I'm so glad you're interested in reading more about healthy relationships skills.  I have divided my reading recommendations into six simple categories. 

Click the links below to skip to the one that resonates most with your learning goals.  

 
 
“Gina makes the most complex parts of our relationship problems really easy to understand. I didn’t know I needed to learn so much about relationships.

I always walk away [from sessions] seeing things from a new perspective.”
— Dan & Megan, Buffalo, New York
 

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RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

No matter what stage of intimate relationship you're building, a healthy baseline is critical to the long-term well-being of a couple.  The books below are my all-time favorite reads to set up and nurture a healthy relationship foundation.

 

THE RELATIONSHIP CURE - JOHN GOTTMAN

If you ever work with me I promise you'll hear me quote John Gottman.  He's arguably the most established researcher in the world of intimate relationships and marriage therapy.  He studied couples at their best and worst for nearly forty years in an effort to tabulate the basic behaviors that determine of a couple will stay together. And he cracked the code. 

This book outlines the basic practices you need to have in place if you really want to stay together AND it expands the research to look at other relationships (friends, co-workers, family etc) and build strong trustworthy bonds all around you.  Order a copy here (you won't regret it).    

 

THE HIGH CONFLICT COUPLE - ALAN FRUZZETTI

Even if your relationship isn't steeped in high-conflict odds are good no one taught you how to handle conflict well in intimate relationships. I have yet to hear a negative review from a client (and I recommend this one ALL THE TIME). This book will walk you through how to interrupt the most damaging communication patterns and help you create new healthy patterns even in the most challenging arguments. Order a copy here.

 

WIRED FOR LOVE - STAN TATKIN

Y’all, this book is gonna rock you. If you’ve wondered about patterns that keep showing up in your relationship, or why you and your sweetie just seem to have different defaults this book is the one for you. It’s breaks down the basics of our attachment styles (defaults) in super easy to understand ways and it gives you lots of ways to shift your responses. I loved it (and many clients have too).

HOLD ME TIGHT - SUE JOHNSON

If you're going to stick with someone you're going to fall into communication patterns- some of which will be unheatlhy.  This book outlines some of the most common unhealthy communication patterns for couples and helps you shift them with useful reflection questions and applications in each chapter.  Read more here.

 

ATTACHED - AMIR LEVINE & RACHEL HELLER

Most couples struggle with a push-pull dynamic (sometimes called pursuer-distancer) at some point and most of us struggle to understand why.  If we want relationships, why do we have trouble committing?  And if we know balance is important, why do some of us struggle to give partners ample space?  

Reac this book to better understand how life as a young child may inform your relationship patterns today- and what to do with that awareness.  Read more here.

 


RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON LASTING DESIRE IN RELATIONSHIPS

 

MATING IN CAPTIVITY - ESTHER PEREL

If you're facing desire fatigue (the idea that we lose desire the longer we're in a relationship) this is the book you need to help you understand why desire wanes- and what needs to shift to regain it.  You can catch a little snippet of the ideas in this book in her TED Talk or order a copy here.

 

PASSIONATE MARRIAGE - DAVID SCHNARCH

This is one of the best-loved sex therapy books among relationship professionals, so if you're willing to read a VERY long book (or just jump to sections that speak to you) this is a great book to help you shift decreasing or differing desire patterns between you. Order it here.

 

THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE - MICHELLE WEINER DAVIS

If you're looking to rekindle things and jump-start with some action this book has helped many couples.  Like Passionate marriage, it is largely heterosexual and monogamy-centered, but does provide some helpful information for couples willing to try anything to bring the fire back.  Check it out here.

COME AS YOU ARE - EMILY NAGOSKI

Most of us don’t have a great background in sex education, partly because the information most of us learned is WAY outdated- especially when it comes to arousal, intimacy and desire. This book is a perfect gateway to being a better lover through better sexual understanding. You can check out the author’s incredible TED Talk here if you want to get a taste before ordering the book.

BETTER SEX THROUGH MINDFULNESS - LORI BROTTO

Let me be completely honest here, I’m only halfway through this one and I’ve already been recommending it like MAD. It’s that good. Anyone partnered with a woman or identifying as one needs to read this. Again, it’s that good.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON INFIDELITY & AFFAIRS

 

STATE OF AFFAIRS - ESTHER PEREL

This is THE BOOK you need to read if you've been through an affair.  It's the most informed look at relationships and why we stray around and while it's filled with accountability for the affairing partner, it's not super shame-laiden like other books on affairs. 

Let Perel walk you through the most common concerns that show up for folks who've been betrayed, the issues that set couples up for deceit and failure, and the ways folks move through the pain of infidelity. 

If you want a sample of her work check out her podcast, Where Should We Begin where she shared actual recordings from couples therapy sessions with people who are healing from infidelity.  Order a copy here.

AFTER THE AFFAIR - JANIS SPRING

If you're looking for a step-by-step sort of guide to walk you from considering if you should stay together to reconnecting and rebuilding trust this is it.  This book follows the most traditional train of thought that works for LOTS of couples as they uncover deceit and rebuild trust.  Check it out here.

 

HEALING FROM INFIDELITY - MICHELE WEINER-DAVIS

If you're looking for a helpful guide to support you through the process of untangling all the emotions that arise when an affair is discovered, and the basic strategy for repair, look no further.  This book will help you decide what steps to take together to heal after infidelity- plan and simple. 

Plus you'll read helpful vignettes from couples struggling with the same things you're facing now. You are not alone.  Check out the book right here.

 

I THOUGHT WE'D NEVER SPEAK AGAIN - LAURA DAVIS

If you're struggling with the forgiveness part of life after an affair this may be the right book for you.  Yes, the title is dramatic, but for most folks life after an affair is a little dramatic.  This book was intended for survivors of trauma and abuse to work through when and if they want to forgive perpetrators, but the information is useful no matter who you're working to forgive.  Order a copy here. 

RECOMMENDED READING ON CODEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS

BOUNDARIES - HENRY CLOUD

(More information to come)

CODEPENDENT NO MORE - MELODY BEATTIE

This book is a classic go-to for folks just beginning their codependency recovery journey. Some of my clients have really appreciated the tools it offers for self-awareness and interrupting patterns. Though, others have not found the focus on substance use and recovery particularly useful. I still recommend it for the excellent foundation it lays.

STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS - PAUL MASON

Not exactly codependency, but this book focuses on the unhealthy boundaries that often come up with partners who have Borderline Personality Disorder. While that may not be you, the information in the book can still be very useful for those of you feeling manipulated, overpowered, gaslit or too entangled in your partners distress.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FOR PRE-MARITAL COUPLES

THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING A MARRIAGE WORK - JOHN & JULIE GOTTMAN

This has been one of my favorite books on relationships for at least ten years. Based on their thirty plus years of research the Gottman’s break down the simplest tools to create connection, resolve conflict, and make your marriage last. Many of my clients like it because there are reflection questions and conversation guides in every chapter. Order a copy here.

ATTACHED - AMIR LEVINE & RACHEL HELLER

Most couples struggle with a push-pull dynamic (sometimes called pursuer-distancer) at some point and most of us struggle to understand why.  If we want relationships, why do we have trouble committing?  And if we know balance is important, why do some of us struggle to give partners ample space?  

Read this book to better understand how life as a young child may inform your relationship patterns today- and what to do with that awareness.  Read more here.

THE HIGH CONFLICT COUPLE - ALAN FRUZZETTI

I know you’re probably in one of the lower conflict stages of your relationship, but odds are still good no one taught you how to handle conflict wells. I have yet to hear a negative review from a client about this book (and I recommend this one ALL THE TIME). Even the ones who read it in a romantic stage appreciate it as a proactive tool to improve conflicts before they grow into larger resentments.

This book will walk you through how to interrupt the most damaging communication patterns and help you create new healthy patterns even in the most challenging arguments. Order a copy here.

 

WIRED FOR LOVE - STAN TATKIN

Y’all, this book is gonna rock you. If you’ve wondered about patterns that keep showing up in your relationship, or why you and your sweetie just seem to have different defaults this book is the one for you. It’s breaks down the basics of our attachment styles (defaults) in super easy to understand ways and it gives you lots of ways to shift your responses. I loved it (and many clients have too).

Again, even if things are really good between you (and I hope they are) it’s great proactive reading and discussion fodder as you plan a life together.