What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day-to-day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones. They have what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage. From The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, Ph.D.& Nan Silver
There is one book on my shelf that I am constantly having to replace. It is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver. I am constantly replacing it because I lend it out and don’t get it back. It is my favorite book to lend to couples because it outlines in very easy to understand and specific ways to improve a marriage.
Dr. Gottman’s seven principles are: Enhance Your Love Map (know who your partner is); Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration; Turn Towards Each Other Instead of Away; Let Your Partner Influence You; Solve Your Solvable Problems; Overcome Gridlock; and Create Shared Meaning. Dr. Gottman’s basic premise is that you may not always like your partner, but your marriage will be more successful if you like him or her more often than not. His book aims at helping couples to nurture these positive feelings by exploring each other’s likes, dislikes and dreams. He also encourages readers to find things to like about each other and to rely on each other. He also helps couples to find ways to compromise on solvable problems and come to a place of caring and empathy on the problems where compromise cannot be reached.
This book is a wonderful place for couples to start strengthening and improving their relationships. Now I just have to get a new copy to replace the most recent one I lost. Perhaps I will pick up two.