Books & Articles: Marriage Help for Infidelity, Infertility or Other Marriage Crisis

Dealing with a major challenge in your marriage can be both frightening and disorienting, so it really helps hearing how others have successfully survived the experience. Here are a few inspiring and helpful books and articles written by survivors of these experiences and those who have advised them with different types of marriage help.I have provided titles, authors and a brief description.

Books on Strengthening Marriages and Dealing with Common Problems

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
By Sue Johnson, Ph.D.

Dr. Sue Johnson is a clinical psychologist and developer of the primary approach that we use in couples and marriage therapy - Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy. She's written many books and articles for therapists but this relatively new book is her first attempt to make her theories and approach more accessible to a broader audience. I am happy to recommend it, as it is well-written, inspiring and packed with many unique insights you can't easily find elsewhere.

Dr. Johnson's approach requires skilled facilitation, so it's not a DIY book, but it's likely to be extremely helpful as a conversation starter for couples considering counseling / therapy and a useful jumpstart in benefiting from the breakthrough concepts that make her approach an enormous advance in marriage counseling. It may also be helpful for many couples as a guide between sessions and a resource and reference for longer-term support. 

Back from Betrayal: Saving a Marriage, a Family, a Life
By Suzy Farbman

This book is an inspiring and well-written memoir that reads like a novel. Suzy Farbman, the wife of a major Michigan real-estate developer, shares her roller-coaster journey from betrayal to a much stronger sense of self-confidence and a much deeper and happier relationship with her husband. Their success was the exception to the rule at that time, partially because they didn't have the benefit of the latest advances in marriage therapy, so in many ways their triumph is even more impressive. Also valuable is the Afterword written by Burton, Suzy's husband, that provides unique insight on male infidelity, common rationalizations and how its ultimate costs far exceed its supposed benefits.

Books on Infertility and Its Impact on Marriage

Experiencing Infertility
By Debby Peoples and Harriette Rovner Ferguson

This book provides information and support on the wide-range of challenges facing couples dealing with infertility, including the unexpected and enormous emotional challenges and trauma infertility brings with it. A useful primer and starting point for couples concerned about supporting and protecting their relationship through this crisis. 

Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility
by Janet Jaffe, Ph.D., Martha O. Diamond, Ph.D., and David J. Diamond, Ph.D.

A number of helpful psychology books for general readers have been written by psychologists who have struggled through and overcome similar challenges to those faced by their patients. This is another book of that genre as the authors, all clinical psychologists, endured their own struggles with infertility and use those experiences and those of their patients to help readers. They suggest a wide range of coping strategies for both understanding and charting a course through the tremendous sense of loss caused by infertility. This book may be a useful resource before and during individual or couples counseling/therapy for infertility trauma.


Is Marriage Good for Your Health?
By Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times Magazine, April 18, 2010

Links to an article laying out the evidence that good relationships are critical to good health. If you're wondering whether a good relationship is worth the time and energy it takes to maintain or repair, this provides some new insight.

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