Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert
By John M. Gottman
Published by Three Rivers Press

Within five minutes of observing their interacting, Dr. Gottman can predict with 91% accuracy if any married couple will stay together or not. Five minutes. 91% accuracy. Is that scary or what?

Of course, Gottman will need his Love Lab located in Seattle, Washington as the background and he usually does record the couple's interactions for more like a 24 hour period. But he has observed and confirmed his understanding of what makes marriage work after years of research. The benefit for all of us is that he has found seven principles for any couple to save and/or strenthen their marriage now.

These principles are:

  1. Be familiar with each other's world (Gottman calls this enhancing your love maps)
  2. Nurture your fondness and admiration
  3. Turn towards each other instead of away
  4. Let your partner influence you
  5. Solve your solvable problems
  6. Overcome gridlock
  7. Create shared meaning
Now there are hundreds of self-help books for couples and marriages out there. But I think this is the best one and would highly recommend it to any couple whether or not they are having difficulties. Not only does Gottman cover these principles but he also shows how he predicts divorce, what the two kinds of marital conflicts are, how to cope with solvable problems and gives hope. He also provides lots of hands-on questionnaires and experiments. These are all found in the book (one marriage book I read had only one set of surveys and your spouse had to go on line and purchase the second set for themselves -- a case for divorce right there).  

What does this have to do with my faith, anyway? I know we compare our life with Christ with being married in our Christian marriage ceremonies but rarely do we actually live out our faith in that way. But what a great way to strengthen your walk with God! Get to know God better, nurture your admiration and love for God, turn to God not away, let God influence you, and live the serenity prayer! I would think God is with us in hard times and we will have times when we feel distant from God. Doing all these things will strengthen and create new and deeper meanings in our lives of faith.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is married, thinking about marriage or know someone who is! 

Happy reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

1 comment:

  1. This is probably the best book on marriage on the market. Gottman thinks outside the box, making understanding how to have a good marriage both practical and possible. Men, especially, need to read this book.