Relationships

The complications of love

Healthy relationships benefit from deeper understanding of the couple dynamic. These resources can give you new insights. 

 

 
 

Apps

Love Maps
The Gottman Institute
Apple App Store ($1.99)

We have discovered that a very powerful predictor of marital stability is whether couples, particularly husbands, allocate “Cognitive Room” for their relationship and for the world of their partner.

Using this information, Dr. Gottman constructed the Love Map Exercise. This fun exercise has 87 questions to help couple develop a “Love Map” of their partner’s world—their history, concerns, preferences and current issues.

 

 
 
 

Icebreak for Couples – Better Relationships
TheIceBreak
Apple App Store (FREE)

Stay connected with the one you love. Just share your response to a prompted icebreaker or moment once a day and watch your relationship flourish. We send you tailored suggestions specially selected to enhance your relationship. Whether you’re long distance, dating someone, engaged, or been married forever…this is the app for you!

 

 

Pair
TenthBit Inc.
Apple App Store (FREE)
Android Market (FREE)

Pair is the easiest way to stay in touch with the person you love, making it easy to share the little things in life with each other. It creates a timeline just for the two of you, where you can post cute video messages and photos that no one else will see. You can also chat, share sketches, voice messages, your location, and even let your partner know that you’re thinking of them with just the push of a button. If you’re both online at the same time, you can sketch together, as well as ThumbKiss—a feature that let’s you see where your partner is touching their screen so you can touch the same spot and make both phones vibrate simultaneously. Set reminders for your anniversary or your partners birthday, and share a to-do list to make sure your partner doesn’t forget the milk!

Pair is perfect for long distance relationships, and is a great utility for couples in the same city. It keeps all your special moments saved privately in one place.

 

Books

What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal 
John Gottman & Nan Silver
ISBN: 978-1451608472

In this book, celebrated research psychologist and couples counselor John Gottman plumbs the mysteries of love: Where does it come from? Why does some love last, and why does some fade?

Gottman has spent decades observing the conversational patterns and biorhythms of thousands and thousands of couples in his famous “Love Lab.” Now he applies this research to fundamental questions about trust and betrayal. Doubts are common in relationships. Partners often worry. Can I trust my partner? Am I being betrayed? How do I know for sure? Based on laboratory findings, this book shows readers how to identify signs, behaviors, and attitudes that indicate betrayal—whether sexual or not—and provides strategies for repairing what may seem lost or broken. With a gift for translating complex scientific ideas into insightful and practical advice, Gottman explains how a couple can protect or recover their greatest gift—their love for one another.

 

 

Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work 
Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning & Kim Paleg
ISBN: 978-1572244818

Love takes work, but, when it comes to relationships, it pays to work smarter. Couple Skills, Second Edition, revised and updated from the therapist-recommended classic, will show you how to work smarter in your relationship. You’ll learn to improve communication, cope better with problems, and resolve conflicts with the one you love in healthy and creative ways. Each chapter teaches you an essential skill that supports greater relationship satisfaction and deeper intimacy.

New to this edition is a chapter on using acceptance skills, developed from the revolutionary new acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). These new approaches will help you to accept your partner’s feelings (and your own emotions) without judgment. Using these techniques will help you decide what you really value in your relationship and then commit to acting in ways that further those values every day.

 

 

Communication Miracles for Couples: Easy & Effective Tools to Create More Love & less Conflict 
Jonathan Robinson
ISBN: 978-1573245838

Create lasting harmony and keep love alive with psychotherapist and bestselling author Jonathan Robinson’s powerful and simple methods for effective couples’ communication. For anyone who wants to enhance their relationship by learning to communicate with less blame and more understanding Communication Miracles for Couples will show you how.

Originally published in 1997 and continuously in print with more than 100,000 sold Communications Miracles for Couples has helped hundreds of thousands of couples repair their relationships. Whether you are looking to enhance your relationship or are deeply mired in conflict, these techniques can help anyone develop more effective communication with a spouse or partner.

 

 

The Couple Checkup: Find Your Relationship Strengths 
David Olson PhD, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter J. Larson PhD
ISBN: 978-0785228271

Based on an unprecedented national survey of 50,000 marriages, The Couple Checkup presents the principles for creating a successful couple relationship. The free online profile includes fifteen to twenty categories that are customized based on the relationship stage-whether dating, engaged, or married-the age, and whether or not children are involved. The book also includes the SCOPE Personality Profile and the Couple and Family Map of the relationship.

Each chapter of the book matches a category in the free individual profile. While the book stands on its own, using the Couple Checkup with the book provides the maximum benefit. In addition, each chapter contains couple exercises to help build couple strengths in a variety of areas.

 

 

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond 
Patricia Evans
ISBN: 978-1440504631

In this fully expanded and updated third edition of the bestselling classic, you learn why verbal abuse is more widespread than ever, and how you can deal with it. You’ll get more of the answers you need to recognize abuse when it happens, respond to abusers safely and appropriately, and most important, lead a happier, healthier life.

In two all-new chapters, Evans reveals the Outside Stresses driving the rise in verbal abuse—and shows you how you can mitigate the devastating effects on your relationships. She also outlines the Levels of Abuse that characterize this kind of behavior—from subtle, insidious put-downs that can erode your self-esteem to full-out tantrums of name-calling, screaming, and threatening that can escalate into physical abuse.

Drawing from hundreds of real situations suffered by real people just like you, Evans offers strategies, sample scripts, and action plans designed to help you deal with the abuse—and the abuser. This timely new edition of The Verbally Abusive Relationship puts you on the road to recognizing and responding to verbal abuse, one crucial step at a time!

 

 

After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful 
Janis Abrahms-Spring, PhD
ISBN: 978-0062122704

After the Affair teaches partners how to heal themselves and grow from the shattering crisis of an infidelity. Drawing on thirty-five years as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Spring offers a series of original and proven strategies that address such questions as: * Why did it happen? * Once love and trust are gone, can we ever get them back? * Can I—should I—recommit when I feel so ambivalent? * How do we become sexually intimate again? * Is forgiveness possible? * What constitutes an affair in cyberspace?

 

 

Not “Just Friends” 
Shirley Glass
ISBN: 978-0743225502

According to Dr. Shirley Glass, “the godmother of infidelity” (The New York Times), people today are cheating on their spouses more than ever before—especially in the workplace. Dispelling common myths with compelling new research and case studies, NOT “Just Friends” is a groundbreaking chronicle of what occurs before, during, and after an affair: the danger signs, the vulnerabilities of even good marriages, and the step-by-step road to healing and protecting monogamy in the aftermath.

 

 

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
by Steven Stosny Ph.d and Patricia Edd Love
Drs. Patricia Love and Steven Stosny have studied relationship dynamics between men and women and have reached a truly shocking conclusion. Even with the best of intentions, talking about your relationship doesn’t bring you together, and it will eventually drive you apart. The reason for this is that underneath most couples’ fights, there is a biological difference at work. How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It teaches couples how to get closer in ways that don’t require “trying to turn a man into a woman.” Rich in stories of couples who have turned their marriages around, and full of practical advice about the behaviors that make and break marriages, this essential guide will help couples find love beyond words.

 

 

The New Monogomy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity
By Tammy Nelson, PhD
Everyone has their own concept of what “monogamy” means—and most people assume their partners and spouses are on the same page. Couples may assume that they are monogamous, but never discuss exactly what the monogamy agreement means to them. What happens when this implicit agreement is broken? After infidelity, relationships can become strained as both partners lose trust and faith in each other. The New Monogamy offers a way out of these difficulties for couples struggling to stay together after infidelity. Couples make these implicit assumptions and agreements explicit so that each partner knows exactly what is expected of them in the future and what they can expect from their partner.

 

Web Links

Relationship Advice for Couples National Healthy Marriage Resource Center

Relationship Advice Twoofus.org

Abuse Quiz (verbally abusive relationships) Youarenotcrazy.org

 

Self Assessments and Quizzes

 

Apps, books and websites listed on this page are provided for educational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Talk with your health care provider about any questions you may have.

Some of these resources are products of Mayo Clinic and others are owned by third parties. Mayo Clinic does not endorse resources identified on this page that it does not directly own or control itself.