10 Best Books to Fix a Broken Marriage

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    10 Best Books to Fix a Broken Marriage

    A broken marriage can feel like the end of the world. However, with effort and understanding, many couples are able to repair damaged relationships and strengthen their bond. Reading the right books can provide valuable insights and strategies to help navigate this difficult time.

    In this post, I’ll share 10 highly-rated books that many couples have found extremely useful for fixing a broken marriage. Each title targets a different aspect of relationship repair such as communication, forgiveness, emotional intimacy and more.

    Let’s dive in.

    What Are the Best Books to Fix a Broken Marriage?

    Here they are;

    1. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

    Respected marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman has studied thousands of couples and identified key factors that predict divorce.

    In this book, John Gottman outlines the seven principles that all successful marriages share like nurturing fondness and admiration, turning toward each other instead of away, and resolving conflict in a positive, healthy manner.

    Gottman breaks down each principle and provides actionable strategies, exercises and scripts. Readers learn how to strengthen their friendship, deepen emotional connection, improve communication and more.

    With clarity and compassion, this book helps repair hurts from the past and build a satisfying future together. It’s highly recommended for any couple struggling to fix a broken marriage.

    2. How Can I Forgive You? by Janis Abrahms Spring

    Unresolved anger and resentment over past hurts often sabotage efforts to repair a marriage. This insightful book helps partners process difficult emotions in a constructive way.

    Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring explains the psychology of forgiveness in simple terms and guides readers through five steps: telling your story, understanding both perspectives, giving and receiving apologies, learning empathy and letting go of anger.

    She includes many case studies and exercises to apply each step. Realizing how certain behaviors affected your partner can bring newfound empathy and compassion.

    Letting go of grudges lifts a heavy burden, allowing fresh energy and goodwill to bond the relationship. This thought-provoking read teaches valuable skills for overcoming bitterness and moving forward together in a healthier spirit.

    3. The Power of Two by Harriet Lerner

    It’s normal in a marriage for both partners to rely excessively on each other for self-esteem, happiness and identity over time. This codependency prevents true intimacy and breeds unhealthy dynamics like control, blaming and emotional cutoff.

    In this classic book, psychologist Harriet Lerner promotes a self-reliant partnership where each person brings positive energy to the relationship instead of drained neediness.

    Lerner provides illuminating questionnaires to uncover codependent tendencies plus straightening exercises to remedy them. She teaches how to set boundaries, embrace autonomy, manage emotions constructively and engage fully as separate yet equally important individuals.

    By developing confident independence alongside commitment, couples gain a sturdier foundation for fixing a broken marriage and cultivating long-term joy.

    4. Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

    In healthy marriages, partners turn to each other for safe haven and support during difficult times. But many folks lose this secure bond due to recurring conflicts or feeling unheard, unimportant or unloved by their spouse. Attachment theory pioneer Dr. Sue Johnson created Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy to restore it.

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    This book distills EFT principles to help readers identify their attachment styles and needs. Specific exercises guide repairing emotional disconnections through compassionate listening, responding to each other’s underlying feelings, and developing a stronger sense of partnership and teamwork.

    Couples learn to meet needs for acceptance, security and trust – the foundations of intimacy. Johnson’s methods have helped countless struggling marriages.

    5. The Will to Change by bell hooks

    Renowned feminist scholar bell hooks believes the roots of most relationship troubles stem from a lack of self-awareness, unresolved personal issues and unhealed emotional wounds that partners bring into the marriage unknowingly. This open-hearted book helps couples improve themselves in order to improve their bond.

    hooks discusses how to identify and work through unhealthy behaviors like blaming, controlling, people-pleasing and more. She encourages spiritual and psychological growth so each person can show up vulnerably yet fully present.

    With compassion for human flaws and a firm belief in change, hooks guides repairing past mistakes to build the intimate union both hope for. Her inspiring message is that with effort and understanding, anyone can fix a broken marriage.

    6. Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard Markman, Scott Stanley and Susan Blumberg

    Conflict is inevitable in close relationships, but disagreeing constructively without causing further harm takes skill. This straightforward book presents a research-backed program used by thousands of therapists worldwide called Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP).

    In user-friendly language, the authors explain how to manage conflict calmly through Active Listening to fully grasp your partner’s perspective before responding. Additional modules help build intimacy skills like affection, shared meaning and activities.

    Couples gain insight into negative patterns like criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling and replace them with healthy communication habits. With practice, they learn to resolve disputes respectfully. User reviews report dramatic improvements using this method.

    7. Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix

    World-renowned couples therapist Harville Hendrix discovered through decades of research that unmet childhood needs often color how partners perceive and react to one another as adults. This popular book helps couples address past wounds and transfer negative feelings to have a fresh start.

    Hendrix explores how each person’s family upbringing affected their self-esteem, worldview and relationship expectations. Filling out illuminating questionnaires together prompts deeper understanding of one another.

    His imaginative exercises guide literally projecting past hurts onto your partner to realize they aren’t to blame. With new awareness, readers can leave baggage behind, meet each other’s real needs and trust intimacy once more. Many broken marriages transform for the better using Hendrix’s methods.

    8. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

    Anger itself isn’t problematic in a relationship. But expressing it destructively through blaming, accusations, sulking or bringing up past wrongs usually intensifies conflict rather than resolving issues. This bestselling book offers healthy ways to voice frustrations and dissatisfactions constructively.

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    Lerner advises speaking from your own feelings and perspective rather than leveling criticisms. She explains responding supportively to an angry partner instead of escalating tensions.

    Couples gain understanding of the causes and functions of anger plus effective communication skills like “I feel” statements. With practice, they can work through conflicts respectfully and address legitimate concerns caring for each other’s well-being. Lerner’s approach helps end damaging anger patterns that damage marriages.

    9. Love Busters by Willard Harley

    Over time, certain hurtful behaviors often undermine relationships if left unchecked. Ending these “love busters” requires owning them candidly without defensiveness plus a sincere commitment to change hurting one’s partner.

    This renowned book identifies the top culprit behaviors like dishonesty, selfish demands, disrespect, poor anger management, independent financial decisions without consultation and more.

    Self-tests allow partners to pinpoint their specific toxic tendencies. Harley then provides practical antidotes for remedying each problem area constructively and regaining trust.

    Habitual consideration, communication and compromise strengthen bonds weakened by past wounds. Couples end destructive patterns for good by following this effective method. It lays a solid foundation for fixing a broken marriage with care, honesty and teamwork instead of past mistakes.

    10. His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley

    Meeting each person’s core emotional needs fuels relationship satisfaction. But different genders typically value types of intimacy, affection, conversation, household responsibilities and more quite differently from their perspective. This bestselling book helps partners understand diverging needs better to support one another fully.

    Brief questionnaires reveal priority needs for both spouses such as physical touch, recreational companionship, domestic support, admiration, open communication and more. Harley then advises customizing behaviors to ensure one another feels fulfilled.

    Practicing “His Needs, Her Needs” facilitates empathy, balance and cooperation by respecting different requirement for intimacy and happiness. With compassion, effort and flexibility, most struggling marriages recover fulfilling bonds this method inspires.

    FAQs about Fixing a Broken Marriage:

    Q: Is it possible to fix a marriage after cheating or abuse?

    A: While these betrayals cause extreme hurt, forgiveness and healing is possible with effort from both partners. The offended spouse must feel genuinely understood, repentant effort from the perpetrator and a renewed commitment to rebuild.

    Counseling helps process emotions in a safe space and rebuild trust gradually through consistent changed behaviors over time. But the decision lies with the hurt partner and rebuilding may take years with no guarantees.

    Q: What if my spouse refuses counseling or books?

    A: You can only control your own actions, not another’s willingness. Focus internally – read books yourself and implement strategies as able to try meeting their core emotional needs and improve behaviors regardless of their participation.

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    With patience, modeling healthier habits may inspire openness later. Otherwise, for your well-being, clearly convey hopes versus deadlines to assess next steps together. No one deserves an unfulfilled life due to another’s resistance alone.

    Q: How long does it take to fix a marriage usually?

    A: There’s no set timeframe. Turnarounds may happen within months with willingness on both sides to understanding the root issues, implement strategies consistently and nurture new habits of healthy communication, intimacy and fulfillment over time.

    However, repair after deep losses of trust, ongoing problems or stagnation can easily take a year or longer of dedicated effort with professional guidance. Individual therapy may also aid the personal and relational growth needed when core wounds or behaviors must heal fully.

    The path forward requires patience, persistence and care for both partners’ well-being – not unrealistic expectations of instant fixes for complex problems. With commitment and guidance though, studies show even severely damaged marriages can experience sustainable recovery given enough investment in creating a strong foundation together.

    Q: Should I give up if progress is slow at first?

    A: Slow progress is normal and should not be seen as failure. Major shifts in perspective and established habits take time. Couples who fix broken marriages report the journey including setbacks, imperfect efforts and lapses into old patterns before achieving new habits long-term.

    Give it at least 6-12 months of consistent effort using strategies from counseling or self-help books before deciding a relationship is beyond repair. With dedication and perseverance through obstacles, initial small gains can compound over the long-run into profound healing and satisfaction for both spouses to rediscover intimacy and joy.

    Progress may not always feel linear either – so focus on the overall direction of growth, understanding and care for each other rather than speed alone. Renew hope through patience, flexibility and determination together through difficulties as signs of strength, not weakness.

    Q: What is the most important thing for repairing trust after its been broken?

    A: Rebuilding trust requires consistent actions matched to sincere words from the partner who broke it. Some say the single most vital factor is honesty – coming entirely clean without trickle-truth details later, being an open book and earning back faith through transparent daily life.

    Others emphasize follow-through by keeping promises, meeting needs, respecting boundaries and changing behaviors that caused harm previously on a sustained basis over an extensive period. While apologies can help, only demonstrable changed conduct rebuilding safety, security and peace of mind step-by-step gets to the heart of regaining trust fully.

    Both partners must also handle inevitable setbacks or doubts carefully through compassionate discussion, not shutdowns, for the process of earning back trust to continue successfully in the long run.

    Also Read: 10 Best Books to Help Rebuild Trust in a Relationship

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