9 Books To Help Make You A Better Spouse & Improve Your Marriage

Long after the wedding gifts have been opened and the honeymoon is just a distant memory, you and your spouse have to keep finding ways to make your marriage work. The pressure to maintain communication, keep the spark alive, and continue to grow as individuals can put strain on even the strongest union. Fortunately, there are tons of books that will make you a better spouse so your marriage can continue to thrive for years to come.

Some choice self-help books are a given (no list of marriage books would be complete without The 5 Love Languages). But profiles of great marriages from history to serve as inspiration, as well as a humorous compendium of marital advice. By reviewing well-researched advice from professional counselors, as well as the inner workings of unions that stand the test of time, you can find plenty of encouragement to make your own marriage as excellent as possible.

With these resources, you and your spouse can continue to strengthen your bond as you weather life together. With communication, empathy, and a lot of humor, you can work together to craft a marriage that meets your needs. So even months or years after you said “I do,” you’ll continue to grow as a couple and make a great life for yourselves.


'The 5 Love Languages' by Gary Chapman

If it feels like you and your spouse are speaking different languages when it comes to relationship necessities, Gary D. Chapman's The 5 Love Languages might help you better understand one another. Chapman's book looks at the different ways people may express love, and why some spouses appreciate kind words while others respond better to acts of service.


'Radioactive' by Lauren Redniss

Radioactive by Lauren Redniss profiles the marriage of two STEM superstars Marie and Pierre Curie. The story of the Curies' union, which Time called one of the most influential marriages of all time, may inspire you to see your own relationship in a new light.


'The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work' by John M. Gottman

The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work is a research-based study of the principles that make marriages last. Relationship ideals such as nurturing admiration and creating shared meaning are explained as important components of a strong marriage.


'My Faraway One' by Sarah Greenough

If communication is the key to a lasting union, then Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz had this covered: they exchanged over 5,000 letters over the course of their relationship. My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz contains over 650 of these profound letters. Reading the intimate correspondences between the prominent painter and photographer may inspire you to take up the lost art of the love letter in your own relationship.


'Passionate Marriage' by David Schniarch

If you're keen to avoid the dreaded dead bedroom, Passionate Marriage may help you maintain that connection. By learning to overcome the "emotional gridlock" that can surround the issue of intimacy, you and your spouse may keep the spark alive.


'Abigail and John' by Edith B. Gelles

Abigail and John Adams dealt with the challenges that face many marriages: they had their share of family drama, and John's work duties meant the couple had to endure long distance separation for lengths of time. But as Edith Gelles' Abigail and John shows, the Adams had to face these difficulties while also enduring the Revolutionary War. (No pressure, right?) The story of their inspiring marriage may help remind you of the strength and solace a strong union can provide.


'Couple Skills' by Matthew McKay

Written by a group of psychologists, Couple Skills can help motivated couples communicate more openly, handle problems as they arise, and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. By learning to handle difficult issues in a productive manner, couples can greatly improve their marriage.


'Outlaw Marriages' by Rodger Streitmatter

Outlaw Marriages profiles the relationships of prominent artists, writers, and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner. In many cases, having the support of a partner was crucial to these creator's success. By reading about couples who stayed together "for better or worse" at a time when their love was not recognized in the mainstream culture, you can gain an appreciation for the power of a strong union.


'The Marriage Book' by Lisa Grunwald & Stephen Adler

The Marriage Book offers up marital advice from all corners of culture. From John Donne to Louis CK, this funny anthology provides advice in entertaining and relevant ways.

Images: Reine Lindqvist/Flickr