Making Marriage Work

I’ve quoted and recommended John Gottman for married couples and for folks interested in marriage.  Over my years as a newlywed, I’ve enjoyed learning about marriage from the scholar and marriage researcher.  He and his wife have built a more than thirty-year career answering the question, how do you make marriages work?

Margarita Tartakovsky wrote a piece summing up one of my favorite Gottman books, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work.  I imagine there is much that you’ll agree with in Gottman, even if you aren’t married.  If you’re interested in seeing Margarita’s article, click here.  From her summary:

1. “Enhance your love maps.” Love is in the details.

2. “Nurture your fondness and admiration.” Happy couples respect each other and have a general positive view of each other.

3. “Turn toward each other instead of away.” According to Gottman, “[Real-life romance] is kept alive each time you let your spouse know he or she is valued during the grind of everyday life.”

4. “Let your partner influence you.” Happy couples are a team that considers each other’s perspective and feelings.

5. “Solve your solvable problems.” Gottman says that there are two types of marital problems: conflicts that can be resolved and perpetual problems that can’t. It’s important for couples to determine which ones are which.

6. “Overcome gridlock.” Gottman says that the goal with perpetual problems is for couples to “move from gridlock to dialogue.” What usually underlies gridlock is unfulfilled dreams.

7. “Create shared meaning.” “Marriage isn’t just about raising kids, splitting chores, and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together…

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