When you feel alone, unloved or isolated in your marriage, you need to get help. In this article, we offer 9 books to read when you feel unloved in your marriage.
This is a resource part of our series called, Unloved.
Each of these books has something of value to add that will help you in your struggle of feeling unloved. The authors come from different backgrounds and perspectives. Some are psychologists. Others are ministers. Several are relationship coaches and considered experts.
They all have something to say about living life feeling loved.
Disclaimer: I do not always agree with everything they say. Especially in the area of religion and faith. I do not know the faith position of all of these writers. What they have to say about relationships is worth reading.
Guy Finley is a mystic. I do not agree with his view of God (deity, etc). But he has a lot to say about living free from bondage and what you can do to make your marriage work better. For that reason, I include him in this list.
When I was young, my dad taught me a lesson I try to live by: He would often say (when listening to something we didn’t always agree with), ‘Son, you need to eat the fish and throw away the bones!’
For me, this means I can learn something from these writers even if I don’t agree with everything.
In my opinion, our world would be a more peaceful place if we all learned how to do this. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me that lesson.
With this in mind, here is our list of books on how to live life if you feel unloved by your spouse.
Here is our list of 9 books you should read if you are trapped in an unloving relationship. Heads up: These are affiliate links. If you make a qualified purchase I get a commision.
In This Article
- Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love & Fulfilling Relationships
- It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered
- The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People
- The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
- The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships
- Married and Alone
- Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together
- The Relationship Cure
- For Couples Only: Eye-opening Insights about How the Opposite Sex Thinks
- Final Thoughts on Books to Read When You Feel Unloved In Your Marriage
Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love & Fulfilling Relationships
In Real Love, you’ll discover:
· The difference between Imitation Love and Real Love
· How to eliminate conflicts with spouses, children, parents, friends and colleagues
· How to put an end to destructive “Getting” and “Protecting” behaviors
· How Real Love can eliminate anger, resentment, and fear
· The four steps to finding Real Love
Dr. Greg Baer runs ‘Real Love’ – a non-profit organization committed to helping couples discover how to find real love.
He is a physician (surgeon) turned relationship expert. What I like about his work is it evolved through experimenting with ideas, techniques, and principles he developed while meeting with a group of people in his home. They all wanted to discover real love.
As they talked about what worked in their lives, Dr. Baer took notes. He applied what they were learning to other couples, and their lives improved. He later put those research concepts into his first two books.
In this book, you will learn the difference between imitation love and real love.
He also discusses how to identify and put an end to destructive habits and behavior that sabotages your relationship. This will help you eliminate conflict and unresolved anger issues.
Finally, he offers four steps on how to find real love. This section is why it’s included in our list.
This book offers help and hope for those who have wounds from the past that have a negative impact on their relationships.
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered
Discover how to:
- Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
- Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
- Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.
- Shift our suspicion that God is cruel or unfair to the biblical assurance that God is protecting and preparing us.
- Know how to encourage a friend and help her navigate hard realities with real help from God’s truth.
Lysa TerKeurst is the poster child for overcoming a bad relationship.
In this book, she shares her story of rejection, abandonment, and brokenness. She talks about issues from her childhood that shaped her view of relationships, and how those deep wounds impacted her marriage.
This is one of my wife’s favorite writers (and books).
Lysa’s story and insights into the nature of God will help you regain your spiritual connection to God in spite of the events and circumstances of your life.
You will discover how God chooses you, even if you feel overlooked by others.
How to respond to situations in a way that honors God and maintains your dignity.
She explores the two core fears that underlie our insecurities and provides clear guidelines on how to conquer those fears.
In my opinion, Lysa’s story is one every woman (and man) should read if you’ve ever felt unloved and rejected.
The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People
The first easy—and fun—guide to the Enneagram, the fascinating and revealing method of understanding personality types, for the beginner, the expert, and everyone in between. This witty and informative guide demystifies the ancient Enneagram system with cartoons, exercises, and personality tests that reveal our motivations and desires and show how to put that knowledge to use in our everyday lives.
Learn the 9 Types of People of the Enneagram.
My wife loves to take personality tests. Not me. At best (in my opinion), they are mere snapshots (like a camera picture) or a moment in your life.
She recently asked me (required me) to take the enneagram test. I resisted at first but finely agreed.
I was surprised at how insightful it was. I won’t tell you my ‘number’ but I could easily see how it lined up with my personality, beliefs, and wiring. It was pretty accurate in a big picture kind of way.
How does enneagram help your marriage?
The more we understand about ourselves and our spouse, the better we can work to solve problems, get along, and relate to each other. In other words, know your score can help you know yourself. This will empower you to take the right actions in the right way.
I recommend both you and your spouse take the test. You can take it here.
Once you take the test and know your score, you can read about your type. What I like about the book is it simplifies the concept by using cartoons and exercises that reveal how to put the knowledge to use in your relationships.
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do. Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of spiritual discovery you would never have found on your own, and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.
In this book, Ian Cron and Suzzane Stabile use the Enneagram test as a starting point of self-discovery.
The previous book is more of a general introduction to Enneagram. This one is designed as more of a personal guide in learning about who you are, why you do the things you do, and what makes you tick.
This knowledge not only helps you understand yourself but also aids you in understanding others.
It is a practical and comprehensive guide.
The book contains stories that bring the lessons to life.
What I like about the book is it uses your Christian experience as a connection to help you understand yourself and others better.
I recommend this book if you desire to explore your personality in a way that connects to your faith. This is written more for the individual who wants deeper self-discovery.
It also has a study guide so you can go even deeper and take notes.
The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships
Enneagram’s wisdom on how relationships work―or don’t.
- Why do Sixes seem so intimidated and put off by Eights, who only wish the Sixes would stop mulling things over and take action?
- Why do Fives seem so unavailable, even to their closest family and friends, while Twos seem to feel everybody else’s feelings but their own and end up irritating people who don’t want their help?
- How in the world can Fours be so open and loving to you one day and restrained and distant other times?
Another book on Enneagram by Suzanne Stabile. Where the previous book addresses your personal journey, this book offers insight (using Enneagram) into your personal relationships.
We stress empathy as a key factor in the success of any relationship. Empathy is the ability (and willingness) to think about things from the other person’s perspective. This is often challenging because we don’t always know what is going on in another person’s mind.
This book will give you the tools to understand others – and in our case, your spouse.
It explores topics like why certain Enneagram types have more conflict than others (and what to do about it)…
Why certain personality types ‘hide’ from other types…
What’s the best way to approach certain types…
The thing I like about this book is it incorporates your Christian faith (beliefs) and offers solutions to the common problems we face in marriage and how to foster a more loving relationship with your spouse.
Like the title suggest, it is a guide to bridge the gap between us (couples).
It also comes with a study guide for deeper reflection.
Married and Alone
Married and Alone helps you understand why you feel unloved or disconnected in your marriage. When we marry we hope to have a life of closeness and connectedness with our spouse. Surprisingly some spouses realize that they feel married and alone after their wedding.
Discover how to break this cycle.
Dr. Doug Weiss is the founder of Heart to Heart Counseling Center that helps people overcome sexual addictions. He has written several books dealing with this difficult issue.
Years ago, Dr. Weiss coined the term ‘Intimacy Anorexia’ to describe men (and women) who do not know how to express or engage in intimacy.
In ‘Married and Alone’ you will discover the core reason you feel unloved or disconnected in your relationship as he unpacks the concept of intimacy anorexia.
What I like about the book: It deals with the delicate subject of sex, intimacy, and addiction. It is not ONLY about this, but it connects the dots for a lot of couples who experience intimacy issues and don’t know why.
This book is based on his years of research as a counselor, practitioner, and leader. If intimacy issues are at the core of your struggle, this book will give you the tools to understand what is going on behind the scene.
There is also a study guide available called, “Healing Exercises for Spouses’ we highly recommend. This guide provides practical guidance on implementing the things you learn in the book. [Find on Amazon]
Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together
In Relationship Magic, renowned spiritual teacher Guy Finley shares key insights and lessons for building a beautiful, enduring relationship with the one you love…and better relationships with everyone you know. Learn how to use your differences to become more loving and kind with one another. Discover how to bring arguments to a dead stop, while deepening the bond between you and your partner at the same time. Break old patterns that are keeping you stuck, and learn to love your partner fully—without the fear of loss—in spite of painful relationships in the past.
Guy Finley is a popular teacher and mystic. I’ve read his stuff for years. As mentioned above, he is one writer I don’t always agree with his concept of God, but his insight into human personality and the psychology of relationships is worth the read.
I do not recommend this book if you are seeking an understanding of the nature of God. But if you want to know how to create a more peaceful home-life, this book has a lot of value.
In the first chapter, he lays out what he calls ‘celestial laws’ that govern our relationships. This is more of an overview of what he teaches in the book.
In chapter four, he discusses why taking full responsibility for your life (and relationship) is key to improving your marriage.
Chapter six continues with this thought: Your relationship can only be as new as you are willing to be.
In chapter seven he digs deep into how to uncover (and discover) the beauty that is within your spouse.
Each chapter builds on the previous. The latter part of the book goes into more detail on the psychology and spiritual dynamics of relationships. This is where his mystic tendencies come through. You will need to sort through some of his concepts to discover the underlying psychology of what makes relationships work.
The Relationship Cure
Gottman provides the tools you need to make your relationships thrive. In The Relationship Cure, Dr. Gottman:
– Reveals the key elements of healthy relationships, emphasizing the importance of what he calls “emotional connection”
– Introduces the powerful new concept of the emotional “bid,” the fundamental unit of emotional connection
– Provides remarkably empowering tools for improving the way you bid for emotional connection and how you respond to others’ bids
– And more!
John Gottman has done research on couples for over four decades. Many books talk about theory, Gottman backs up his opinions and suggestions with solid research.
The Relationship Cure presents a basic five-step program to improve your marriage by giving you the tools you need to understand your spouse (and yourself).
Most of his work centers around the idea of ‘making bids’ for your spouses’ attention. Not in the sense of begging, or acting out; rather, by offering opportunities to engage with us.
We all do this. Every person sends little signals that bid for our spouses’ attention. We talk about how couples bid for one another’s attention here.
In this book, you will discover the key elements of a healthy relationship and how to build an emotional connection.
What I like about this book is it comes with questionnaires and exercises to help you put into practice what you learn.
For Couples Only: Eye-opening Insights about How the Opposite Sex Thinks
Each volume is based on input from more than a thousand members of the opposite sex—including an unprecedented nationwide survey and hundreds of personal interviews.
This innovative approach yields candid and surprising answers that reveal what you don’t “get” about your significant other—answers that person deeply wishes you knew. It also produces simple but groundbreaking awareness of how you can best love and support the one you care about most.
I’m a fan of Shaunti. I’ve read several of her books. Like Gottman, they are based on research, interviews, and experiments with couples.
This is actually a box set of two of her classic books, For Men Only and For Women Only. Both books are combined into this edition along with updated research information.
Heads up: This is a box set. Both books are included. You do not need to buy the other two books. If you want to purchase just one, you can do that by searching for the individual title; however, I highly recommend you get the box set to have both books.
Her research is based on events she has conducted, surveys, and personal interviews with hundreds of couples. Most of her research is done in conferences directed toward Christian couples.
Some feel that her research has too much religious bias; that’s actually the thing I appreciate about the books. Besides, human nature is not biased. This research is very insightful and useful for all couples who want to develop a deeper connection and understand each other better.
These are books offering practical tools to help you implement the things you learn.
What I like about this set is it combines two of her best sellers into this box set. I believe every newly married couple should be required to read these books. They will give you a greater insight into how men and women think, and why they think differently.
Final Thoughts on Books to Read When You Feel Unloved In Your Marriage
You need several things when you feel unloved in your marriage:
1) You need to get the right perspective so you can accurately assess what is happening in your relationship.
2) You need to get help working through the issues related to your marital problems.
This compilation of books will help you with both of these issues.
This list is not intended to present every book that deals with this subject. It is our recommended beginning place.
One principle to keep in mind, you will never move your marriage beyond your understanding of yourself or your spouse. These resources will help you gain the insight you need to make your marriage better and give you the tools you need to work on yourself. The goal is to live a healthy, fulfilling life. These books can assist you in accomplishing that goal.