His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley, Jr. is a popular marriage book–and for good reason. It’s basic point: partnership isn’t all about love and self-sacrifice; in order to have a good relationship, we have to get our needs met. Your father and I read this for a marriage preparation group. It’s a good choice for the newly engaged, but any partners can benefit.
My favorite quote: “Figuratively speaking, I believe each of us has a Love Bank. It contains many different accounts, one for each person we know. Each person makes either deposits or withdrawals whenever we interact with him or her. Pleasurable interactions cause deposits, and painful interactions cause withdrawals . . . In short, your needs keep score.”
The author goes on to demonstrate the importance of keeping your account and your spouse’s account balanced, so that neither feels like they’re getting cheated or going broke.
Most of the rest of the book’s chapters are devoted to a particular need that spouse’s have of their partners (for example, physical intimacy, financial security and conversation). Harley recommends that couples rate each of their needs and discuss them at length with their partners.
Get the entire recommended reading list at Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday.