Hold Me Tight, Sue Johnson.  A lovely book that uses principles from Emotionally Focused Therapy to help couples create the closeness and bonding that make marriage work.  People seem to really like this book.

7 Principles for Making Marriage Work John Gottman. A terrific book in my opinion. Full of evidence of what makes marriages succeed or fail, with practical tools to self-assess areas of strength and weakness and do-able exercises to reduce conflict and increase intimacy.  See my summary elsewhere in this blog for more.

For Each Other“, Lonnie Barbach, PhD and “Intimate Connections“, David Burns MD are user friendly, easy to understand and useful

The Art and Science of Love: A Workshop for Couples” by John Gottman & Julie Schwartz. This is an excellent video/DVD set that includes a helpful workbook. Gottman is probably the leading expert on distressed marriages and while traditional marriage counselling has only been about 30% effective in saving marriages, some research is suggesting that the Gottman psycho-educational approach is 60% effective. You can purchase these materials for $175 US dollars. .

Ten lessons to Transform your Marriage” (2006) by John Gottman & Julie Gottman.

Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work”, by Matthew McKay et al.

Love is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive Therapy”. Aaron Beck 1989

After the Fight: Using Your Disagreements to Build a Stronger Relationship” by Daniel Wile. This book is somewhat technical is only for the educated layperson, but what it has to say is very important, i.e., people in arguments usually have something important to say but the way they say it and how it is understood is so poorly done that misunderstanding and derailing occurs.

Basics of Non-Violent Communication”, by Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D. This 3-hour, 2 DVD set is like attending a workshop with Rosenberg. By turns moving, funny, and informative, he shows how to communicate with honesty and clarity about our needs, and stay in relationship with the other person. Highly recommended. $45 US. Order from the Center for Non-violent Communication, http://www.cnvc.org or call 1.818.957.9393 Also available in book format, which closely follows the DVD.

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples”, Harville Hendrix Ph.D (1988 ) A classic. The book covers “The Unconscious Marriage,” which details a marriage in which the remaining desires and behavior of childhood interfere with the current relationship; “The Conscious Marriage,” which shows a marriage that fulfils those childhood needs in a positive manner; and a 10-week “course in relationship therapy, ” which gives detailed exercises for you and your partner to follow in order to learn how to “replace confrontation and criticism … with a healing process of mutual growth and support.” The text is occasionally dry and technical; however, the information provided is valuable, the case studies are interesting, and the exercises are revealing and helpful.