If you’re like me, you want to know more. . .

Whether you like using your local library, or you’d like to click a link here, these are books I recommend. We can get overwhelmed with choices and voices. That’s why I want to make it easy for you. Many of the books here are what I’ve referenced in counseling sessions or mentioned in my book, Beyond Messy Relationships.

Many of these are great supplements to counseling sessions. But don’t listen too much, or I might lose my job as a counselor! If you’ve come across other helpful resources that I need to add here, let me know through the contact page.

Mental Health Challenges in Relationships

On a personal level, with a diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), I’ve become aware of how it has affected marriages in my counseling office. Author, Melissa Orlov helps us understand symptoms of the diagnosis and how common messes emerge between spouses when one or both have ADHD. You’ll become more aware of how if affects your marriage. I mention this resource in chapter 21 entitled Risk of Bipolar in Beyond Messy Relationships. Similar symptoms of ADHD show up in those who are diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

I listened to Dr. Amador’s book twice in the midst of my husband’s episode. By the way, I listen to a lot of audio books. The author tunes us into the reality of recovery, symptoms, and aftermath of psychosis. Anosognosia is a condition in the brain’s prefrontal cortex that prevents insights and accurate self-perceptions. It affects a percentage people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. What we judge as resistance or stubbornness may instead be a physiological impossibility. The author’s personal story was the catalyst for his book. I mention his resources in my book, chapter 24 entitled The Dance of Mental Illness of Beyond Messy Relationships.

Mark Lukach touched a deep place in mine and my husband’s marriage while in recovery. His courage, along with his courageous wife, modeled a rare resilience among us. Especially, those of us in messy marriages with mental illness. With a superb memoir-writing style, Mark’s book has helped my clients. You can help but develop empathy that wouldn’t have otherwise happen. I’m honored that this international best-selling author endorsed my book, Beyond Messy Relationships. His website is: marklukach.com

Covert Emotional Relationship and Spiritual Abuse

Leslie Vernick’s books have been a staple in my counseling office for years. I’m thankful that she is an endorser of my book, Beyond Messy Relationships. She writes for Christians and includes plenty of Scripture references. This book is a must read for every evangelical pastor. Leslie has influenced me and my clients not only with this book, but also The Emotionally Destructive Relationship. She also provides online support. Her website is:

Warning to men before reading this book. I’ve made more than one angry for suggesting this read. And for men who are ready to see covert emotional abuse as a systemic issue and do their part, it can be transformational. The issue is so ingrained and catches many marriage therapists unaware. And that can be a disaster for those coming in for couples counseling. Author, Lundy Bandcroft is my hero and advocate for women. I mention his book in chapter 16 of “Beyond Messy Relationships.” Other books of his include: Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?, Should I Stay or Should I Go? and When Dad Hurts Mom.

If you’re a faithful Christian wife, but have struggled with a confusing marriage, this book is for you. Natalie Hoffman’s courageous writing is opening up the “me too” movement in the church. I was on her podcast called “Flying Free,” episode # 34. Make sure you listen to “Breaking Destructive Relationship Patterns.” Her book and podcast guests have helped many clients begin their journey of “Flying Free.” Because they’ve asked themselves many times, “Is it Me?”

But It’s Your Family

Patricia Evans – The Verbally Abusive Relationship

Safe People

Other Recommended Books

The Gifts of Imperfection

For Individual Awareness & Growth

Falling Upward

Enneagram – Spiritual Rhythms

Driven to Distraction

Wired for Dating

For Relationship Awareness & Growth

How to Act Right – Vernick

Confessions of a Terrible Husband


The Path Between Us

Necessary Endings

Hope for the Separated

Divorce and Remarriage in the church

Receiving Love

(As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small percentage if you buy from the links on this page.)