The stats on marriage, as we all probably know, are grim. Regardless of whether or not the divorce rate is 50%, there are countless stories about marriages that aren’t doing great. Look around in your own network, you’re bound to find some.
Now, while we can’t prevent all relationships from going to shit, we do know some about why relationships tend to fail. According to marriage.com, the top three reasons for divorce are infidelity, money, and communication issues. Not every cause of divorce or breakups can be prevented, but we can do a lot to move the needle more in our favor.
These three books are three that myself and my wife have read, and they’ve had a huge impact on our own marriage. Whether you’ve got a picture perfect relationship, or one that might need a bit of tinkering, there’s no doubt that these books will make things even better.
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Money is a huge issue in relationships, and money fights are one of the leading causes of divorce and breakup. Usually, this comes from a lack of being on the same page. Better communication and a shared plan with money is one of the best ways to give your relationship a leg up.
Total Money Makeover is a life-changing book. Ramsey’s anti-debt stance challenges readers to fund their life with cash, not cards, while establishing healthy and productive ways to talk about money with your spouse.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This book is a classic, and for good reasons. In it, Chapman establishes a framework for understanding how people express and receive love. Does your spouse feel loved when you do things for them (Acts of Service), or when you tell them they’re doing a great job (Words of Affirmation)?
Knowing how your spouse (and yourself!) express and receive love is an incredibly powerful communication tool, unlocking an entirely new way to talk to each other, understand what the other needs, and bring a new level of harmony into your relationship.
Come as You Are
Yup, this is a book about sex. But, considering that one of the major causes of divorce is infidelity, maybe boning up on the subject isn’t such a bad idea (no pun intended).
Here’s the deal. If you’re in a relationship, sex is probably part of it. And, it very well may be the reason for some fights. Like the previous two books, the best way to get ahead of these common issues is to learn more, so it bears a bit of research.
Come as You Are is a revolutionary book that dives deep into how desire and sexuality works (are you responsive, or spontaneous desire? What about your partner?). This book goes a long way toward helping to establish the idea that, no matter what, you’re completely normal when it comes to this stuff. Not only that, it goes hardcore (OK, pun kinda intended) into how communication, expectations and the nature of our desire all play a part in the kind, and quality of sex that we have.
You’re probably going to have sex with your partner at some point, and this subject is something that far too few people spend the time learning more about and understanding how to make this aspect of their relationship better. You own it to each other.
If you’re in a relationship, you need to do the things that will help to get the best out of it. Being in shape in your relationship is no different than being in good physical shape. You need to learn about it, practice, and train. Even if you don’t think divorce is something that’d ever be on the table, it’s still worth making the most of your long-term commitment to each other. Give these three books a read, and let me know how big an impact they had on your relationship!