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10 Books about Marriage with Surprising Relationship Lessons

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Whether you’re newlywed or have been married for years, these fiction books are sure to provide you with some valuable and possibly surprising insights into the intricate dance that is marriage.

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Getting married does not mean your life will be rainbows and unicorns forever. To maintain a good and healthy relationship, you must continue communicating and solving problems together. Once you’re married, you start a new chapter for you and your spouse. To strengthen your relationship, of course you can invest in couples counseling, plan romantic date nights, and any other number activities to bring you closer. But sometimes, the most surprising marital lessons may come from the pages of a book you read for pleasure. 

Reading books can open your eyes to new insights or points of view. Books can give you a new perspective on life or help you to be more open-minded. Perhaps you’ll see yourself or your partner in the characters of a novel and it will cause you to take stock of a recurring issue. Or maybe you’ll see a couple in a book work through something that inspires you to let the little things go. No matter what the case may be, there will always be challenges in life (and literature!) because humans are inherently imperfect. 

Fiction Books That Portray the Ups and Downs of Marriage

As newlyweds, you might feel clueless about married life because you have no experience. But don’t worry, nearly every couple feels that way. To become more knowledgeable on marriage–or anything really– it never hurts to read. But we’re not just talking about self-help type of books– we’re talking about fiction, memoirs, and more. Below are some books that portray marriage in ways that can offer insightful and surprising lessons. 

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After I Do

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Once you are married, you’ll find yourself in fights, arguments, and disagreements on many things. The book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, After I Do, is a heartwarming love story about a couple fighting to keep their love alive. As they both reflect on their past, present, and future, they must decide whether their relationship is worth it or not. The two main characters, Lauren and Ryan, discover that love is not always easy, but it is always worth fighting for. It is a story about love, loss, and the power of forgiveness in a marriage. By reading this book, you’ll see how vulnerable humans can be and what marriage is all about. If you are struggling in your Your Wedding”>marriage, this book can spark some insights for you. 


Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed

by Elizabeth Gilbert

In Gilbert’s book Committed, she examines how a woman struggles to achieve her goals and live up to the expectations that burden her. She expands on this theme by walking her readers through different women’s lives and marriages in the cultures and traditions of the countries she visited. You’ll be surprised how women in different cultures live their lives. You’ll also get to explore other topics on divorce, compatibility, monogamy, gay marriage, child-rearing, and feminism. The book can be seen as controversial to some readers since the book comes from Gilbert’s point of view, but you’ll obtain a thoughtful examination of marriage. 


the love of my life rosie walsh

The Love of my Life 

by Rosie Walsh

Rosie Walsh’s spectacular and highly visual novel The Love of my Life is a masterpiece that portrays love, loss, tenderness, and forgiveness. The novel contains some thriller and mysterious elements that are extremely captivating. You won’t want to stop turning the pages! By going through the lives of the main characters, Leo and Emma, you get to explore many lessons on trust since there are so many secrets and lies that slowly unravel throughout the story. 


the time travelers wife audrey niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

The dazzling time-travel novel by Audrey Niffenegger is a story about love and marriage in the face of extraordinary circumstances. The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the story of Clare and Henry, a couple who must deal with the unique challenges that come with Henry’s ability to travel through time. Although they can find happiness in each other and their relationship, Henry’s time travel causes significant strain on their marriage. As the story unfolds from both Clare and Henry’s perspectives, we see the effects that time travel has on their relationship and the deep love they have for each other. You’ll learn how love can endure even in the most difficult circumstances. 


all your perfects colleen hoover

All Your Perfects 

by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover deeply moving novel All Your Perfects is about a damaged couple whose future is threatened by the secrets of their past. Told with heartbreaking honesty, this is an emotional story about two people who must grapple with their imperfections to find happiness. Many valuable lessons are revealed throughout the novel: pain, fear, and healing. If you are single, engaged, or married, this eye-opening book teaches many life lessons about marriage. 


the amateur marriage anne tyler

The Amateur Marriage

by Anne Taylor

Anne Taylor is known for writing about dysfunctional marriages and families. Her profound novel The Amateur Marriage takes place in the early 1940s, about an unhappy marriage between Michael and Pauline. They married early and struggled to maintain their relationship as they faced multiple challenges: war, parenthood, and infidelity. The story may seem pessimistic, but you’ll learn how strong their bonds are even when a situation may seem out of control. When you feel lost in life, leaning on your significant other can help you get through difficult times. 


gillian flynn gone girl

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

If you haven’t read this psychological thriller novel yet, you’ll surely find Gone Girl to be a unique and compelling look at marriage. Throughout the book, you’ll discover many things about married life and relationships, and how two people can bend themselves to fit in each others’ worlds. Marriage takes commitment and effort to maintain, and little resentments can build over time into all-out catastrophe if not addressed. This dark and twisted view of marriage may serve as a cautionary tale, or alternatively, the enduring lengths that some may go through to secure their marital bonds.


the paper palace miranda cowley heller

The Paper Palace 

by Miranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace is a story filled with love, lies, and secrets that will entertain you until the end. Heller did an amazing job creating a world you never want to leave. The novel explores morality and examines love at its deepest level. The main character, Elle, must make a life-changing decision that could affect her life forever – her husband or her childhood friend. There are many choices you can make in life. However, your choice can hurt someone, so you must think things through before taking action. 


between me and you allison winn scotch

Between Me and You 

by Allison Winn Scotch

Allison Winn Scotch’s book Between Me and You is a clever and compelling novel about love, relationship, tragedy, loss, and life. You will get to explore a lot of aspects of life. The story is about a Hollywood power couple, John and Jane Doe, who are successful actors that have been through a lot together. They are beautiful, talented, and rich people that seem like they have everything together, but behind the scenes, they struggle with their relationship. Their stressful lifestyle took a toll on their relationship. Fame and money don’t do you any good if you do not spend time together or communicate with one another. This book is filled with many valuable lessons that can remind you of what actually matters in life. 


us david nicholls

Us

by David Nicholls

Marriage is not only about laughter, joy, and happiness since many complications can arise in a relationship. In the deftly funny novel Us, a man tries to hold his marriage and family together. Throughout the story, you’ll see that obtaining happiness requires ongoing effort. Situations, personalities, and unexpected events can change at any moment because the future is unpredictable. Whether you are married or in a relationship, understanding one another takes time and effort. This book provides valuable insights about marriage and what you can do to build a strong and lasting relationship. 


Beginning to End 

Marriage isn’t supposed to be a short ride where you get hit a road bump and call it quits. Struggling in married life is normal for couples because no marriage is ever perfect. Marriage takes commitment and compromise. If you want your marriage to last for many chapters instead of being a short story, it’s important to look for lessons everywhere. If you keep your eye out, you’ll find surprising insights to bring back your relationship and nurture it for the long haul.

We hope this list of books helps spark some inspiration for your marriage! Are there any other fiction books about marriage you love? Share them with us in the community!


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