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Selected Self-Help Books on Intimate RelationshipsAfter the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been UnfaithfulJanis A. SpringFor the seventy percent of couples who have been affected by extramarital affairs, this book offers strategies for surviving the crisis and rebuilding the relationship. Dr. Spring, a psychologist, guides both hurt and unfaithful partners through the three stages of healing: normalizing feelings, deciding whether to recommit, and revitalizing the relationship. The book offers practical advice to help you cultivate trust and forgiveness and build a healthier partnership. 1997, Perennial Currents Top of FormBottom of FormCouple Skills: Making Your Relationship WorkMatthew McKay, Patrick Fanning and Kim PalegLove takes work, but, when it comes to relationships, it pays to work smarter. This book, a revised and updated edition of a therapist-recommended classic, shows you how to work smarter in your relationship. This book helps you improve communication, cope better with problems, and resolve conflicts in healthy and creative ways. Each chapter teaches an essential skill, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which can lead to greater happiness and deeper intimacy. 2006, New Harbinger Publications Top of FormBottom of FormThe Couples Companion: Meditations & Exercises for Getting the Love You Want , A Workbook for CouplesHarville HendrixThis collection of practical exercises gives couples a useful structure to help develop communication skills, conflict resolution skills and alternative ways for dealing with painful and powerful emotions. This is a toolbox to help you make significant improvements in your marriage or relationship. These exercises will enhance self-understanding as well as understanding your partner. 1994, Atria Top of FormBottom of FormCreate Your Own Love Story: The Art of Lasting RelationshipsDavid McMillanEach couple has its own story, the essence of its relationship. Dr. McMillan shows you how to transform your shared history with your partner into a true love story that makes your relationship stronger, more enduring and more soul-satisfying. 1997, Beyond Words Publishing Top of FormBottom of FormThe Dance of Intimacy: A Woman’s Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key RelationshipsHarriet LernerLerner outlines the steps to take so that good relationships can be strengthened and difficult ones can be healed. She highlights the importance of women defining themselves, their needs and limits rather than emotionally distancing themselves from problems or over-reacting. She encourages women to explore their family of origin to clarify the genesis of non-adaptive behavior patterns.. 1990, Perennial Top of FormBottom of FormDivorce Busting: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving AgainMichele Weiner-DavisOffering a brief solution-oriented approach, Michele Weiner-Davis gives straight- forward and effective advice on how couples can stay together. Her approach focuses on the present and the future rather than the past, and on identifying problem-solving behavior that works. Many case histories illustrate techniques which can be used even if only one partner participates. 1993, Simon & Schuster Top of FormBottom of FormThe Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual PossibilitiesDossie Easton and Catherine A. LisztThe authors define the term slut as "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you." In this funny, comforting yet controversial how-to volume, family therapist Dossie Easton and sex educator/writer Catherine A. Liszt provide a road map for exploring the sometimes difficult, often rewarding territory of non-traditional relationships.1997, Greenery Press Top of FormBottom of FormFear of IntimacyRobert Firestone and Joyce CatlettThe authors argue that relationships fail primarily because psychological defenses formed in childhood act as a barrier to closeness in adulthood. Powerful personal accounts illustrate how the “fantasy bond,” a once useful but now destructive form of self-protection, jeopardizes meaningful attachments. 2000, American Psychological Association Top of FormBottom of FormThe Fragile Bond: In Search of an Equal, Intimate, and Enduring MarriageAugustus NapierFocusing on the author’s own marriage and on a group of case studies, Napier vividly illustrates the obstacles married couples face today, and offers help in overcoming them. 1990, HarperCollins Top of FormBottom of FormGetting the Love You Want: A Guide for CouplesHarville HendrixThis popular book is divided into three sections: the first, “the unconscious marriage” describes how left-over desires and behavior from childhood interfere with the current relationship. The second section “the conscious marriage” describes how a marriage could fulfill childhood needs in a positive manner. The third section is a course in relationship therapy which gives detailed exercises for both partners to follow in order to learn how to replace confrontational criticism with a healing process of mutual growth and support. 2001, Owl Books Top of FormBottom of FormThe Heart and Soul of Sex: Making the ISIS Connection Gina OgdenBased on a landmark sex survey, researcher and sex therapist Ogden found "the language of spiritual experience comes closest to expressing the fullness of our sexual response, for it is the language of connection and ecstasy." The book guides the reader on a path to her sexual "center" where healing, ecstasy and transformation occur. 2006, Trumpeter Top of FormBottom of FormThis book was a Self-Help Book Pick of the Month! Read David's full Book Review.The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, And ValidationAlan FruzzettiWhen out-of-control emotions are the root cause of problems in a relationship, no amount of effective communication or intimacy building will fix what ails it. This book teaches you how to use mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques to de-escalate conflict situations before they have a chance to flare into serious fights. 2006, New Harbinger Top of FormBottom of FormHow Can I Get Through to You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and WomenTerrence RealReal believes that men and women do not speak the same emotional language because boys’ early emotional relationships were squelched by peers, siblings and fathers, while girls early on learned to be accommodating in emotional relationships. He believes healthy marriage follows a repeated pattern of harmony, disharmony, and restoration; and teaches skills for accomplishing the crucial ongoing task of relationship repair, including holding the relationship in high regard, preserving intimacy, and using relational speaking, listening and negotiating skills. A practical and helpful book. 2002, Scribners Top of FormBottom of FormHow One of You Can Bring the Two of You Together Susan PageSusan Page's ground-breaking approach to relationships gives readers the tools and encouragement they need to bring positive changes to their relationship, even when their partners are unwilling to do the work. Step-by-step Page demonstrates that with tangible goals, and new ways of thinking, one partner can bring new levels of harmony and love to a relationship. 1998, Broadway, reprint edition Top of FormBottom of FormIntimacy After Infidelity: How to Rebuild And Affair-proof Your MarriageSteven D. Solomon, Lorie J. TeagnoThis book offers readers a compassionate and effective strategy for recovery after their partner has cheated by identifying the three kinds of infidelity; overcoming the pain of betrayal; and learning to rebuild a healthier "affair-proof" relationship. 2006, New Harbinger Top of FormBottom of FormIntimate Strangers: Men and Women TogetherLillian RubinThis book explains how the differences between women and men arise and how they affect such critical issues as intimacy, sexuality, dependency, work and parenting. Lillian Rubin decodes human behavior with a lively combination of intuition and scholarship and offers hope for every man and woman who has yearned for an intimate relationship and wondered why it seemed so elusive. 1990, Perennial Top of FormBottom of FormIntrovert & Extrovert in Love: Making It Work When Opposites AttractMarti Olsen Laney, Michael LaneyThe (introvert) best-selling author of The Introvert Advantage teams up with her (extrovert) husband to offer this warm and witty collection of tips for making the most of differing social needs, conflict styles, and personal priorities that are common to these kinds of "mixed" relationships. The key to introvert/extrovert bliss lies in understanding what makes the other person tick and using your differences to help balance and enrich the relationship. 2007, New Harbinger Top of FormBottom of FormJourney of the Heart: The Path of Conscious LoveJohn WelwoodThis book stands out as a poetically written, wisdom-filled guide to a deeper understanding of the desires and directions of the human heart. The book does not provide easy answers or quick fixes; it gives instead superb suggestions for joining in the most powerful and spiritual union possible. Welwood offers advice for couples on using love’s challenges to grow as individuals and in their relationships. He shows people how the most difficult and confusing areas of relationships can be used to awaken the deepest human strengths and resources. 1996, Perennial Top of FormBottom of FormKeeping the Love You FindHarville HendrixThis guide for singles who seek a loving and rewarding romantic relationship shows readers how to meet the challenges of a new relationship and avoid making the same mistakes, and how to deal with emotional issues and improve their odds of achieving the kind of relationship they most deeply want. Hendrix especially focuses on how to maintain a positive relationship with someone you love over the long term. 1993, Atria Top of FormBottom of FormLesbian Couples: A Guide to Creating Healthy RelationshipsMerilee Clunis and Dorsey GreenFor lesbians (as for all couples) achieving and sustaining intimacy remains a challenge. From mind-reading and making assumptions to conflict and disillusionment, the book examines the strengths and weakness, flagging potential problem areas and offering real-life examples and solutions to the challenges lesbian couples experience. 2005, Seal Press Top of FormBottom of FormLove and Awakening: Discovering the Sacred Path of Intimate RelationshipJohn WelwoodPsychologist Welwood challenges couples to approach difficulties as opportunities for spiritual growth rather than conflict. This is a guidebook for couples seriously committed to spiritual and personal growth. It provides a wealth of practical guidance on how to deal with difficult problems and includes lively dialogues from Welwood’s workshops that illustrate his ideas. 1997, Perennial Currents Top of FormBottom of FormLoving Someone With Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner Julie A. Fast, John D. PrestonThis is a ground-breaking book for couples who want to prevent manic-depressive disorder from hijacking their relationship. Once medication has been prescribed, the key is studying the specific ways your partner is affected. This allows couples to develop proactive strategies for treating and stabilizing mood swings and symptoms, before they develop into full-blown crises. This book is an oasis of relief and hope. 2004, New Harbinger Top of FormBottom of FormLove is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive TherapyAaron BeckDr. Beck analyzes the most common problems in marriage: the power of negative thinking, disillusionment, rigid rules and expectations, and miscommunication. This highly rated self-help book is filled with practical suggestions, exercises and encouragement. 1989, Perennial Currents Top of FormBottom of FormMarriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage Stephanie CoontzWhen considered in the light of history, "traditional marriage" is not so traditional at all. Author Coontz argues that marriage has always been in flux, and "almost every marital and sexual arrangement we have seen in recent years, however startling it may appear, has been tried somewhere before." Coontz's fascinating study places current concepts of marriage in broad historical context. 2005, Viking Adult Top of FormBottom of FormMating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the DomesticEsther PerelFocusing on "erotic intelligence", psychotherapist Perel asserts that languishing desire in a relationship actually results from all the factors people look for in love and marriage: grounding, meaning, continuity. She recommends several proposals for rekindling eroticism: cultivating separateness (autonomy) in a relationship rather than closeness (entrapment); exploring dynamics of power and control (i.e., submission, spanking); and learning to surrender to a "sexual ruthlessness" that liberates us from shame and guilt. Perel sanctions fantasy and play and offers the estranged modern couple a unique richness of experience. 2006, HarperCollins Top of FormBottom of FormThe Mother's Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality Through All Stages of MotherhoodAnne Semans and Cathy WinksSemans and Winks approach sex and motherhood from four angles: basic components of women's sexuality, sex and pregnancy (just before, during, and just after), sex as a parent, and raising sexually healthy children. The work is greatly enhanced by copious quotations from several hundred moms who shared experiences and tips via surveys the authors posted online. Married, single, heterosexual, and lesbian moms are all included, and often overlooked issues such as circumcision, disability, or having an intersexed child receive coverage.2001, Three Rivers Press Top of FormBottom of FormOpen: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open MarriageJenny BlockJenny Block is your average girl next door, a suburban wife and mother for whom married life never felt quite right. In Open, she paints a down to earth picture of how an open marriage can work, and specifically why it works for her and her husband. In dissecting other people’s strong reactions to her choice, she explores the question of why cheating is more socially acceptable than open marriage. Open challenges our notions of what traditional marriage looks like, and presents one woman’s journey down an uncertain path that ultimately proves that open marriage is a viable option, and one that’s in fact better for some couples than conventional marriage.2008, Seal Press Top of FormBottom of FormOpening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open RelationshipsTristan TaorminoRelationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships—from partnered nonmonogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit, Taormino offers solutions for making an open relationship work, including tips on dealing with jealousy, negotiating boundaries, finding community, parenting, and time management. Opening Up will change the way you think about intimacy.2008, Cleis Press Top of FormBottom of FormPassionate Marriage: Love, Sex and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed RelationshipsDavid SchnarchSchnarch says that a man is more likely to let a relationship suffer in order to hold on to his sense of self, while a woman is more apt to let her identity suffer to help strengthen a relationship. Schnarch explains how to alter this pattern, encouraging each partner to move towards “differentiation” -- which means holding on to the self while simultaneously remaining in contact with one’s partner. Schnarch teaches how to find inner strength and resilience that can be used to reaffirm a relationship and reignite sex. A classic, highly recommended. 1998, Owl Books Top of FormBottom of FormThe Power of Two: Secrets Of a Strong and Loving MarriageSusan Heitler and Paula SingerThis practical guide for strengthening marriage offers advice for couples seeking to understand themselves and each other, including dealing with differences, supporting each other, building emotional and sexual intimacy, and living together with kindness. 1997, New Harbinger Top of FormBottom of FormPrivate Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of IntimacyFrank PittmanFor people who suspect their spouses are having a secret romantic affair, or who are coping with the aftermath of one, this book offers sensible counsel. Dr. Pittman, a psychiatrist, draws profiles of four basic patterns of betrayal: accidental flings which “just happen;” habitual philandering, which he believes to be motivated by insecurity and fear of the opposite sex; crazy, in-love romantic states that cloud one’s judgment; and marital arrangement ranging from sexual supplements to flamboyant revenge affairs. The book explores the whys and wherefores about infidelity and offers advice for both the unfaithful and the wounded partner. 1990, Norton Top of FormBottom of FormReceiving Love: Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be LovedHarville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly HuntThis book addresses a common relationship problem: the difficulty of accepting love which may be expressed by criticizing a gift from one's partner or spurning an intimate gesture. The authors point out that there are many ways to defend yourself against someone else's desire to encourage, help or love you. This may occur through overvaluing your partner and feeling unworthy of his or her love or through devaluing that partner and seeing him or her as unworthy of giving love. The authors provide concrete steps to help you learn how to receive love in the vulnerable context of an intimate relationship. 2004, Atria Top of FormBottom of FormReconcilable DifferencesAndrew Christensen, Neil S. JacobsonThis book speaks directly to the heart. Couples in conflict will recognize themselves in these pages and learn how to move beyond conflict to acceptance, understanding and change. 2002, The Guilford Press Top of FormBottom of FormRekindling Desire: A Step-by-Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex MarriagesBarry and Emily McCarthySex and marital experts Barry and Emily McCarthy offer a ground-breaking ten-step program to help couples break down the barriers that have developed between them and rebuild closeness and longing. First they show couples how to root out the “poisons” that inhibit sexual desire: shame, guilt, anger, and passivity as well as medical side effects and physical dysfunctions. They then offer techniques and strategies to help couples revitalize desire and integrate intimacy and eroticism. 2003, Brunner-Routledge Top of FormBottom of FormThe Relationship Cure: A Five-Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and FriendshipsJohn Gottman and Joan DeClaireGottman offers a research-based approach to improving intimate relationships. He provides a remarkable set of tools for relationship repair. The authors state that happiness is based on everyday communication that involves emotion and how other people respond or fail to respond to this communication. A five-step program shows readers how to improve their emotional communications. 2002, Crown Top of FormBottom of FormResurrecting Sex: Solving Sexual Problems and Revolutionizing Your RelationshipDavid Schnarch and James MaddockBy showing couples how they can turn their worst sex and relationship disasters into personal growth and spiritual connection, Dr. Schnarch offers couples the best sex of their lives. In addition to taking an unflinchingly honest, realistic, and erotic approach to sex, Dr. Schnarch reveals the complicated emotional interactions hidden within couples’ most private moments. This sympathetic book shows how couples can cure the rejection, hostility, and emotional alienation that often accompany sexual problems and thus deepen and strengthen their relationship. 2003, Perennial Currents Top of FormBottom of FormThe Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship ExpertJohn Gottman and Nan SilverThis highly ranked self-help book offers positive approaches for helping couples make sense of their difficulties and work to make their relationship successful. Gottman’s principles for successful marriage include turning toward each other instead of away, letting your partner influence you, moving through conflict and creating shared meaning. 2000, Three Rivers Press Top of FormBottom of FormSexual Awareness: Couple Sexuality for the Twenty-First CenturyBarry McCarthy, Emily McCarthyThis book is written for people who want to enhance intimacy and sexual satisfaction. It is a practical, confidence-building book that shows you how to increase your sexual pleasure, focusing on feelings and fulfillment for both partners. 2002, Carroll & Graf Publishers; Revised and updated edition Top of FormBottom of FormThe Sex-Starved Marriage: A Couple’s Guide to Boosting Their Marriage LibidoMichele Weiner DavisCandid and sensible counsel for couples with mismatched libidos. She looks at the problem of low sexual desire from a couples’ perspective. Both the low desire partner and the higher desire partner will find useful exercises to help bridge the desire gap and restore intimacy and friendship to the marriage. The book includes many moving first-hand accounts of couples who have struggled with the erosion of desire and have rebuilt their passionate connection. 2003, Simon & Schuster Top of FormBottom of FormStop Running from Love: Five Steps to Overcoming Emotional Distancing and Fear of IntimacyDusty MillerStop Running from Love presents a clear, step-by-step approach emotional distancers can use to move beyond their fear of intimacy and start building strong and lasting relationships. Exercises and self-evaluations help you become aware of how you operate in romantic relationships. You'll review and reassess your relationship patterns, deciding what changes you want to make. You'll learn how to engage with your partner to create a positive new relationship dynamic.2008, New Harbinger Publications Top of FormBottom of FormTake Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World that Pulls Us Apart William J. DohertyThis book helps couples pinpoint hidden marital problems and take positive steps to stay close and connected everyday. Readers learn to break free of such common traps as confusing desires with needs, drifting apart without working on the relationship, or becoming over-time parents instread of full-time partners. This book shows how to fight back to restore a marriage worth saving. 2003, The Guilford Press Top of FormBottom of FormUncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate RelationshipsDianne VaughanBased on ten years of research, the book examines the break-up of relationships and identifies the key steps in uncoupling -- from both partners’ points of view. The book is invaluable because it normalizes a universal experience often viewed as unique by the participants and because it will help those in the early stages of uncoupling to identify what is happening, enabling them to take the steps necessary to avoid the final breakdown of the relationship. 1990, Vintage Top of FormBottom of FormWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedLaura Rosen and Xavier AmadorPsychologists Rosen and Amador explain the mechanisms of depression that can cause communication breakdown, increase hostility, and ultimately destroy relationships. They teach concrete methods that you and your loved one can use to protect yourself and your relationship from depression’s impact. They give sensitive guidance about how to recognize your needs, how to provide the best kind of support, and how to encourage the depressed person to seek treatment. 1997, Free Press Top of FormBottom of FormWhy Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last John GottmanResearcher Gottman found that healthy marriages were those in which couples were able to resolve conflicts through one of three styles of problem solving: validating, conflict avoiding and volatile. The book offers a four-step program for breaking through negativity and allowing one’s natural problem solving abilities to flourish. 1995 Simon and Schuster Top of FormBottom of FormWhy Talking Is Not Enough: 8 Loving Actions That Will Transform Your Marriage Susan PageSusan Page presents a novel relationship strategy based on subtle, powerful changes in your own actions. Her pioneering 8-step program invites you to give up problem solving and move directly to a warmer, more loving and fun relationship, based on universal spiritual principles. 2006, Jossey-Bass Top of FormBottom of FormIntimate Relationship Links<br />