Hello and welcome to the most comfortable way to grow and improve your relationship - by reading amazing books! All of the books I’m mentioning here were written by renowned psychotherapists and are based on years and years of their practice. And before you give it up thinking how they must be boring as hell, trust me when I say - you’ll be done with them in two days and you’ll want more! These guys really know their way around writing - they make every “lesson” interesting with real-life examples so you don’t even notice you’ve read an educational book until it’s too late and you’re already better for it!
If you like what you see, you can find all of these books here and for pretty affordable prices: https://www.abebooks.com/
Book no.1: Love’s Executioner by Irvin D. Yalom
I know, it sounds pretty dark, but love isn’t always roses and rainbows either, is it?
This book was written by a psychiatrist/existential psychotherapist who is quite famous for his writing skills and gritty novels. This particular book consists of 10 individual stories from his practice, and as soon as you start reading them you’ll realize there’s no make-up on them. All of these people are real - they look real, act real, talk real - and Yalom does the same. He is unapologetic: if he doesn’t like one of his patients, he downright says so in his book (so if you’re easily offended, you may want to skip to the other two).
Each of the 10 stories shows actual people with their actual problems in love and relationships: from your everyday lack of self-esteem to illness, death, and acceptance of what is to come. Most of these stories are painful to read, but once you start you simply cannot stop, and when you finish the book you realize you have learned so much about relationships and the way they should be approached!
Book no.2: A guide to Successful Marriage by Albert Ellis
Originally published in 1961, this book broke the “be nice and don’t talk about sex” standards of the time. It was authored by Albert Ellis, a psychotherapist who ended up creating his very own type of therapy known today as Rational-Emotive-Behavior-Therapy (to be honest, he was the reason I studied at this very therapy school and earned an Advanced certificate in REBT). Besides being an amazing psychotherapist, he also writes in a “leave no stone unturned” kind of way, especially in this book. All the problems that stem from sexuality along with solutions to them are covered in this book - and in great detail! But don’t worry, it’s not all sex either - he does talk about other relationship issues and how you can solve them on your own, too.
Book no.3: How to Stop Destroying Your Relationships by Albert Ellis
Finally, a book I read very recently that left such a huge impression on me and helped me improve my own relationship immensely! It was once again authored by the self-help expert himself, Albert Ellis. What I loved about this particular book is that there are so many real-life examples in which Ellis demonstrates the problems we face (and create!) in our own relationships. The examples are shown word for word from his sessions, and they take the form of a dialogue: you’re witnessing a session unfold in front of your very eyes!
And thanks to the exercises he provides at the end of each chapter, you also get to experience psychotherapy without needing to go to one! (But if you want to, don’t hesitate to schedule a free session with me!)
So there you have it! If your main issue in relationships is sex, go for Book no.2. If it’s in-laws, your husband spending too much money, or the lack of compromise and understanding in your relationships, go for No.3. And if you simply want to read an enticing piece combining many different cases and problems into an easy-to-read, gritting novel, then Yalom is the guy for you.
Let me know if you get to reading any of these - I’d love to hear your thoughts!