'The Secret of Happy Parents' is one in a series of books by the Biddulphs (husband and wife authors) on relationships and parenting. It is my first one and did a good enough job to make sure the others are likely to land on the reading list in due course.
The book covers primarily happy or put differently - healthy - relationships. It goes over topics such as: - committment and how to successfully grow it, - determining whether the relationship is one of love, lust or liking and how that differs between the two partners, - finding out how you work as a couple, - how to manage relationship crises, - the love life, and last but not least, - how children alter the equilibrium and how to ensure the relationship gains, rather than suffers from the addition.
As seen from the topics above, the children and / or parenting are but a component of the book and the majority of the content will be equally applicable to couples who have not (yet) taken the plunge of parenthood.
Much of the book is based on transactional analysis and many of the approaches can be applied relatively quickly; with committment of both parties success can be achieved without the intervention of an outside therapist, too.
The other real advantage of the book is the warm and heartfelt writing style, which descends neither into lecturing, nor gets removed from sound experience based recommendations. As plenty of practical cases are presented, it gets easier to find examples of how to handle your particular situation, which would have been harder with only a step by step guide.
Overall a book I can definitely recommend to all couples, or alternatively to people who are yet to plunge into a relationship, so as to provide them with a more realistic assessment of what it entails (in order to make it a happy one).