Secular Marriage Books and Resources

by Fr. Gary Coulter

This is a work in progress, so please e-mail your corrections and suggestions. Thanks to your suggestions the websites have moved to a separate page as the marriage resources have grown too big for one page!

Contact Fr Gary Coulter Go to Fr. Coulter's homepage Sign my Guestbook


Visit my Recommended Catholic and Christian Marriage Books and Resources

Disclaimer: I am a Catholic Priest, and so can only recommend that you see my page of Catholic Books and Sources.
The following page is mostly non-Christian, thus "secular" books on marriage, marital strengthening and enrichment.


Directory of Secular Books

Authors
Michele Weiner-Davis
Gary Chapman
Mike and Harriet McManus
David and Claudia Arp
Les and Leslie Parrott
Dr. John Van Epp
The best of "secular" resources
Marriage Enrichment
The Marriage Movement
For Financial Troubles
It's not a site or book, but a TV show!
Marriage Uncensored

Directory of Catholic Books

Featured Authors
John and Sheila Kippley
Kimberly and Scott Hahn
The Best of Catholic Books and Resources
Church Teaching on Marriage, Family and Theology of the Body
Enriching your Catholic Marriage
Novels about Marriage
Dating from a Catholic Perspective
Catholic Books on Parenting
Catholic Church Teaching (Popes of the 20th Century)
Other Catholic Sources
Pauline Books and Media
Ligouri Publications
Mary Beth Bonacci
Dr. Janet Smith
EWTN
Miscellaneous Sources
Catholic Wedding Planners

Directory of Websites

Author's Sites
Preparing for Marriage or Engagement
Natural Family Planning
Marriage Enrichment
Troubled Marriages
General Information

After work, taking care of three preschoolers and doing the cooking, housework and washing, you say you have no energy left to "work on marriage". But looking after one's marriage must be the first priority: how would you like to have three preschoolers, work part-time, do your own housework, cooking and washing, and do it all as a single parent? If you take care of everything else, and neglect your marriage, that's what can happen!

Five Best books on marriage written before WWII


Michele Weiner-Davis

The Divorce Remedy: The Proven Seven-Step Plan for Saving Your Marriage. - Michele Weiner-Davis
Divorce Busting: A Step-By-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again - Michele Weiner-Davis
Divorce Busting is a best-selling book that offers hope to everyone, even those teetering on the edge of divorce. Easy-to-understand, inspirational in tone, DB is the classic relationship instruction manual.
NEW! Now Divorce Remedy may replace DB as the book which says: you can save your marriage. Even better than the first book, this is very easy to read, and the principles work. Yes, her recommendations require work, perseverance and hanging on no matter what, but in the end, they work.
This book gives hope to those whose spouse is threatening divorce: you can still make a difference. For those who thinking of seeking divorce, please read and maybe see that divorce is not necessarily the attractive and quick solution it sometimes appears to be. Everyone should keep a stack of these on hand for friends/family/clients whose marriages fall into distress.

Newest from Michele Weiner-Davis: The Sex-Starved Marriage: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido
This is not a deep-thinking, reflective kind of book but, rather, a get-cracking-and-solve-the-problem book. Solutions? She has created a "passion-building toolkit" filled with "field-tested" techniques to help couples when the fire has dwindled.
Also see her website DivorceBusting.com with information about her skill-building "Keeping Love Alive" workshops.


Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate - Gary Chapman
Everyone is recommending this simple book, which provides practical and comprehensible advice for couples. The concept of the "five love languages" shows the ways that different people give and receive love - and how such differences can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce if not understood.
Be sure to check out 5LoveLanguages.com and twitter.com/DrGaryChapman.
Also from Gary Chapman: The Four Seasons of Marriage: Understand and Talking about the Ever-Changing Cycles of Marriage
And The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships


Mike and Harriet McManus

MarriageSavers.org (MichaelJMcManus@CS.com)

Also see Mike McManus' excellent Ethics & Religion Column
A Manual To Create a Marriage Savers Congregation (REVISED) - Mike McManus
This definitive manual provides a step-by-step guide to creating mentor couple programs - premarital, mid-marriage, troubled marriage, separated couples and step-family ministries.

Mentors' Guide for FOCCUS, A Premarital Inventory - Mike McManus
Shows Mentor Couples how to conduct six mentoring sessions. Includes 13 couple communication, budget and goals exercises.

Marriage Savers: Helping Your Family and Friends Avoid Divorce - Mike McManus
Based on extensive research on effective ways churches (and others) can intervene with concrete, biblical advice at various stages of the marital life cycle to help marriages last

Insuring Marriage: 25 Proven Ways to Prevent Divorce - Mike McManus
This simple 112-page book is written in modern parable form.

New (Mar. 2008): Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers - Mike & Harriet McManus
The comprehensive book on cohabitation and the myth that it makes better marriages.


David and Claudia Arp

MarriageAlive.org

Cofounders of Marriage Alive International and the developers of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP). They are columnists, speakers and have written over 20 books dealing with marriage and family education. They host a national radio program "The Family Workshop".

10 Great Dates to Revitalize Your Marriage - David and Claudia Arp
Dating doesn't have to be only a memory or just another boring evening at the movies. This book enables couples to rejuvenate their marriages by going on dates that specifically help develop marriage skills.
New: 10 Great Dates for Black Couples.

The Second Half of Marriage: Facing the Eight Challenges of Every Long-Term Marriage - David and Claudia Arp
Fighting For Your Empty Nest Marriage: Reinventing Your Relationship When the Kids Leave Home - David and Claudia Arp
In paperback: Empty Nesting: Reinventing Your Marriage When the Kids Leave Home - David Arp, Claudia Arp, Scott Stanley, Howard Markman, and Susan Blumberg
Books to help couples prepare for the next stage in their relationship. These enlightening books helps empty nest couples focus on things that can be changed within their relationship and offers solid advice for learning the skills needed to have a more fulfilling and intimate relationship than was possible during the hectic parenting years.

Suddenly They're 13! The Art of Hugging a Cactus - David and Claudia Arp
Updated and expanded, an indispensable guide for parents to successfully manage the "prickly" teenage adolescent years. The Arps will help you regroup, release, relate and even relax! Book includes a discussion guide for small groups.

Love Life for Parents - David and Claudia Arp
A funny, engaging - and yes, romantic - book on the subject of bringing the closeness back to your relationship - how to have kids and a sex life too.


Les and Leslie Parrott

Homepage: www.RealRelationships.com Latest book: Your Time-Starved Marriage: How to Stay Connected at the Speed of Life
For today's busy couples, easily digestible practical tips, proven advice, clever illustrations, and real-life examples to help you target your "time bandits", discover your "time style" and maximize each moment together. (Workbooks and DVD for group study also available.)

Their Mentor Couple program: The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring is an excellent, recommended resource for churches.
See their Center for Relationship Development and their complete resource list for such items as "Marriage Mentoring Training Manuals", "51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors" and a "Complete Resource Kit" on DVD

The Parrotts were featured in the Feb. 2002 issue of Focus on the Family magazine.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Marriages - Les and Leslie Parrott
Helps couples stay together in spite of the inevitable bad things that come their way ... from boredom and the loss of passion to the heartbreaking crisis of infidelity or infertility. The Parrotts explore 6 bad things that sneak up on good marriages, 5 tools good couples use to battle bad things, 4 bad things that jolt good marriages to their core, 3 good things that turn bad for some couples and 1 bad thing every marriage can make better. Accompanying men's and women's workbooks include 21 self-tests and exercises.

The Love List - Les and Leslie Parrott
The Love List focuses on how healthy, happy couples can maintain their relationship by making a commitment to applying its hands-on concepts each day, week, month and year. The Parrots urge couples to improve their love lives with several simple relationship changing exercises, complete with eight self-tests. Training for couples on how to intentionally build good marriage habits, increase intimacy, gain new direction, enjoy more laughter, and much more.

Making Marriage Work - Les and Leslie Parrott
This four part video series is especially designed for a church or marriage enrichment program (e.g. 8 week bible study). It includes Biblical and practical tips to cultivate a healthy and happy marriage. Includes twenty couples who share their deepest struggles, conflicts and misconceptions about marriage. With a media kit, leader guide and bible study guides.
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before (and After) You Marry - Leslie and Les Parrott


Dr. John Van Epp

Homepage: www.LoveThinks.com a.k.a. www.NoJerks.com
How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk (2008)
The updated edition of: How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk (2006)
Clinically researched guide to figuring out what a person will be like as a marriage partner. These book presents his trademark Relationship Attachment Model (RAM), which breaks down the dynamic bonding forces that influence a relationship, allowing one to identify destructive dating patterns and find a good partner for marriage.
Also see his materials for being an instructor for his P.I.C.K. a Partner program for singles and Marriage L.I.N.K.S. program for couples.


Best of "Secular" Marriage Resources

Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education

Diane Sollee at SmartMarriages.com has some great stuff on the importance of good preparation for marriage, and organizes an Annual Conference
Special thanks to her list of books at SmartMarriages.com/booklist.html, of which I have picked out some (above & below).

Top five books about love and marriage - Barbara Dafoe Whitehead


See the authors above, such as Michele Weiner-Davis, Gary Chapman, Mike and Harriet McManus and David and Claudia Arp, plus:

Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart - Dr. William Doherty
Also in Paperback recent winner of a Self Help Book of the Year Award.
Identify and break free of the attitudes and assumptions that can chip way at even the happiest marriage - treating marriage like a consumer purchase, confusing desires with needs, becoming overtime parents and part-time spouses, and giving in to unintentional sabotage from family, friends, and even professionals. Learn how to stay alert to marital drift, create energizing marriage rituals, and how to restore a relationship worth saving, even when it seems too late.
Also see Take Back Your Kids: Confident Parenting in Turbulent Times - William J. Doherty, a guide to reclaiming our overscheduled lives, and a video: Take Back Your Family Time, ideal for group discussion

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It: Finding Love Beyond Words - Drs. Patricia Love and Steven Stosny
Men want closer marriages just as much as women do, but not if they have to talk about it. Love is not about better communication, it's about better connection, things like touch, activity, sex, routines. The bottom line is: Be there with your partner's feelings. Don't ignore them, try to "fix it," or try to drag him or her out of it. Concrete advice, exercises and examples show couples how to reconnect - without talking the relationship to death. Read an excerpt: Twenty Reasons to Have Sex When You Donít Feel Like It

7 Stages of Marriage: Laughter, Intimacy and Passion Today, Tomorrow, Forever - Dr. Rita DeMaria and Sari Harrar
This book is not for troubled relationships or wounded couples. Instead, the audience is the happily married couple, helping them move through the different stages in a marriage to maintain their loving relationship, invigorate it or keep the connections between them open and fresh. Featured in Reader's Digest February 2007

The Marriage Garden: Cultivating Your Relationship so it Grows and Flourishes - Wallace Goddard & James Marshall
Down-to-earth advice for any couple who wants to strengthen their marriage and make it last a lifetime using this six-step program to commit, grow, nurture, understand, solve, and serve. Using a bountiful garden as a metaphor for a healthy marriage, the book encourages couples to invest time in growing their relationship, shine the light of encouragement on each other, deal with "bugs" and "thorns," and share time and resources to make the whole world blossom.

Rescue Your Love Life: Changing Those Dumb Attitudes & Behaviors That Will Sink Your Marriage - Drs. Henry Cloud & John Townsend
These authors of the bestselling series on relationships (such as Boundaries in Marriage) examine virtually every way a marriage can disconnect, and then provide tested and successful solutions to these problems, e.g. unreasonable expectations, personality differences, problems with communication, trust, sex and conflict resolution. Includes scripture references and biblical principals to support their advice. Also see the Workbook Edition
and Boundaries in Dating provides good guidelines on the importance of having boundaries, setting them, and how to have significant people in your life honor them.

Can My Marriage be Saved?: True Stories of Saved Marriages - Mae and Erika Chambers
A mother (and daughter) tells not only the story of her own troubled marriage but the stories of 21 other couples whose marriages were, at one point, seemingly beyond hope - sending the message that, with a little work, there are ways to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and lower divorce rates.
Website Link: SavedMarriageNetwork.com

The Secrets of Happily Married Men - Dr. Scott Haltzman
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book Time magazine named one of the "Six Books for a Better You in 2006." because of it's treatment of specific sexual matters that are harmful to marriages and spiritual harmony with our Creator. Dr. Haltzman seems to approve/encourage the morally illicit practices of pre-marital sex, masturbation, contraceptive sex, oral sex and pornography, all of which actually damage marital unity.
The Secrets of Happily Married Women: How to Get More Out of Your Relationship by Doing Less - Dr. Scott Haltzman

Surrendering to Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and Other Imperfections - Iris Krasnow
Surrendering to Marriage moves far beyond a how-to manual on 25 ways to make your marriage hot again; instead it's a how-to book on surrendering to the reality that "Being married happily ever-after doesn't guarantee that we get to be happy. When we expect sustained happiness we get sustained disappointment - or divorce."  Krasnow shows that the basic components of a successful marriage have little to do with bursts of bliss and everything to do with letting go of fantasy and embracing the ordinary grind in our relationships, a surrender that is wholly and unexpectedly fulfilling. "Is the grass greener on the other side of divorce court?" - this makes clear that the answer is, of course, a resounding "NO".
"This book should be on everyone's wedding gift list, right next to the blender." - Oprah Winfrey

Fighting for Your Marriage - Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, and Susan Blumberg
A best-selling book for marriage educators and couples. In addition to all the PREP program skills, it covers couples' expectations of marriage; why an emphasis on self-satisfaction in marriage doesn't work; how loyalty, commitment, devotion, friendship, teamwork, and acceptance are the keys to success; how unresolved conflicts and fighting impact your children; and how self-regulation affects relationships. Plus practical advice on communication and problem-solving skills, techniques to resolve conflicts, restore intimacy, increase fun, and improve your sex life.

You Don't Have to Take it Anymore - Steve Stosny
Subtitled: "Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One". A practical program for both women and men to stop verbal and emotional abuse. Based on his method which has helped transform many troubled marriages. Complete with checklists, case studies, and well-researched information on how to change relationships subject to criticism, put-downs, or cold shoulders, with guidance for both parties.

Shake That Brain publishers
Wonderful little stocking-stuffer size books: How To Be The Almost Perfect Husband: By WIVES Who Know and How To Be The Almost Perfect Wife: By HUSBANDS Who Know and "Fairy Tales Can Come True: How To Keep the Love in Your Love Life". Full of simple, practical tips compiled by Joel Saltzman, but written by the true experts. A great combination of his and her books.

12 Hours to a Great Marriage: A Step by Step Guide for Making Love Last - Howard Markman, Scott Stanley, Natalie Jenkins & Susan Blumberg
An easy-to-use, low-cost version of PREP - the world's most successful marriage enhancement program. This book requires a commitment to 12 hours of relationship work and offers specific data, guidelines, proven methods, examples, anecdotes, self-tests, and exercises to do together and individually. For anyone who wants to enhance and preserve their relationship, the PREP method works.

A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage - Scott M. Stanley
A non-denominational Christian guide to PREP (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program). Teaches engaged or married couples how to minimize harmful verbal conflict using the speaker-listener technique. How you handle verbal conflict is one of the most important predictors of the well-being of marriage, preventing divorce and healing hurts.
Also The Power of Commitment: A Guide to Active, Lifelong Love - Scott M. Stanley
This best-selling marriage expert reveals that the secret ingredient for finding lasting love is commitment. He offers a five-step plan for understanding commitment - based on his groundbreaking marital research and uniquely spiritual approach. Includes frank discussions of myths and pitfalls of the cultural trends in our "Maybe I Do World" toward premarital cohabitation and the search for a soul mate.
Also see His older book The Heart of Commitment

Time for a Better Marriage: Training in Marriage Enrichment - Dr. Jon Carlson & Dr. Don Dinkmeyer, Sr.
These psychologists point out that the skills necessary for creating and sustaining a happy marriage are learned; and outline a wealth of changes couples can make to correct negative interactions, take responsibility for their choices, and develop greater empathy and understanding for each other. Among the activities this candid guide offers are developing a marriage mission statement and participating in a Daily Dialogue, Encouragement Meetings, and Marriage Meetings.

The Great Marriage Tune-Up Book: A Proven Program for Evaluating and Renewing Your Relationship - Dr. Jeffrey Larson
From the author of the best-selling "Should We Stay Together?" A book for all serious couples in a long-term relationship who (will) reach a point of feeling frustrated, stuck, bored, disillusioned, and misunderstood. But now, drawing on over fifty years of research in marital relationships, Dr. Larson provides helpful and easy-to-use quizzes, self-tests and personal assessments that reveal why you're feeling this way, explain the underlying issues, and provide solutions to specific issues and problems. A practical book that focuses on goals for improvement.
"Reading this one book will give you more insight into your marriage and how to improve it than reading a dozen standard books on marriage." - William J. Doherty, PhD

Lasting Love: The 5 Secrets of Growing a Vital, Conscious Relationship - Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks This book takes on two pressing problems that sap marriages: 1. forging a close relationship while allowing each partner creative autonomy, 2. generating passion and preserving harmony essential to keeping marriage alive and blooming. They share 5 insights, 5 secrets and lots of activities.
Spirit-Centered Relationships: Experiencing Great Love and Harmony through the Power of Presencing - Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks
With three practical ways to implement 'the power of presencing' and included CD, learn how to feel connected on the spiritual level, whether in times of stress or joy and abundance. Learn to love generously and wisely and treasure your relationship.

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love - Sue Johnson
A practical book for couples desiring to examine thier relationship as an attachment bond. "This book will touch your heart, stimulate your mind, and give you practical strategies for improving your marriage." - Bill Doherty, author of Take Back Your Marriage

Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness: How Embracing the Virtues of Loyalty, Generosity, Justice, and Courage can Strengthen Your Relationship - Blaine J. Fowers
This book shows how unrealistic expectations make marriage more fragile and offers a practical new vision of marriage as an opportunity to learn and practice virtues in the shared pursuit of a couple's deepest ideals. The book is filled with examples of how to cultivate friendship, loyalty, generosity, and other virtues. Good marriages aren't by accident, but by action.

Marriage Makeover: A Woman's Guide to a Better Marriage - Sam Bradley

The Truth About Love: The Highs, The Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever - Pat Love
Perfect for the twenty-somethings in search of their "soulmate". It tackles all the stages including Infatuation and "Post Rapture" and moves on to the connection stage of true bonding. Love and marriage is more than finding the right partner - it is also working to make sure that love remains.

Creating a Marriage You'll Love: Secrets for Building a Rich and Full Life Together - ed. Mark Chimsky-Lustig
New in March 2010, this book features 19 experts including John Gray, John Van Epp, Judith Wallerstein and others you will find on this page. Also all royalties will be donated to nonprofits that help victims of domestic violence.

Men Are from Mars/Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships - John Gray, PhD Now in Paperback!
One of the top ten best selling books of the last decade, translated into 40 languages.
He helps couples see that the differences they experience in marriage are normal, and thus opens couples to the possibility that they CAN master the challenges - that anyone can.
Mars and Venus Together Forever: Relationship Skills for Lasting Love - John Gray, PhD
and now: The Mars-Venus Diet and Exercise Solution - John Gray, PhD

Fall In Love, Stay In Love - Dr. Willard Harley, Jr
18 brief step-by-step sessions to equip couples with the tools needed for a happy, successful marriage: meeting each other's important emotional needs; avoiding habits that chip away at your love; and, finally, master the art of negotiating to create a compatible lifestyle. Clear cut concepts and straightforward methods.
See also his best selling book His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage
New from Dr. Harley: I Promise You: Preparing for a Marriage That Will Last a Lifetime
A book to prepare couples for marriage by examining four key promises of a successful marriage: care, protection, honesty, and time. Written with wisdom and authority, assignments and questionnaires help determine each other's emotional needs and effectiveness.
Also from Dr. Harley: Love Busters: Protecting Your Marriage from Habits that Destroy Romantic Love

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work - John Gottman, PhD
He has good suggestions for ways to reconnect with one's spouse. He describes use of a "Love Map", a process and questions to help one learn about one's spouse, and recall of earlier, happy days in the marriage. As Gottman states, "in knowledge, there is strength."
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail... And How You Can Make Yours Last - John Gottman, PhD
This book makes psychology and research accessible with easily generalized examples that can benefit anyone looking to improve their relationship skills and use them in marriage. With self-tests, simple practices, and engaging writing style. Not just for couples in trouble, new couples or anyone can benefit from his relationship advice.
Gottman.com offers marriage tips and quizzes to assess your relationship and marital skills. Other books include: The Relationship Cure, The Mathematics of Marriage

Thriving Marriages : An Inspirational and Practical Guide to Lasting Happiness - John A. Yzaguirre, Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre
A resource for both married and engaged couples, this book presenting a Christian model for unity in marriage, integrating sound spirituality with the best of the psychological research on healthy marital relationships in an easy-to-read and apply style. While it includes a Christian perspective, others will find this guide helpful also.
See their website ThrivingFamilies.com

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs - Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
New! Cracking the Communication Code: The Secret to Speaking Your Mate's Language - Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Learn how spouse can achieve intimate, mutual understanding and a successful godly marriage but understanding the different languages of love and respect: respect for him, love for her.

The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work - Terrence Real
Women - you can truly transform your relationship. Men - you can rise to the occasion. Practical strategies for bringing honesty, passion, and joy back to even the most difficult relationship.
Also see How Can I Get Through To You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women - Terrence Real
A radical new vision of love and the practical tools to achieve it. In a time when connection has never seemed more urgent or precious - Real's work has the power to revitalize troubled relationships.

Mixed Matches - Joel Crohn, PhD
Divergent and religious faiths and cultural histories cannot be ignored. This book is devoted to interactions within a broad spectrum of interfaith (and/or mixed race) couples. Includes exercises, in-depth questionnaires, sample dialogue, resources and bibliography.

New (Oct. 2010): Enduring Desire: Your Guide to Lifelong Intimacy - Michael Metz and Barry McCarthy
Amerian Association of Sex Counselors, Educators and Therapists (AASCET) 2011 Best Book Award
A great book about sex and relationships rolled into one. Written by two terrific sex and couples therapists who have an excellent track record. It is not your parents book about sex or communication. Rather, 'Enduring Desire' focuses on current understandings about sexual desire and sexual interaction throughout a couple's life together. The book gives very practical and smart advice to both partners. A book for any couple who wants to build or sustain good sex and intimacy.

Sexual Awareness: Couple Sexuality for the Twenty-First Century - Barry and Emily McCarthy
Guidance for couples to enhance intimacy and sexual satisfaction by utilizing practical guidelines and clear exercises that ease couples into working together to increase intimacy as a team, confronting any guilt, anger, anxiety, shame, and inhibitions which may trap them. Many guidelines, exercises, and case studies which are a positive force for change.

Rekindling Desire: A Step-By-Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex Marriages - Barry McCarthy
Sexual Awareness: Couple Sexuality for the Twenty-First Century - Barry and Emily McCarthy
Guidance for couples to enhance intimacy and sexual satisfaction by utilizing practical guidelines and clear exercises that ease couples into working together to increase intimacy as a team, confronting any guilt, anger, anxiety, shame, and inhibitions which may trap them. Many guidelines, exercises, and case studies which are a positive force for change.

Getting It Right the First Time: Creating a Healthy Marriage - Barry and Emily McCarthy
What every couple needs to know to understand what really makes a marriage work. Clear, helpful guidelines for creating a healthy marriage and strategies, skills, and attitudes that to prevent disappointment, resentment and alienation from entering the relationship. A great wedding present.

Not "Just Friends": Protect Your Relationship From Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal - Dr. Shirley Glass
ShirleyGlass.com
Dr. Glass hopes to make couples aware of the danger signs of deepening work friendships - which can become emotional and sexual affairs - as well as offering ways to help strengthen their committed relationships. She says that many couples are able to heal from infidelity, with time and help, and can build stronger relationships.

My Husband's Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me - Anne Bercht
A personal, compelling story which is hard to put down. A chance to examine one's own life and marriage - before an affair occurs. Also see her website PassionateLife.ca for marriage articles and resources. Anne now is involved with Peggy (below) in BAN (Beyond Affairs Network)

The Monogamy Myth: A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs - Peggy Vaughan
A step-by-step process for dealing with affairs as well as information about preventing them. Also see her website DearPeggy.com for more articles, a blog and resources.

Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On -- Together or Apart - Snyder, Baucom, and Gordon
Peggy Vaughan also recommends this book as "wise, practical, and thorough". A guide for dealing with an affair, understanding what happened and deciding what to do next.

Couplehood: A New Way to Love - Harville Hendrix, Ph.D & Helen LaKelly Hunt
New in 2010, a DVD based series for couples to transform their relationship. Group study curriculums are also available, with 3 versions: Christian, Jewish, and general audience.
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples - Harville Hendrix, PhD
Hendrix helps couples transform their relationship into a Conscious Marriage - a lasting source of love and companionship. With exercises that quickly get everyone's cards on the table, he gets past the most common forms of relationship dysfunction and teaches the essential practice of "becoming passionate friends".
Companion Workbooks: Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide

All You Need is Love and Other Lies about Marriage - Dr. John Jacobs
This New York psychiatrist is one of a growing number of therapists focusing on helping people make marriages last a lifetime. Subtitled: "How to Save Your Marriage Before It's Too Late", the message is blunt: marriage is more difficult than many anticipate. But a long-lasting union, held together with hard work, can create a profoundly satisfying relationship.

Imperfect Harmony: How to Stay Married for the Sake of Your Children and Still be Happy - Joshua Coleman
This psychologist shows how there has been a lot of rethinking on how divorce does hurt children. Couples who want satisfying marriages need to dispense with society's romantic "lies" - such as the myth of a perfect soul mate - and face the fact they are apt to experience periods when they are not necessarily happy. The vast majority of marriages can be much better than people realize. But navigating by the starlight of happiness and personal affection is a very unreliable source.
Also see: The Lazy Husband : How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework - Joshua Coleman

A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting - Hara Estroff Marano
A book that busts the MYTHS that have today's well-meaning parents scared silly - afraid to their kids play outside, ride their tricycle, or walk to a neighbors house. The fact that this is a best seller gives hope that not all parents are that way, because we need strong and resilient for our future to succeed.

If Only He Knew - Gary Smalley
A how-to book for men that seeks to clarify distinctions between the sexes with a view toward building a stronger marital relationship with this understanding.
For Better or For Best - Gary Smalley
This book outlines steps wives can take for better marriages, shows emotional and motivational differences between sexes, and offers practical how-to advice.

Hidden Keys of a Loving Lasting Marriage - Gary Smalley
Good marriages don't just happen. They take both husband and wife working together to understand, appreciate, and honor one another. This book shows couples how to do just that. This is an excellent resource for applying great principles to marriage. Provides ideas for real marriage enhancers that can help anyone, whether the marriage is on the rocks or doing ok. More than theories on marriage, this book gives actual hands-on advice to transform a marriage.

The Two Sides of Love - Gary Smalley and John Trent
Depending on our basic personality type, we all tend to be either too hard or too soft in our relationships with those we love the most. Explains how to find a healthy balance between the protective, consistent "hardside" love and the tender, understanding "softside" love. By examining the four basic personality types, it shows you how balanced you are now, how you got that way, and how to move toward a wholehearted love that will enrich all your relationships - spouse, children, friends.
And Winning Your Wife Back - Gary Smalley

1001 Questions To Ask Before You Get Married - Monica Leahy
Perhaps a little secular / career oriented at times, this book is still helpful and offers a fun format to lead to good discussions on the important issues that must be faced.

The Essential Humility of Marriage: Honoring the Third Identity in Couple Therapy - Dr. Terry Hargrave
For therapists, this books offers a look at how couples move from "you" and "me" to form an "us" - that is the "third identity", the reality of the "oneness", the relationship bond which exists independent of the two parties, but must be fostered and built. Besides the theory, it offers exercises and examples that should be useful tools for the beginning or experienced therapist.


The Marriage Movement

The Case for Marriage - Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher
Now in paperback also
Together, Linda Waite, a top family scholar at the U of Chicago, and Maggie Gallagher, Director of the Marriage Program at the Institute for American Values, have put together the case for wedlock as you've never heard it before. A decade of research has yielded solid, scientific evidence: marriage has powerful, positive, transformative effects on both the adults who "do it" and their children. Health, happiness, earnings, wealth, long life, better kids, great sex - in just about every dimension of life science can measure, you are better off married than single.
"In this cynical, high-divorce society, this important book is a MUST read." - John Gottman
"The new bible for every marriage educator." - Diane Sollee

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce - Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, Sandra Blakeslee
Also now in paperback
Tracking the post-divorce fates of 60 California families since 1971, the authors examine the long-term toll of divorce on children as they reach adulthood. They find that children of divorced parents in the study marry less and have more problems, even 25 years later! One of this book's virtues is the way it combines research and analysis with advice to real people facing the breakup of their marriages. The authors speak with individuals of almost every scenario.
Wouldn't it be better for the children not be trapped in an unhappy home? Now we learn, divorce has not only devastating short-term effects on children, but also long-term one's we are only beginning to realize. The solution must begin with an effort to strengthen marriages.

The Good Marriage - Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee Based on interviews of couples, the authors define a successful marriage and then discuss nine principles common to any good marriage. Case studies and anecdotes about real relationships that remind us marriage can and should be positive and enriching.

Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce - Elizabeth Marquardt
A startlingly original study of children of divorce. After 1,500 interviews she says: "There is no such thing as a good divorce." True, most children of divorce don't get pregnant, dropout, or turn to a life of crime. Yet Marquardt wants to tell us that neither do these children emerge from divorce unscathed by the experience - the suffering they experience matters. Even a "good divorce" will leave a child longing for an undivided self. Divorce clearly does something to childhood and to children, even when not in the ways that social scientists know how to measure.
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Revitalizing the Institution of Marriage for the Twenty-First Century: An Agenda for Strengthening Marriage - Eds. Alan Hawkins, Lynn Wardle, & David Orgon Coolidge
A book for those interested in the "Marriage Movement" from a more political and legal standpoint. Twenty prominent legal and social science scholars including Horn, Popenoe, Glen, Nock, Browning, Spaht, and Ooms approach the task of reforming, revitalizing and supporting marriage from a variety of perspectives: legal, policy, and cultural; making the case for marriage as a vital social institution, not merely one kind of intimate relationship.

Marriage and Modernization: How Globalization Threatens Marriage and What to Do About It" - Don Browning
One of the best scholarly books on contemporary marriage, with historical analysis and contemporary insights from the social sciences, with a unique emphasis on what Christianity, in cooperation with other religions, can do to strengthen marriage in our global age. By a noted theologian, social ethicist, and great mind in the marriage movement; this book will influence one's thinking about marriage in the modern world.

The Broken Hearth: Reversing the Moral Collapse of the American Family - William J. Bennett
This 2001 book draws together a variety of data demonstrating the drawbacks of cohabitation, as well as the contemporary attitudes toward divorce, homosexuality, children born out of wedlock, etc.

War Over The Family - David Popenoe
Co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers, Dr Popenoe charts where we are, where we've come from and sets exciting possibilities for where we 'might' be going. He includes analysis of marriage/family trends in other countries and cautions about what we should to try to avoid. An important reference for anyone in the marriage movement.


Books for Couples with Financial Troubles

The Catholic Answers Guide to Family Finances - Philip Lenahan
Although not specifically on marriage, still recommended for helping resole this major factor underlying marital conflict.

Till Debt do us Part - Dr. Bernard Poduska
A thorough and easy read for couples experiencing financial conflict.

You Paid How Much For That?! How to Win at Money Without Losing at Love - Natalie H. Jenkins, Scott M. Stanley, William C. Bailey, Howard J. Markman (Jossey-Bass 2002)
Book for couples who want to succeed in their marriage relationship and financial affairs. Finances can actually help bond a couple - not separate them - accessible yet highly informative.

Conscious Spending for Couples: Seven Skills for Financial Harmony - Deborah Knuckey (Wilson 2002)
Sound and understandable strategies to manage the "family" finances, meaningful and relevant advice. [Bargain price]

Financial Peace Revisited - Dave Ramsey
The updated bestseller on overcoming debt and managing personal finances, includes sections for couples and parents.

The Power in Your Money Personality: 8 Ways to Balance Your Urge to Splurge with Your Craving for Saving - Susan Zimmerman
Solid information presented in a light-hearted, humorous way. Good for taking an honest look at your spending habits / personality and where your money goes.


This is a page of secular marriage resources, go here for Catholic marriage books and resources.
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