Author Topic: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships  (Read 2971 times)

lhamo

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Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« on: March 08, 2016, 10:41:26 AM »
There are several of us on the forums who are trying to find ways to heal/move beyond dysfunctional relationships (mostly marriages, but sometimes other types of close relationships as well).  Lots of people have suggested helpful books and other resources in the individual threads, but I have been bad about keeping track of the recommendations and now can't find many of them!  Thought I'd start this thread as a place for people to suggest their favorites.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

TheGadfly

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 10:55:58 AM »
"Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents" by Lindsay Gibson.

I'm not sure what your situation is but this book helped my wife and me deal with my emotionally unavailable family members, which were unwittingly wreaking havoc on my marriage.

debbie does duncan

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 12:25:28 PM »
Susan Forward............has written many books on this.
Good luck.

Parizade

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 12:32:49 PM »
Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D.
Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On by Cynthia Zayn
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette H Elgin
Understanding: Eliminating Stress and Finding Serenity in Life and Relationships by Jane Nelsen Ed.D.

sonjak

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 06:03:39 PM »
Codependent No More - Melody Beattie (owning what's yours vs. there's and stopping being manipulative; expressing your needs/etc.)
Why Does He Do That? - Lundy Bancroft (dealing with abusive relationship and/or understanding if you are in an abusive relationship)
How to Hug a Porcupine - John Lund (dealing with difficult people & setting boundaries)

IMO, these two are good for pretty much anyone, to help you help yourself feel better, which would help any relationship:
Feeling Good - David Burns
The Upward Spiral - Alex Korb

pachnik

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 06:35:32 PM »
There is a 12-step fellowship called Co-Dependents Anonymous. 

It is a support group for people who want to have healthy and loving relationships.  It is patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous.  Lots of discussion in meetings about dysfunction, boundaries etc.   

Astatine

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 07:03:43 PM »
Families and how to survive them by John Cleese and Robyn Skinner. It's not really a 'how to' book but I found it really helped me grasp some basic concepts around emotionally dysfunctional marriages and families.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 07:10:44 PM »
Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No by Henry Cloud & John Townsend.  (Note, you can totally skip over the occasional biblical citations if that's not your thing.)

Description from amazon.com:

Quote
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 07:20:42 PM by LeRainDrop »

LeRainDrop

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 07:20:15 PM »
Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss & James F. Masterson.  Great book recommended to me by my therapist to help set boundaries with my dad who expected me to save him and drop everything for him whenever he "needed" me and with one of the partners in my firm who was a total b**** and made it her mission to manipulate and destroy everyone over whom she could exercise power.

Description from amazon.com:

Quote
In this groundbreaking book -- the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade -- clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give-and-take that sustains healthy relationships. Exploring how individuals come to have this shortcoming, why you get drawn into their perilous orbit, and what you can do to break free, Hotchkiss describes the "Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" and their origins. You will learn to recognize these hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism -- Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, Bad Boundaries -- and to understand the roles that parenting and culture play in their creation.

Whether the narcissist in question is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, Why Is It Always About You? provides abundant practical advice for anyone struggling to break narcissism's insidious spread to the next generation, and for anyone who encounters narcissists in everyday life.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 07:22:45 PM by LeRainDrop »

mozar

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 07:43:18 PM »
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work- Gottman

NewMustachian

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 05:25:12 AM »
ACT with Love - Russ Harris (more for making relationships better, but I find lots of the principles helpful for individuals too)

little_brown_dog

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Re: Best books/resources for healing dysfunctional relationships
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 06:37:08 AM »
The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman
All about how to try to avoid miscommunication by understanding that people show love and appreciation in different ways. Ex: Don't expect your strong and silent type husband to write you a sonnet. Instead appreciate that his way of saying "I love you" might be when he does the repairs you want, unpacks the dishwasher, or takes the baby for the night feeding.
It could be that the reason dating/early marriage is so fulfilling is because partners are naturally speaking all 5 languages frequently in an effort to impress the other, ensuring that their partner always gets what they need. There's a lot of dates (quality time), physical touch (sex), praise/encouragement (words of affirmation), acts of service (helping out), etc. As time passes, life gets difficult/tiresome, and we fall into our primary languages which may or may not be what our partner speaks. Then we start feeling unappreciated, forgotten, or dismissed.

Amazon.com Review
Unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root cause: we speak different love languages, believes Dr. Gary Chapman. While working as a marriage counselor for more than 30 years, he identified five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. In a friendly, often humorous style, he unpacks each one. Some husbands or wives may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one spouse, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their "love tank." Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. Chapman illustrates each love language with real-life examples from his counseling practice.
How do you discover your spouse’s – and your own – love language? Chapman’s short questionnaires are one of several ways to find out. Throughout the book, he also includes application questions that can be answered more extensively in the beautifully detailed companion leather journal (an exclusive Amazon.com set). Each section of the journal corresponds with a chapter from the book, offering opportunities for deeper reflection on your marriage.

Although some readers may find choosing to love a spouse that they no longer even like –hoping the feelings of affection will follow later– a difficult concept to swallow, Chapman promises that the results will be worth the effort. "Love is a choice," says Chapman. "And either partner can start the process today."
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 06:59:55 AM by little_brown_dog »