The best books to avoid some of my relationship mistakes (of which there were many)

Why am I passionate about this?

I chose this topic because I learned a lot of self-defense mechanisms in childhood that did not continue to serve me well as an adult. This behavior carried into my romantic relationships more than anywhere else, and for a long time, my "picker" was broken, meaning I kept picking unhealthy people to be in relationships. Reading books like the ones I’ve recommended on this list helped change that for me over time. My heart breaks for other women and men whose pickers are also broken. It doesn’t have to stay that way. Get yourself these books. 


I wrote...

Dry as Rain

By Gina Holmes,

Book cover of Dry as Rain

What is my book about?

He’d give anything to forget the one thing she can’t remember. From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a powerfully moving story that tests the limits of love’s forgiveness. Like many marriages, Eric and Kyra Yoshida’s has fallen apart slowly, one lost dream and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal finally pushes them beyond reconciliation. Just when it looks like forgive and forget is no longer an option, a car accident gives Eric the second chance of a lifetime. A concussion causes his wife to forget details of her life, including the chasm between them. No one knows when—or if—Kyra’s memory will return, but Eric seizes the opportunity to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Gina Holmes Why did I love this book?

This book really should be recommended reading for every human. Having good boundaries isn’t just about not letting other people not walk all over you or staying in your own lane, it’s about recognizing when you are carrying another person’s backpack, and letting their actions steal your peace. If you think you don’t have boundaries issues, you definitely do. Most, if not all, of us do to some extent. I re-read this book a couple of times a year.

By Henry Cloud, John Townsend,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Boundaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join the millions who have learned how to take control of their lives by setting healthy boundaries with their spouses, children, friends, parents, coworkers, and even themselves, in order to live life to the fullest.

Do you feel like your life has spiraled out of control? Have you focused so much on being loving and unselfish that you've forgotten your own limits? Do you find yourself taking responsibility for other people's feelings and problems? In Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend teach you the ins and outs of setting the boundaries that will transform your daily life.

Boundaries, a…


Book cover of How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved

Gina Holmes Why did I love this book?

Although I am remarried to a very kind man whom I adore and treats me like a princess, I have not always chosen so wisely. This book was instrumental l in avoiding another abuser. It teaches both men and women practical skills for recognizing a person with toxic traits. 

By Sandra L. Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This savvy, straightforward book pairs real women's stories with research and the expertise of a domestic violence counselor to help women of all ages identify Dangerous Men -- before they become too involved.

Brown describes eight types of Dangerous Men, their specific traits and characteristics. In separate chapters, she explores victim’s stories that tell how they came in contact with this type of Dangerous Man and their outcome. Brown then shows readers how to develop a Defense Strategy -- how to spot, avoid, or rid themselves of this type of Dangerous Man.

Brown explains women's innate "red flag" systems --…


Book cover of In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

Gina Holmes Why did I love this book?

This is another great book that allows you to recognize toxic behavior. Per the book’s description: "A co-worker may quietly undermine your efforts while professing to be helpful, or your boss may prey on your weaknesses. Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it. Often those they abuse are only vaguely aware of what is happening to them."

This book is helpful in teaching how to recognize and respond to manipulative people. It made me realize that not all toxic people act the way they do as a defense mechanism, but some are truly acting on the offensive, rather than defensive and are fully aware of their toxic behavior. This was a real eye-opener. 

By George K. Simon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Sheep's Clothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dr. George Simon knows how people push your buttons.  Your children--especially teens--are expert at it, as is your mate.  A co-worker may quietly undermine your efforts while professing to be helpful, or your boss may prey on your weaknesses.  Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it.  Often those they abuse are only vaguely aware of what is happening to them.  In this eye-opening book, you'll also discover...

* 4 reasons why victims have a hard time leaving abusive relationships

* Power tactics manipulators use to push their own agendas and justify their behavior

*Ways…


Book cover of The Five Love Languages

Gina Holmes Why did I love this book?

This book has been a mega-bestseller forever and for great reason. In this book, you learn to recognize what your partner, or other loved ones, need to feel loved. It has helped me be a better mother, a better wife, sister, friend, and so forth. It’s also helped me rule people out when I was dating because I’ve learned the hard way that a relationship is smoother sailing (for me at least) if our love languages at least somewhat align. 

By Gary Chapman,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Five Love Languages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through fun-filled presentations before a live audience, Gary Chapman helps you identify your personal love language. He also helps you understand the love language of your spouse.


Book cover of The Love Dare

Gina Holmes Why did I love this book?

This was a book that when I was trying to save my marriage, really taught me what it meant to choose love even when I wasn’t feeling it. You will be asked to do acts of kindness and selflessness each day as part of this challenge and even if it doesn’t change the other person an iota, I promise it will change the dare-taker. It’s a good tool and could mean all the difference for two non-abusive people that were at least at some point, in love with one another. 

By Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Love Dare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unconditional love is eagerly promised at weddings, but rarely practiced in real life. As a result, romantic hopes are often replaced with disappointment in the home. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

The Love Dare, the New York Times No. 1 best seller that has sold five million copies and was major plot device in the popular movie Fireproof, is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take. It’s time to…


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Book cover of The Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help

Joy Loverde

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Trusted for more than three decades by family caregivers and professionals alike, this comprehensive and reassuring caregiving guide offers the crucial information you need to look after your elders and plan for the future.

Being a caregiver for aging parents, close friends and family, and other elders in your life is an overwhelming experience, whether you are one who has stepped into this role without warning or one who is also contemplating their own care plan. Now in its fourth edition, The Complete Eldercare Planner will help you navigate today’s complex caregiving landscape while addressing your unique needs.

By Joy Loverde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Eldercare Planner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Trusted for more than three decades by family caregivers and professionals alike, this comprehensive and reassuring caregiving guide offers the crucial information you need to look after your elders and plan for the future.

“The most complete resource between two covers.”—Woman’s Day
 
Being a caregiver for aging parents, close friends and family, and other elders in your life is an overwhelming experience, whether you are one who has stepped into this role without warning or one who is also contemplating their own care plan. Now in its fourth edition, The Complete Eldercare Planner will help you navigate today’s complex caregiving…


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