We know that you promised to stay together until death you do part, or maybe it is still your intention to make that promise; but the truth is, lockdown, quarantine or just simply having to work from home seems to be causing a lot of friction between couples. The Corona crisis is obviously a time of heightened tension on many fronts, and it is this tension that is exposing the frailties in many relationships. If this is something that you are experiencing, then here are some reading ideas for you and your partner to help ensure that you can endure as a couple, well past the end of the current crisis.
Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages
This international best-seller was first published in 1992. It took a while to catch on, selling only 8500 copies in its first year of print. But by 1995 it was on the New York Times bestseller list, a place it stayed until 2015. The premise of the book is that there are five ways in which people express and receive love. It helps you discover your love language and that of your partner to ensure that your good intentions are not missing each other.
Dr Willard F Harley’s His Needs Her Needs
Written for the old-fashioned heterosexual couple, the learnings in this book are no less relevant for gay or alternative couples. Working on the simple concept of a ‘love bank’ this book discusses many universal truths and is a great way to get couples talking about what is important to them. Harley stresses that a couple can stay in love forever if they follow his guidelines and the reality is that they are quite simple and easy to follow.
Sue Johnson’s Hold Me Tight
Johnson is one of the founders of what is known as Emotional Focussed Therapy and her works draw heavily on the ideas of attachment parenting. In short, she stresses that the attachment needs that infants and children need from their parents in order to feel secure in the world are the same needs that partners require from each other if they are to thrive and feel safe. It might sound complicated but it is an easy read, far more practical than it is academic.
Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love
Unlike the other books mentioned above, this is a work of fiction by the inimitable De Botton. It is a wonderful tale that charts the course of the relationship between the everyman couple Rabih and Kirsten. It chronicles how they fall in love, marry, raise a family and survive betrayal and conflict. If you cannot find elements of your own relationship in this book then you are probably not paying attention – it’s a gem and well worth a read.