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Self-help relationship books: any recommendations please?

(9 Posts)
doubleeggandchips Tue 30-Dec-14 17:49:59

...I'm feeling confused about my marriage and would like to privately work through how I feel rather than jump straight to counselling (or even admit there is a problem out loud tbh).
No infidelity or abuse involved, just hoping to understand why I feel so intensely irritated with DH all the time, and why it's so much better when he's away. I think I've become hugely defensive, overreacting to anything he does, and at the same time I can't bear the dynamic he has with the DCs - mostly shouting, empty threats, and complaining loudly about them in their earshot. He seems particularly hard on DD who is only 8, and expressed pride that she has already learned to answer him back (which horrifies me, I don't remember arguing with my Dad at all). I raise my voice with the DCs too, but have made the effort, when communication seemed to be becoming harder, to read up on different approaches which has helped a lot (the 'How to talk so kids will listen...' book). He has the 'quick guide' pages of this which I photocopied and gave to him, but hasn't read them, and it was a couple of years ago now. I think about splitting up frequently, but in reality that's an enormous step, and I don't trust myself - I could be perimenopausal, or just be a little depressed, or weirdly maybe this has something to do with wanting more attention for myself rather than being the arranger/cleaner/cook/wohm. Basically, I need a guide to help me get my head straight so I can see what I'm projecting onto the situation and what is real.
Sorry for the long post - but if you've tried a book and it has helped you, I'd be glad to hear of it thanks.

GoatsDoRoam Tue 30-Dec-14 17:59:43

Do you see the contradiction in asking for a self-help relationshipbook?

There are 2 people in a relationship.

If this isn't something that you feel able to work through with your husband (and frankly given what you say about him in your OP I can kind of see why), then I think that jumping straight to individual counseling so that you can get help examining your personal needs and how they are (not) being met in your marriage is the way to go.

Deserttrek Tue 30-Dec-14 18:57:16

Well, for me this is a little nugget.

The subject matter - some middle age bloke flying a biplane round the Mid West of America - was a real turn off, but that's not what the book is about. That's just the setting, what happens to the characters happens to all of us. It is a short book, about 2-3 hours read, but the key (for me) is to read it frequently, and so far about 8 times in the last two years each time some new revelation comes into my"why didn't I spot that first time round". And "life is really that simple...why do I make it so complicated....ffs..."

But I think one book is not enough. Draw from many, many things.

GoatsDoRoam Tue 30-Dec-14 19:10:52

What an interesting recommendation, Deserttrek.

Deserttrek Tue 30-Dec-14 19:48:00

Goats, for me I think it has worked best all round (including her) if we both work on ourselves, as well as or even before we work on our relationship. The relationship is something that encapsulates both of us, as a unit, and as individuals that make that relationship what it is. Always we are individuals, and need to bring ourselves into the relationship, as happy, mended, secure, complete (and more lovely words etc) people as we can be. That's just how I think, anyway. I think the relationship is a label (a lovely one though). A bit like a house is actually 10,000 bricks. Each brick needs to be well made, then the house is beautiful. omg...a glass too much wine tonight, I sound a bit soft now.....

LittleDonkeyLeftie Tue 30-Dec-14 19:56:51

I have had this book recommended to me as a self help book and I have it on order.

The best relationship books I have ever read are this oldie but goodie and this one is my favourite Her website is also fabulous

Good Luck!

Somethingtodo Tue 30-Dec-14 20:37:59

Loads of free online resources here and books you can order:

gatewalker Tue 30-Dec-14 21:30:22

"The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other" by James Hollis, who is a Jungian analyst. It isn't self-help, but it is self-study and self-realisation. Not always a comfortable read, but if you're looking to work on yourself, it's good medicine.

doubleeggandchips Wed 31-Dec-14 08:36:14

Wow, plenty of interesting recommendations here, thank you all so much! flowersflowers

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