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Books to Strengthen Your Marriage


These are some books we have found to help strengthen and restore marriages in any and every season.


The INNERROOM is also here to walk with you as a couple or married individual. Click here to schedule a session with Sharla Brenneman.





by John M. Gottman, PH.D.

The book has revolutionized the way we understand, repair, and strengthen marriages. John Gottman’s unprecedented study of couples over a period of years has allowed him to observe the habits that can make—and break—a marriage. Here is the culmination of that work: the seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.


Straightforward yet profound, these principles teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy. Gottman offers strategies and resources to help couples collaborate more effectively to resolve any problem, whether dealing with issues related to sex, money, religion, work, family, or anything else.



by Dr. Greg Smalley

This book shows readers who are struggling in their marriage the steps to take to strengthen and rebuild their marriage relationship. The practical solutions are built on the basic steps that are explained in The DNA of Relationships. Smalley uses fictional couples (based on real client experience) who are grappling with real-life problems ranging from work and family priority balance issues to extramarital affairs. Through the telling of the stories of real couples going through the step-by-step counseling process, the book provides a tool to help both partners identify destructive relationship habits and explains how to begin the rebuilding process.




by Marcus Warner & Chris Coursey

What separates happy marriages from miserable ones?

Surprisingly, it’s not healthy communication. It’s not conflict resolution skills. It’s actually the size of the marriage’s joy gap.


Joy Gap/joi gap/ (n.)-1. The length of time between moments of shared joy


When the joy gap gets bigger, problems are more likely to overwhelm you, resentment creeps in, and you start to feel distant and alone in your marriage. When the joy gap is smaller, you regularly feel connected and happy, problems feel manageable, and your marriage becomes a reliable source of joy. But how do you ensure that you’re experiencing joy regularly?


Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey have studied relationships (and neuroscience) and discovered four habits that keep joy regular and problems small. Some couples do them naturally, but anyone can learn. That’s why each chapter includes 15-minute exercises that boost joy and re-train your brain to make joy your default setting.

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