All relationship books I have reviewed (marriage, preparing for marriage, singleness, men and women) can be found via the links on this page. Many include brief summaries here as well. 

(These are loosely in order of my favourites, with the first 5-10 all pretty good, or newer)
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman and Nan Silver (Harmony Books, 2015). An excellent secular book on marriage outlining Gottman’s extensive research on the key problems in marriage and seven principles that will help. Full of good advice and principles, and provides many activities and questionnaires to do with your spouse. If you are both willing to work on your marriage, these tools are indispensable.
  • Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas (Revised ed. Zondervan, 2015) Explores how marriage can make us more godly, and what it means to honour Christ in our marriage. Thomas esteems love, grace, forgiveness, and patience, as well as recognising the realities of sin, pain, and conflict. Christians are encouraged to see how God is using their marriage to grow them in Christ, in the joys and the challenges. Applicable for all marriages - new or mature, strong or struggling.
  • The Meaning of Marriage, Tim & Kathy Keller (Hodder and Stoughton, 2011). Lifts our vision much higher that just husband and wife, putting God at the centre of every marriage. They consider the meaning of marriage, why is exists, what it means to enter a covenant, Christian friendship expressed in marriage, and singleness. Strongly grounded in God's word, marriage is framed as a relationship of Christian friendship, promised in a covenant of love, powered by the Holy Spirit. Raises the standard of what a marriage can be. Detailed review: parts 12 and 3. 
  • Marriage, Paul David Tripp (Crossway, 2022). Challenges you to consider why you are married and how to grow together. With a strongly Christian framework, he suggests marriage contains two fallen people both trying to build their own kingdom, rather than God’s. He proposes six commitments to aim for: regular confession and forgiveness, growth and change, trust, building love, appreciating differences, and protecting the  marriage. (Previously published as What Did You Expect? (Crossway, 2010), the new version makes no changes to the original content, just adds two extra chapters)
  • Build a Stronger Marriage: The Path to Oneness, Bob Lepine (New Growth Press, 2022). Excellent short book with godly guidance, wisdom, and suggestions for growth and change. Considering our wrong expectations entering marriage and the main challenges of our past that influence it, Lepine encourages delight in our restoration in Christ. He posits four best practices of marriage - generous forgiveness, extravagant love, enthusiastic encouragement, and common convictions. 
  • Eight Dates to Keep Your Relationship Happy, Thriving and Lasting, John Gottman & Julie Schwartz Gottman (Penguin Life, 2019). Excellent secular relationship book structured around key conversations: trust & commitment, conflict, intimacy, work & money, family, fun, growth & spirituality, and dreams. Full of good advice and principles, with discussion questions to work through together.
  • 75 Habits for a Happy Marriage, Ashley Davis Bush & Daniel Arthur Bush (Adam Media, 2013). Based on well researched practices that enable couple connection, these secular psychotherapists offer 75 practical and quite simple habits to incorporate into your life together. Divided under the categories of connection, communication, and intimacy building, if you picked even a few from each, you’d be well on your way to closer connection. 
  • Gospel Centred Marriage: Becoming the Couple God wants you to be, Tim Chester (Good Book Company, 2011): Succinct introduction to what Christian marriage should be based on, how we approach various issues (grace, conflict, forgiveness) and then how we to view sex. Good for those who want something simple. Could be used as a series of bible studies / sessions to work through together, for both engaged and married. 
  • Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change through Ordinary Moments, Winston T. Smith (New Growth Press, 2010). Focused strongly on God’s word and how a relationship with Jesus defines, strengthens and challenges us in marriage. Smith’s premise is that change is found in the ordinary moments of marriage, and that all problems stem from a wrong relationship with God, whereas the solution is found through love, worship and grace. Very good chapters on communicating with honesty, conflict, and forgiveness.
  • With These Words, Rob Flood (New Growth Press, 2019). A focused look at communication in marriage, grounded first in the gospel and then considering five practical tools to communicate in ways that love each other and honour Christ. Contains insightful questions to work through at the end of each chapter.
  • Married for God, Christopher Ash (IVP, 2007). About what God wants from marriage, rather than what we want, considering what God's purpose for marriage is and how we serve Him through it. It is a more theological exposition of marriage, with some practical application thrown in. Will make you think, and raise the standard of what your marriage could be. Detailed chapter reviews here.
  • I Still Do, Dave Harvey (Baker Books, 2020). A helpful treatment on marriage into later life. Harvey has emphasised the gospel of grace and mercy and how that can affect all aspects of marriage and life together. He is honest about the challenges some marriages face over the years, using the idea of 'defining moments' to consider them. 
  • Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy MarriagesShaunti Feldhahn (Multnomah, 2013): A short, easy-to-read book that presents research in an accessible form. Feldhahn identifies 12 simple things common to couples who are very happy including: recognising the power of small actions, believing each has the best intentions, being in control of feelings, spending time together, and being committed. It can overplay some gender stereotypes, but may also encourage you to press on to make your marriage great.
    • It Takes One to Tango, Winifred M Reilly (Gallery Books, 2017). Subtitled “How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse – and How You Can, Too”, Reilly addresses the misconception that both partners need to be willing to change for change to occur. She draws on Bowen family theory and encourages people to take responsibility for themselves to make change happen in their marriage. Will appeal to a wide audience, is non-Christian, and honest about the conflicts that many couples are mired in.
    • This is How Your Marriage Ends, Matthew Fray (Souvenir Press, 2022). Heartfelt, raw account of one's man's divorce and how his own mistakes paved the way to it. He encourages us to teach more strongly about relationship health, but it is quite a stereotyped message (e.g., women are more emotional and men are more rational). Aimed more at men. 
    • God, Marriage and Family, Andreas Kostenberger (First edition). This excellent book helps us with godly thinking about marriage, family, and all related issues that spring from them. 
    • Rescue Your Love Life, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (Thomas Nelson, 2005). The subtitle: Changing the 8 dumb attitudes and behaviours that will sink your marriage does lead me to wonder if many would pick this up. Covers problematic assumptions such as: my lover should change, my lover should make me happy, my lover should read my mind, and we should never fight. Practical, sensible and helpful, although the books listed above are better.
    • Creating an Intimate Marriage, Jim Burns (Bethany House, 2006). 
    • Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got MarriedGary Chapman (Northfield, 2010). 

    Not recommended:

    Intimacy in marriage

    Preparing for marriage / dating
    • Ready or Knot? 12 conversations every couple needs to have before marriage, Scott Kedersha (Baker Books, 2019). Great resource covering the purpose of marriage, communication, having faith as your foundation, personality differences, family of origin, sex, financial stewardship, friendship, biblical roles, children and church community. Each chapter has questions to work through and a prayer to finish with. The strength is that each topic is addressed both biblically and practically, enabling couples to consider how to serve God and each other in their marriage. Now our first recommended resource. 
    • Letters to a Romantic: On DatingSean Perron and Spencer Harmon (P&R Publishing, 2017)Helpful book for people wanting to consider a godly approach to dating. It covers marriage and singleness, practicalities of dating, warning flags to be aware of in relationships and thoughts about physical affection while dating. Gospel focused and grace driven.
    • Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating, Marshall Segal (Crossway, 2017). Covers both singleness and dating, encouraging younger adults to faithfulness and maturity in both.  
    • 101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged, H. Norman Wright (2004): This comprehensive book is designed as a conversation starter for a couple to look at together. Topics include: personal life, health issues, the future, finances, Christian growth, values, habits, family and expectations. Also contains a chapter for those who have been previously married. We know many couples who have used this prior to engagement and found it very helpful. 
    • She's Got the Wrong Guy, Deepak Reju (New Growth Press, 2017). For single women, challenging them to consider who they date and whether they would be tempted to settle in marriage to the wrong type of man.  
    • Tying the Knot, Rob Green (New Growth Press, 2016). An excellent resource for couples to do together, ideally with a mentor alongside them. Green presents a clear gospel truth of living with grace and then thinks about how to apply that to various aspects of marriage, always managing to keep Jesus at the centre. 
    These are fine, but older now and have been succeeded by newer, better options:


    Women / Men

    Note also - a DVD review on an ABC series - Making Couples Happy