Why is marriage so stressful at times? And how can we prevent a marriage from going bad or rescue one that already has? After 40 years of research, John Gottman, Ph.D. has answered these questions. Here is what he says:
1. Enhance Your Love Maps: Emotionally close couples are familiar with each other’s world. They know the major events in each other’s history, and they keep updating their information.
2. Nurture Fondness & Admiration: Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a long-lasting romance.
3. Turn Toward Each Other: In relationships people make requests for their partner’s attention, affection, and support. People either turn toward one another in response to these requests or they turn away. Turning toward is the basis of emotional connection, romance, passion, and a good sex life. It creates secure attachment.
4. Let Your Partner Influence You: The happiest, most stable marriages are those in which the husband treats his wife with respect and does not resist sharing power and decision making with her.
5. Solve Your Solvable Problems: Work together as a team to attack problems not each other goes a lone way.
6. Honor Each Others' Dreams: Support each other in your goals and dreams.
7. Create Shared Meaning: Marriage and relationships can have an intentional sense of shared purpose, meaning, family values, and cultural legacy that forms a shared inner life.
Taken fromSeven Principles for Making Marriage Work, By Dr. John Gottman PhD. and Nan Silver, Three Rivers Press, 1999. For further information on practical, research-based relationship tools for couples, contact The Gottman Institute at www.gottman.com and visit www.gottsex.com.
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Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran