  5. And most importantly, keep in mind that these books are my opinion. So my list is not the end all of course, and I would love to hear what books you would add to the list.

What are some of the best books on marriage that you have read? Why?