Marriage is the union of two people in a ceremony in which they promise to spend the rest of their lives together. Marriages are all about love, trust, and building a partnership. Every relationship has its hardships. Married couples must work together to endure everything: their careers, personal relationships, and the possibility of children. Committing to one personal eternally is no easy task. Sometimes marriages struggle.
What are the Best Marriage Books to read?
The best way to improve a marriage is to work on it. That can be done simply by discussing it, reaching out to a marriage counselor, or even consulting books on marriage. A marriage does not need to be on the rocks for one to want help. Anyone married couple to stand to gain something by reading about marriage, and how to navigate their own. These are just a few of many marriage books in the world. They’ll help readers build the best relationship and marriage they could have.
Best Marriage Books: Our Top 20 Picks
Here are some of the best marriage books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:
1. An American Marriage: A Novel
Marriage can be so exciting and invigorating that one can’t help but turn it into a novel. That is the case with An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones. Jones did so well with this novel that Oprah chose it for her book club. In this book, a newly wedded couple, Celestial and Roy, start their exciting lives together, only to suddenly be torn apart. Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison. Can their love stand the test of time? Readers will be gripped by every aspect of this story. Their hearts will go out to both Celestial and Roy. They’ll want them to fight for each other. Ultimately, readers can learn about marriage by reading about Celestial and Roy. They can learn how to fully commit to each other, and trust each other through everything.
- Authors: Tayari Jones (Author)
- Publisher: Algonquin Books; Reprint Edition (February 6, 2018)
- Pages: 321 pages
2. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
What really is the meaning of marriage? Sure, people fall in love and want to celebrate it, but is there any other purpose? The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller is a book that discusses marriage in the face of the bible. Not only is this book good for married couples, anyone else can read it, too. Readers don’t even have to be in a relationship to learn from this book. Keller, with the help of his wife Kathy Keller, discusses the meaning and misunderstanding of marriage. Keller uses his own thirty seven years in a committed marriage to explain what makes it so special. He also provides instruction for those who wish to have a similar marriage, and have one that lasts. This book certainly helps married couples in a conventional “this is how you have a good marriage,” way, but it also draws on personal experiences to show readers that not every relationship is perfect, and that’s okay. Good marriages don’t need to be perfect.
- Authors: Timothy Keller (Author), Kathy Keller (Contributor)
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint Edition (November 5, 2013)
- Pages: 352 pages
3. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
Marriages are all about celebrating love and foraging and emotional connection. Good marriages are aspirational, but they are not always easy. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman and Nan Silver marriage book based on research and theory. Gottman and Silver discuss effective strategies for efficiently communicating with one’s partner, resolving deep issues involved sex, money, etc., and they help couples collaborate more efficiently. This book has seven great principles that will make any marriage thrive. Married couples will be impressed with how harmoniously they can work together based on what they learn through this book. They will be able to resolve conflicts in a calm and collected setting, and avoid stressful and over-the-top fights. This is a great guide to managing a happy marriage.
- Authors: John Gottman PhD (Author), Nan Silver (Author)
- Publisher: Harmony; Revised ed. Edition (May 5, 2015)
- Pages: 320 pages
4. Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy
Marriage is not exclusively for religious people. People of all beliefs get married. However, because it is mentioned in the bible, marriage is often associated with Chrisitianity. And if this is the case, what was God’s intention with marriage? Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make US Holy More Than To Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas questions the ultimate purpose of marriage: happiness or holiness. Thomas examines the goal of personal marriage than spans beyond love and happiness. He wants people, particularly Christians, to understand God’s role in marriage, and acknowledge that role. This book will teach readers how to use their faith to do good by their marriage. It teaches couples to: foster good prayer, cultivate a spiritual sexual life, love God unconditionally, recognize sin, and much more. This is a great marriage book, but it is certainly exclusive to Christians. Marriage is a beautiful celebration that can be so much more than religion–a fact that this book does acknowledge.
- Authors: Gary Thomas (Author)
- Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint Edition (August 4, 2015)
- Pages: 272 pages
5. Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend helps readers understand how to respect their partners and give them space. Every person has their own boundaries. Married couples should be able to respect each other and understand what those boundaries are. This book teaches the reader just how to do that. With this book, married couples will learn how to: maintain space in their relationship, protect their marriage, and set up and preserve their boundaries. The authors of this book are both doctors and counselors. They based their findings on research and facts. Married couples will be happy to know that the information in this book is based on nothing but truth, and real life evidence.
- Authors: Henry Cloud (Author), John Townsend (Author)
- Publisher: Zondervan; unknown Edition (August 1, 2002)
- Pages: 256 pages
6. The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope
Marriages ruts are inevitable, and they do happen. It could be after two years, five years— heck, it could happen after 30 years. What matters is not how the rut happened, and instead how the couples address and cope with the rut. And if it’s truly a rut, or emotional abuse. The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope by Leslie Vernick is a book that focuses on marriages that are struggling, and how to fix them. The book also helps readers understand when that marriage is no longer worth pursuing any longer. Vernick teaches readers to identify the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship, and either fix it, or get out. This book also consults religion in managing a stressful marriage.
- Authors: Leslie Vernick (Author)
- Publisher: WaterBrook; 8/18/13 Edition (September 17, 2013)
- Pages: 240 pages
7. Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before — and After — You Marry
There are essential questions to ask one’s partner before and after marrying. These questions will help fill any doubts, and help marriages last. Saving your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before– and After — You Marry by Les and Leslie Parrot will help readers decide what to ask when they find “the one.” The exercises in this book will help couples communicate effectively, and ask the right questions. There will be no wonderings, on “what ifs” when following the questions in this book. In addition to the questions, the Parrots offer a lot of advice and tips for maintaining a healthy, strong marriage. This is a book that is a guide for marriage, but also a prep for marriage. Newlyweds and premarital couples will most benefit from this book.
- Authors: Les Parrott (Author), Leslie Parrott (Author)
- Publisher: Zondervan; Anniversary Edition (October 27, 2015)
- Pages: 208 pages
8. Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Recipe for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Relationships
Marriage is one of many topics discussed in the bible, as it should be. God granted marriage as a gift. It doesn’t always feel like a gift, but it should. Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Recipe for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Relationships by Scott LaPierre is a book that views marriage through the lens of God. The advice in this book is Christian marriage advice. Those who are not particularly religious should skip this book. Christians, however, will enjoy it. This book uses personal marriage stories to help married couples of all kinds: newlyweds, veterans, and engaged couples. These couples can achieve a healthy marriage and relationship by consulting with their religion, and following the instructions in this book. This is a really good book that integrates Christianity into everyday marital situations.
- Authors: Scott LaPierre (Author)
- Publisher: Charis Family Publishing (August 4, 2016)
- Pages: 242 pages
9. Vertical Marriage: The One Secret That Will Change Your Marriage
Vertical Marriage: The One Secret That Will Change Your Marriage by Dave and Ann Wilson is a first person account on a failing marriage, and how they save it. The Wilsons discuss how they tackled their marriage issues by reintroducing God to their relationship. Even though Dave Wilson was happy and committed to his marriage after 10 years, Ann Wilson had lost her feelings. The couple realized their issue wasn’t in their horizontal marriage, the one with each other, but in their vertical marriage, their marriage with God. God saved their marriage, but that isn’t the case for everyone. This book is a bit biased. Those who want to have a vertical marriage should consult the Wilsons, but it is not essential unless the couple truly believes it will help.
- Authors: Dave Wilson (Author), Ann Wilson (Author), Dennis and Barbara Rainey (Foreword), John Driver (Contributor)
- Publisher: Zondervan (January 29, 2019)
- Pages: 240 pages
10. Marriage After God: Chasing Boldly After God’s Purpose for Your Life Together
Marriage After God: Chasing Boldy After God’s Purpose for Your Life Together by Aaron and Jennifer Smith takes a closer look at God’s design and intention for marriage. The book explains why even if a couple is happy, they may still be displeased with their marriage. The book uses insight and personal experiences to help readers understand the Smiths, and trust their judgement. God’s love is ultimately a couple’s love, and married couples should use it as such. Although this book is about Christian marriages, it can still apply to other marriages. Finding love and the truth in a marriage will make happiness enough. Happiness is the most important part of marriage. By consulting in this book, readers will achieve that and more.
- Authors: Aaron Smith (Author), Jennifer Smith (Author)
- Publisher: Zondervan; Illustrated Edition (June 4, 2019)
- Pages: 240 pages
11. The Naked Marriage: Undressing the Truth about Sex, Intimacy and Lifelong Love
A huge part of life, and every relationship, is sex and intimacy. This key component of love can be used for good, or for bad. The Naked Marriage: Undressing the Truth about Sex, Intimacy, and Lifelong Love Dave and Ashley Willis examines the importance of sex in a marriage. The Willises don’t want sex to be the only component of a marriage, but they do think it is highly valuable. And they explain why God thinks it is valuable, too. Nakedness is important in any relationship. That includes physical nakedness and emotional nakedness. Intimacy is the ability to express one’s feelings emotionally and physically. This book stresses how important different aspects of intimacy are in a relationship, and how couples can implement intimacy within their relationship.
- Authors: Dave Willis (Author), Ashley Willis (Author)
- Publisher: MarriageToday (February 12, 2019)
- Pages: 176 pages
12. Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
Every marriage needs rules. And the rules are dependent on the couple. However, not everyone knows what rules their relationship needs. With the book Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up by Harriet Lerner, no couple needs to. This book includes all the rules every relationship needs. This could serve as the list of rules for the whole of a married couple’s life. It could also be a start, and something that is built upon. The advice in this book is new and refreshing. It confronts well-known marriage problems that are common, but lack quality solutions. Lerner wrote an easy to read guide for couples of all marriage levels.
- Authors: Harriet Lerner (Author)
- Publisher: Avery; Reprint Edition (December 31, 2012)
- Pages: 288 pages
13. Fierce Marriage: Radically Pursuing Each Other in Light of Christ’s Relentless Love
Fierce Marriage: Radically Pursuing Each Other in Light of Christ’s Relentless Love by Ryan and Selena Frederick is a first-hand story of a marriage that survives a terrifying challenge: a heart defect. This book is based on the lives of the authors. Shortly after their marriage, the Fredericks decided to head to Switzerland to help Selena pursue her dream of training horses. That dream didn’t last long. Soon Ryan was diagnosed with a heart defect. The couple had to defy all odds and fight it together. They consulted each other, their love, and God. This is a compelling story about a newly married couple facing a great challenge and overcoming it together, and with religion.
- Authors: Ryan Frederick (Author), Selena Frederick (Author)
- Publisher: Baker Books (April 17, 2018)
- Pages: 240 pages
14. Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage
Nowadays people mostly only marry for love. That wasn’t always the case. Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz traces the origins of marriage. Over the last 300, 200, and 100 years, marriage was used for entirely different reasons. Sometimes, it was used to acquire wealth or land. In other cases, marriage was used to receive power, or simply to produce a child. It wasn’t until recently that marriage became a means of expressing love. Love conquered marriage. This book gives a glimpse at how marriage has drastically changed over history, for the better. The chapters in this book are enlightening, easy to read, and give an entirely new perspective on a common celebration in modern day society.
- Authors: Stephanie Coontz (Author)
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Annotated Edition (February 28, 2006)
- Pages: 448 pages
15. Married Roommates: How to Go From a Relationship That Just Survives to a Marriage That Thrives
What exactly are married roommates? Couples who are in a committed relationship who have an established routine, but lack the excitement and love that once made up their relationship, are married roommates. They are simply living as roommates who occassionally have sex. This isn’t wrong. Married roommates can be happy, but they could also have so much more in their relationship. Married Roommates: How to Go From a Relationship That Just Survives to a Marriage That Thrives by Talia and Allen Wagner discusses how to revive a boring marriage, and turn it into the honeymoon stage all the time. Readers can revive their marriages with the tips in this book. They can learn how to communicate more effectively, improve intimacy, resolve fights easily, and a lot more. No one should settle for a simple marriage.
- Authors: Talia Wagner (Author), Allen Wagner (Author)
- Publisher: Newman Miller House (March 31, 2019)
- Pages: 236 pages
16. Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together
There is no perfect way to prepare for marriage. Every couple has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important, however, to plan accordingly. Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together by Jim Burns and Doug Fields is a book that helps newly weds, and husband and wives to be prepared for their upcoming wedding. With this book, newlyweds can navigate their lives together in an easy and comprehensive way. No more wondering what happens after this wedding. Burns and Fields does that for readers. However, this book is a bit religious and does not hide that they want the readers to be, too. This book is not for everyone, but newlywed Christians will learn a lot from it.
- Authors: Jim Burns (Author), Doug Fields (Author)
- Publisher: David C Cook; F First Edition (September 1, 2014)
- Pages: 224 pages
17. Marriage On The Rock: Couple’s Discussion Guide (A Marriage On The Rock Book)
Marriage on the Rock: Couple’s Discussion Guide by Jimmy Evans is a book that helps couple’s achieve bliss through the principles of God. Marriage is listed in the Bible many times. God has his own thoughts on marriage, and so does everyone else it seems. This book details many secrets to marriage: its four foundational laws, what the bible says about husbands and wives, how to maximize sexual pleasure, and how to truly understand one’s partner. In addition to including lots of advice, this book has an interactive discussion that can be listened to through CD, and watched via DVD. This is a great marriage book, but it mainly has to do with how marriage affects Christians.
- Authors: Jimmy Evans (Author)
- Publisher: Independently published (November 25, 2018)
- Pages: 160 pages
18. The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages: How 15 Minutes a Day Will Help You Stay in Love
There is no denying that even though marriage is about happiness and love, it also takes work. When couples stop fighting for each other, they lose what makes their relationship special. The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages: How 15 Minutes a Day Will Help You Stay in Love by Marcus Warner and Chris M. Coursey is a book that teaches couples to consistently work on their relationship. The book has the four habits that make for happy couples, and it explains how others can do the same. By setting aside 15 minutes each day, couples will feel deeper in love and avoid future marital issues. With the help of this book, couples will make up faster after fights, they’ll create a stronger bond, and they will enjoy emotional and physical intimacy even more than they already do.
- Authors: Marcus Warner (Author), Chris M. Coursey (Author)
- Publisher: Northfield Publishing; Reprint Edition (April 2, 2019)
- Pages: 160 pages
19. 10 Ways to a Stronger Marriage
What makes a strong marriage? How can a couple make their marriage stronger? 10 Ways to a Stronger Marriage Trey and Lea Morgan will examine what it takes to build and maintain a strong marriage. The Morgans are a married couple who discuss and research marriages all the time. Every year they speak with thousands of couples. The Morgans help these couples strengthen their marriage. With each couple, the Morgans learn something new that they can apply to future couples they meet. They’ve learned a lot from these conversations, and as such have put their findings in an easy to read book. They format this book with 10 sections with how-to tips for building a stronger marriage. The chapters in this book can be discussed among small groups, with the couple themselves, or at bible study. These ideas can be used universally, and by every couple, not just the married ones.
- Authors: Trey & Lea Morgan (Author), Trey Morgan (Author), Lea Morgan (Author)
- Publisher: Independently published (November 7, 2019)
- Pages: 224 pages
20. Marriage Triggers: Exchanging Spouses’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses
Forming an intimate relationship means learning the ins and outs of a person. It means that couples will find what they love about each other, and what they hate. Marriage Triggers: Exchanging Spouses’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by Amber Lia and Guy Lia is a book that works to reduce the anger that marriage can induce. No person wants to resent their partner; this book will prevent just that. No matter that situation, this book has the solution for it. Couples will learn how to face their problems head on instead of running away from them. They can also learn to use biblical response to help with their angry outbursts and fights. This book incorporates the bible and religion, but it is ultimately a well-rounded marriage book for everyone.
- Authors: Amber Lia (Author), Guy Lia (Author)
- Publisher: Howard Books (January 28, 2020)
- Pages: 256 pages
Choosing the Best Marriage Books
Marriage is certainly not for everyone. In some cases, it’s not even for the people in a marriage. At the end of the day, however, marriage exists. Many people partake in it, and many get divorced. It can be hard, but it can also be rewarding. These books detail life in marriages, how to succeed at marriage, and how religion can play a huge part in marriage. There is so much to marriage than sunshine and rainbows. These books explain just what the hype is about, and how to maintain love in marriages.