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Andrew & I are always looking for ways to grow as a couple. When we first started dating and were long distance, we would buy two copies of a book & read it “together” from afar. It was SO attractive to me that he was open to new ideas, personal development and relationship growth.
At the start of our relationship, we were both coming out of rocky situations. Andrew went through infidelity, leading to divorce, and I had just had my wedding called off by my significant other. Because of our history, we weren’t taking the relationship thing lightly.
The book Sacred Marriage literally set the tone for our relationship. Is was the first book we read together. When we finished it, we sat down and talked through the book. It felt so good to be on the same page (literally) with someone. We received Love & Respect and The 5 Love Languages as a Wedding gift in February, and the other two books I included in here are ones that I read on my own.
Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas
Like I mentioned above, this book set the tone for our relationship. It is based on Christian values, but absolutely anyone can benefit from this book. Gary Thomas combines research, real world examples and the Bible in a way that is so relatable and applicable. Sacred Marriage is a must read. The entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking how many marriages this book could have saved. If only couples would sit down and read this book before making the decision to separate.
Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel
Let’s talk about sex baby. Well actually, let’s talk about Esther Perel first. I found her through her Audible Podcast called Where Should We Begin? which includes therapy sessions of REAL couples. She is a relationship and sex therapist who has done extensive research on love, sex, and infidelity. I find all of her work incredibly intriguing, but Mating in Captivity is the book I am recommending for couples in a monogamous relationship. I also recommend reading The State of Affairs which documents various cases of infidelity. All of her books are eye opening and thought provoking. They will stir up some very interesting conversations, so make sure you and your significant other are in the right mood and setting to dive in to the conversations.
Love & Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
We are just getting started on this book as a couple, but I know it’s good because we received it as a wedding gift from a recently married couple. The premise of the book is that it’s important to treat your husband with respect and crucial to make sure you wife feels loved. I’m excited to read Love & Respect with Andrew this summer!
The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman
This book is so simple yet so crucial for every relationship. They way your partner feels loved might be completely different than the way you feel loved and this can cause a disconnect. For example, my love language is quality time. I feel disconnected if we don’t spend time together doing an activity where we can carry on a meaningful conversation without distraction. Andrew, on the other hand, loves affirmations, so I always compliment him when he looks good and never forget to say, “thank you, I appreciate you, and I love you.” The 5 Love Languages is a quick & easy read, too.
Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
This one is for the ladies. I devoured his book. If you are familiar with it, you might be wondering why I have it on a book list for romantic relationships, so hear me out. Rachel Hollis gives a behind the scenes look at her life and her relationship with her husband Dave Hollis. She also has a chapter dedicated to sex after marriage. This book is a must read ladies.
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Every relationship can benefit from the books above. Whether you are newly dating, just married, or have been married for 10+ years, one of these books will meet you where you are in your romantic relationship. I’m so thankful for a husband that is willing to sit down & read a book with me to strengthen our marriage.