I’m always quoting something and I never remember the author, nor do I know if I’m even saying the quote correctly, but the moral stands nonetheless. “You can’t be half of a whole, until you’re a whole half.” I think this is so true in relationships. No one is going to fix you, no one is going to make you happy – that’s an inside job. But, relationships can sure make you miserable, so having two happy people that are willing to work hard in a relationship is a pretty amazing thing! Anyhow, I’m no marriage counsellor, or couple’s counsellor, or any of the things, but I love reading, and I’m always about self-betterment, positively impacting an area of my life, and getting good conversations started. So, here are some of my favs in the relationship department…

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Many of you probably know about this book. Gary Chapman breaks down the ways we show and receive love into five categories: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. The idea is that by finding out your love language and your spouse’s love language (or anyone else, for that matter), you can learn how to serve them better. If you are constantly giving your spouse words of affirmation and they still aren’t feeling loved by you, maybe that’s not how they receive love. Being aware of this can be a huge game changer in a relationship. This is one of those books that I actually keep, instead of passing on, so I can refer back.

The 10 Conversations You Must Have Before You Get Married (and How to Have Them) by Dr. Guy Grenier

You don’t have to read this just before you get married – you can read it anytime. It is a book that literally has every topic a couple could/should discuss, such as location of where to live, careers, kids, money, faith, etc., and then breaks it down into many, many questions. It gets you talking, and brings up areas you may not have even thought of, in order to reach deeper.

If You’re In My Office, It’s Already Too Late (A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide to Staying Together) by James J. Sexton

Nothing in this book is necessarily mind blowing, but this book has some really good take-aways and many good reminders. It tells it all in a, dare I say, humorous, and very blunt way!

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

I personally didn’t love this book, but that being said, I adore Esther Perel and her perspective. Any podcast I’ve ever heard her on has me shaking my head up and down, saying, “yes, yes, that makes so much sense!” Her own podcast called, Where Should We Begin? lets you into the room of couples having a counselling session with Perel herself.

How To Be Married by Jo Piazza

This one is a fun read. I wouldn’t call it a “self-help” book – I would call it a novel! But yet, the true nature of the author’s own search for learning how to have the best marriage possible as newlyweds, gives so much insight into people all around the world, from advice like “never stop talking” to “don’t fight about anything that’s more than 3 weeks old.” I also, love her podcast, Committed with Jo Piazza, where you hear multiple couples’ trials and tribulations and how they fight their way back on top.

Fair Play by Eva Rodsky

Disclaimer: This book is very much written in a tone that is directed toward the woman in the relationship. It’s also very much written for women with children. That being said, if you can get past that, I think the concept would be beneficial for many people in different types of relationships, to even out the work load in the home. Rodsky breaks it down into what type of partner both spouses are and leaves room for improvement from all types. She also has a card game and printables that go along with creating “fair play” in the home and relationships. I like that she breaks down the tasks for you…so much of what we do to run a household goes unnoticed!

Happy Relationship-Building, y’all!