Can anyone provide resources for learning to be in a healthy long-term relationship?
October 23, 2011 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone provide resources for learning to be in a healthy long-term relationship?

It's been two months since I came out of a three year relationship and I realized a lot of it was unhealthy. I came out of this one with a lot of my core beliefs tossed around. I realized I'm more sexist than I thought I was. I can be emotionally manipulative. I realized that the relationships I see my family have are not as healthy as they could be.

It seems like people figure out what they want in a relationship by piecing together some messy amalgam of what they see from family, friends, and media (books, movies, etc). This can be good and bad, depending on what they seed that pool with.

So I remember flipping through a copy of the Five Love Languages by Chapman. I thought a lot of it was applicable and not too hokey.

So can anyone provide good books or websites that at least give the spectrum of how to proceed in a relationship? I just want to see more examples of what people consider to be healthy habits so I can add it to my existing pool of data points.

I understand that it ultimately comes down to talking to your partner and coming to an agreement about what you each expect, and I'm not looking for rigid guidelines. I know the spectrum is wide. There are polyamorous people. There are insanely jealous people that make it work. There are different levels of dependence.
posted by just.good.enough to Human Relations (9 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I thought this article was pretty interesting.
posted by seriousmoonlight at 7:37 PM on October 23, 2011 [6 favorites]

Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. It really applies to any serious romantic relationships, not just marriage, and is based on actual research.
posted by Lobster Garden at 7:40 PM on October 23, 2011 [9 favorites]

I bought this book by NPR host Diane Rehm for a dollar in a used bookstore, thinking I would get a dollar's worth of enjoyment from it, and found it to be really profound and helpful during a (coincidental) down cycle of my decades-long marriage. Thinking about it now I can't cite anything specific from it, but it was calm, thoughtful, realistic yet inspiring in a very low-key, "we can't tell you what to do, but this is what works for us" way. Looks like you can still grab it for a dollar on Amazon.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:42 PM on October 23, 2011

FWIW, this book (Getting the love you want) is a bit dense in its readingand concepts, , but from my own perspective, describes a really healthy relationship....If you really want to dig in deep and work on it and make the effort....really reccommended.
posted by theKik at 8:16 PM on October 23, 2011

I really like "You Just Don't Understand" by Deborah Tannen; it really helps you understand where the other sex is coming from and how to avoid misunderstandings due to gender. Her other books are great, as well.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:25 AM on October 24, 2011

I love the book The Ethical Slut, even for monogamous relationships. Because polyamorous people are doing something a bit different, they have to carefully rethink how to have a healthy relationship. They are also removed from much of the social baggage that comes with other self-help books, which I found refreshing.
posted by cjemmott at 9:53 AM on October 24, 2011

How to Be an Adult in Relationships.
posted by Tin Man at 11:45 AM on October 24, 2011

Nthing Deborah Tannen and recommending the "He Said She Said" audio series if you can find it.
posted by jander03 at 10:02 AM on October 25, 2011

I second How to Be an Adult in Relationships, and also suggest Radiant Joy, Brilliant Love by Clinton Callahan -- best $25 you'll ever spend.
posted by dolce_voce at 1:04 PM on October 25, 2011

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