There are many relationship advice books for couples, some great some not so much.
Over the years, we’ve read plenty of them and we’re highlighting the books we consider to be the 6 BEST!
Meaning, the ones who’s authors clearly had an understanding of relationships, their inner workings and which provided solutions that actually worked for us!
Let’s imagine a scenario where he totally misses what YOU’RE ACTUALLY NEEDING and does something entirely unrelated.
You just got back home from an exhausting day at work and he tells you that he noticed that the air pressure on your car tires are low, so he leaves you at home, jumps in your car and heads off to the nearest gas station.
There he verifies and adjusts the tires to the exact specifications of your car.
Thirty minutes later, he drives back home and is delighted to tell you
“Baby, your car now has the best possible tracktion on the road.”
Then he’s back to the couch and on his phone, browsing away.
How do you feel about that?
Do you feel loved in this scenario?
I mean it was sweet of him to have made the effort and his concern for your safety on the road can’t be discarded.
But did you really feed LOVED though?
Most likely not.
Why not though?
Well, he’s gone ahead and tried to make you feel appreciated and loved.
But he’s done it in a way that HE WOULD appreciate somebody doing for him.
Because in his world, that is how he feels loved.
In fact, to him, that might even be all that exists!
But what if what YOU WANT is something completely different from him adjusting your tire pressure?
What if his act of service actually makes you feel EVEN LESS understood and alone with yourself?
Maybe, what you actually really want from him, is to spend quality time with you and validate your feelings?
To listen as you talk about your day at work and help make sense of the chaos in your head.
If this were the case, his act of service – as thoughtful as it was – wouldn’t actually be meeting ANY OF YOUR NEEDS.
How crazy is that??
He would be totally missing the point without even realising it!
And this is exactly what this book deals with.
It will help you understand that you likely both have very different “Love Languages”.
That you have different ways in which you’d want to be treated, in order to feel loved.
For him it might be acts of service, for you it might be quality time and him validating your feelings.
After reading this book, we personally gained a whole new perspective on why we were fighting and frustrated.
It also helped us develop a vocabulary to more effectively communicate our needs.
And ultimately finally have our needs met!
I certainly thought I did.
Hell it was clear as day, nobody needed to explain what love was to me! I felt it, it was intuitive and deep in my bones.
Well, turns out I didn’t have it all figured out.
This book put a question mark over that certainty and made me realise that a lot of what I thought was real love, turned out to be ‘Imitation Love’.
Love that presented itself as real, but at closer inspection turned out NOT TO BE.
I thought that praise, pleasure and safety were what made me feel appreciated and loved.
Because these were all forms of imitation love, which ultimately left me longing for more…
Something I couldn’t quite formulate or grasp.
This book captured what that missing thing was:
In order to feel truly loved, I needed to
1. Tell the truth about myself (something that was vulnerable and hella uncomfortable)
2. Be Seen (a loved one would SEE that)
3. Be Accepted (they would not judge it, but accept it)
4. And ONLY THEN did the feeling of being truly LOVED arise.
In other words, you’ll only feel loved when you can present yourself as you are (with all of your wonderful imperfections) and be accepted as such.
The book does a GREAT job of breaking all of this down explaining why it’s so difficult and vulnerable.
BUT that it’s a fundamental necessity to build a loving relationship.
What I really appreciated about it as well, is that the author then goes on to explain HOW to get real love in your life!
I always give bonus points when somebody can not only clearly define the source of a problem, but offer practical solutions!
Otherwise you’re just left feeling stuck and shitty about yourself.
It’s a pitfall that a lot of women fall into in their relationships.
After all, us girls are expected to be endlessly caring, giving and kind.
I’ve been there too, endlessly giving in the hopes that the person I’m with will reciprocate my efforts. Putting everybody else’s needs above my own.
Do you know where that got me?
It got me nowhere! That attitude left me depressed, disappointed and absolutely exhausted.
If you too feel discouraged and exhausted by all the fruitless efforts you’ve been putting into your relationship, you might need a good “pick me up” book.
‘Why Men Love Bitches’ might just do the trick!
It’s a humorous and captivating relationship book. It dispels the myths about what makes a woman desirable in men’s eyes and teaches that success in love comes not from good looks but from developing the right attitude.
This worldwide bestseller will help you reconnect with your “inner bitch”.
The word bitch here isn’t used in a pejorative way.
The author uses it to describe an empowered and independent woman.
A bitch is kind yet strong. She is confident, she knows what she wants and stands up for herself. She doesn’t suffer in silence, she challenges her man and takes charge.
This relationship book is funny and light. Reading it helped me feel more confident and sure of myself. It encouraged me to take risks and to put myself and my needs first.
Sort of like “The Game” but for women.
And that’s partially true…
If you find yourself a bit powerless in your relationship. That your words just don’t land and don’t produce the desired effect with your partner, this book will be a perfect fit!
It sheds a lot of light on male psychology. I will help you understand why your man acts the way he does and what he is thinking.
Get The Guy is written by a guy who has a really good understanding of the drivers and motivations behind men’s choices and behaviors. That’s why it’s so insightful!
Even though the book focuses on dating and early stages of a relationship, I read it in the 4th year of being together with Gabriel and it was very helpful.
That’s because the author Mathew Hussey explains what kind of mindset a woman needs to develop in order to get what she wants from her man.
It’s an easy read that will build you up and give you guidance on how to successfully influence your partner’s behavior without trying to control him.
And that no matter how many ways you try to express yourself, it just keeps falling flat?
Which of course leads to an ever growing frustration and eventually apathy towards even trying to communicate anymore?
If yes, then this book can help you just like it helped us dramatically improve our communication!
You see, what we discovered was that communication is actually quite a tricky thing because it’s really easy to get wrong without even realizing it!
The book explains what makes it so difficult:
- We all have emotional needs
- We often unintentionally communicate them in emotionally “violent” ways
- Your partner will go on defence and the argument spirals
- This process repeats itself, which gradually builds a wall between the two of you, which further REDUCES your communication efforts and INCREASES emotional distance.
The author explains how to break this cycle and effectively communicate your needs to your partner so that you FEEL UNDERSTOOD and RECEIVED!
Which in turn will help you get what you NEED from your partner!
What’s great is that you’ll get a lot of predefined sentence structures, which you can fill out and it’ll DRAMATICALLY help you express your needs.
Here’s an example:
“When you [don’t hear what I say], I feel [really frustrated] and what I would really need in this moment, is for you to [truly listen to me]. Are you willing to do that?“
Compare that to:
“You’re always ignoring what I say, you’re so damn frustrating! What the hell is WRONG WITH YOU?! Can’t you just listen for once, uuhhg!!”
I’m sure you’ll agree with me, that the first example will more likely lead to a constructive conversation.
In other words, it helps you tell him what you need without blame, accusations or judgement.
I know that trying to speak within a predefined structure is admittedly awkward and might seem very artificial at first.
But I promise, it actually WORKED for us! And over time, you’ll get better at it and won’t need the support structure because it will become more of an attitude you internalise.
BUT we wanted to highlight it here, since it seriously deepened our understanding of why we struggled with certain aspects of our relationship!
And it gave us new perspectives, which helped make sense of certain emotional matters we outright REFUSED to acknowledge or discuss because they were so threatening to us at the time.
In reading it, we understood that not every daughter has the luck of a loving and supportive mother.
And that this can define and maybe even limit your perception of what love is and how it should look and work in a relationship.
(Yes, even with your man)
In fact, we both realised that there were qualities our mothers lacked, that we would have desperately needed, as we were growing up.
It helped us see that they were NOT PERFECT and had at times been unfair, overly-enmeshing, controlling and even narcissistic.
Even though this process was SUPER SCARY at first.
It helped us unload responsibility that was not ours as children and place healthy boundaries to protect ourselves and our relationship.
This in turn brought us so much CLOSER!
Because we were no longer protecting or justifying unfair behaviours from our mothers.
One of our ongoing messages to women in relationships is, if you are serious about it, you have to PUT YOURSELF and YOUR RELATIONSHIP FIRST!
Yes, EVEN above your relationship with your mother.
We hope you found these book recommendations helpful!
If you have any questions about these books or we haven’t listed one that really helped you, let us know in the comments section below!
We’re also always eager to hear from you guys!
Karolina & Gabriel
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- Why Do I Need Constant Reassurance in a Relationship - 23. June, 2021
- Caught in a Love-Hate Relationship, Should You Worry? - 22. March, 2021