Here is a list of books that have useful information about relationships in general, marriage, and communication.


Beginning Your Marriage, John L. Thomas and David M. Thomas, ACTA Publishers, 2002, ISBN 0915388243. 8th Edition. This is a resource for couples in the first years of marriage, when the rosy optimism of courtship and wedding are tempered by the reality of two people learning to negotiate daily life together. This book applies to all faiths and has a chapter on interfaith marriages and the discussion that needs to take place to help buffer some of the obstacles to come. (

Love for a Lifetime: Building a Marriage That Will Go the Distance, Dr. James Dobson, Multomah Publishers, 2001, ISBN 1576737705. For those who are newly engaged, recently wed, or nearing their 10th wedding anniversary, this book offers guidance on building a marriage that will stand the test of time. This short, easy-to-read book encourages couples to keep Christ in the center of their relationship, see eye to eye on the big things, and be prepared to get into big fights about the little things. This book illustrates how men and women think differently. (

The Five Languages of Love; How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Gary Chapman, Northfield Publishers, 1992, ISBN 1881273156. This enlightening book describes how people communicate love in different ways and shows the wonderful things that happen when men and women learn to speak each other’s language. (

Getting Married, Living Together: A Guide for Engaged Couples, Anthony Garascia, Ave Maria Press, Sept. 2002, ISBN 0-87793-974-4. Written in sensitive, yet straightforward language, this book provides an insightful examination of common assumptions and misconceptions about living together. This book reviews potential problems and offers positive steps couples can take toward a happy, enduring, and sacred union. (

Living Together and Christian Commitment: A Reflection for Engaged Couples Who are Living Together, James Healy, Tabor Publishing, 1993, ASIN 0782903592 (EE Central Supply)

Fall in Love, Stay in Love, Willard F. Harley, Jr., Baker/Revell, 2001, ISBN 0800717937. This book shows how couples fall in love by meeting each other’s needs and how they stay in love by avoiding habits that chip away at their love for each other. Couples learn how to negotiate in marriage and enjoy a romantic, passionate, lifelong love for each other. (

Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, Dr. Les Parrott III and Dr. Leslie Parrott, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310492408. This marriage preparation resource lists “ingredients” of a happy marriage and then translates these ingredients into seven questions. Couples learn whether they have faced the myths of marriage with honesty, identified their love style, developed the habit of happiness, and say what they mean and understand what they hear. Couples also discover whether they have bridged the gender gap, know how to fight a good fight, and whether they are each other’s soul mate. (

Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts, Dr. Leslie Parrott and Dr. Les Parrott III, Zondervan, Sept. 2001, ISBN 0310207487. Second marriages with children are twice as likely to end in divorce as remarriages without. Studies have shown that it takes two to seven years to adapt to being a step-family. This book addresses the unique issues of “pre-remarital families” and offers wisdom to prepare couples for what lies ahead. Couples learn to tackle challenges with faith, perseverance, and hope. (

When the Cake is Gone . . . Your Marriage Really Starts!, Dr. James Healy, Published by Rooted in Love, 2001, ISBN 1931264015. This resource, available as book, CD, or video, offers practical strategies for staying engaged and addresses issues involved in a healthy marriage. (


Dolores Curran on Family Prayer, Dolores Curran, Twenty-Third Publications, 1997, ISBN 0896227030. This resource contains everything that today’s Catholic family needs to build a rich and satisfying prayer life, focusing on prayers of the Catholic Church, spontaneous prayer, home activities and more. (

Unconditional Love: Love Without Limit, John Powell and Jean-Claude Lejeane, Thomas More Publisher, 1995, ISBN 0883473127. This publication shows couples that regardless of whether they feel that someone “better” is out there for them, they have given each other the gift of love and chosen to love one another. (

Blessed and Broken: The Holiness of Marriage and Family Life, Rev. Gerald Foley, Sheed and Ward, 1996, ASIN 1556127243. For family-centered churches, this booklet offers eight sessions for small-group faith sharing. ( or EE Central Supply)

One Faith, Two Religions: Reflections for Engaged Couples of Two Different Christian Denominations, Rev. Gerald Foley, 1986. This inspiring booklet helps couples seriously consider what it means to sustain a marriage and raise a family with a partner who shares one’s faith in Jesus but little else in terms of religious practice and traditions. (EE Central Supply)

The Interfaith Family Guidebook: Practical Advice for Jewish and Christian Partners, Joan C. Hawxhaurst, Dovetail Publishing, 1998, ISBN 096512844X. This comprehensive guide is for families living with two faiths in one household. (


Humanae Vitae: Encyclical Letters of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, Ignatius Press, ISBN 08987077285. A revised and improved translation of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter which explains the depth and beauty of the Catholic understanding of the value of all life. (

Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan, Pope John Paul II, Pauline Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8198-7394-2. For the academics, these are the actual transcripts of the 129 Wednesday general audience messages presented over a four-year period by the pope during the early days of his pontificate. This detailed publication provides a thorough catechesis on the church’s real (not perceived) view of the marital relationship. (Barnes&

Good News About Sex and Marriage, Christopher West, Servant Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-56955-241-2. This “user friendly” synopsis of Theology of the Body cuts to the nitty-gritty of the church’s teaching, using personal anecdotes with a positive perspective. (Barnes&

Contraception, Why Not, Janet E. Smith, One More Soul, 1999, Cassette Tape. This powerful presentation challenges America to rethink its contraceptive mindset.             800-307-7685      . (


Together for Life, Joseph Champlin, Ave Maria Press, June 2002, 087793616. This booklet is designed to help couples plan their marriage ceremony rite with various prayers, blessings, and scripture texts. (

Celebrating Marriage: Preparing the Wedding Liturgy, Paul Covrio, Oregon Catholic Press, 1994, ISBN 1-56929-026-1. This workbook is designed to help engaged couples plan their wedding liturgy. ( or

Scripture at Weddings: Choosing and Proclaiming the Word of God, Graziano Marcheschi and Seitz Marcheschi, Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, ISBN 0-9-929650-62-X. This publication provides readings and offers reasons why these readings should be included in wedding ceremonies. (Order phone             1-800-933-1800      )


The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide From the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver, Crown Publishers Inc., 1999, ISBN 0609601040. This detailed book offers exercises to help couples identify what is important to them and learn to understand, honor, and respect each other and their marriage. Focusing on seven principles, this book encourages couples to become intimately familiar with each other’s worlds, nurture fondness and admiration, turn toward each other instead of away, let their partner influence them, solve solvable problems, overcome gridlock, and create shared meaning. (

Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World that Pulls Us Apart, Dr. William Doherty, The Guildford Press, 2001, ISBN 1572304596. This book presents the core argument that marriages are affected by consumerism and offers solutions that focus on communication, rituals, and “intentional” marriage. This book contains quizzes and lists of questions that examine couples’ behavior and communication in marriage. William Doherty wrote Take Back Your Kids, which has chapters for single parents and step families, and he also wrote The Intentional Family, which focuses on time together and rituals to enhance daily life. (

For Better…Forever!: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, George K. Popcak, Ronald David Lawler (preface), Our Sunday Visitor, 1999, ISBN 0879736887. This excellent resource presents a solid Catholic foundation for marriage and offers down-to-earth, practical advice. ( or

Becoming a Couple of Promise, Dr. Kevin Leman, Navpress, 1999, ISBN 1576831299. This resource illustrates how couples can keep the promises they made on their wedding day. This contemporary curriculum provides information on understanding each other’s needs, making marriage great for kids, affair-proofing marriage, blending families, and more. Kevin Leman has written many books on marriage and children. (

Web Sites for Obtaining Resources:
Ave Maria Press
Catholic Books Online (Liguori Publications)
Couple to Couple League International
Guilford Press
Ignatius Press
Oregon Catholic Press
Our Sunday Visitor
Paulist Press Online
Pastoral Press (a division of Oregon Catholic Press)
Servant Publications