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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage…

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the… (original 1999; edition 2015)

by John Gottman PhD (Author)

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1,235159,815 (4)1
Title:The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert
Authors:John Gottman PhD (Author)
Info:Harmony (2015), Edition: Revised ed., 320 pages
Collections:Home, Your library
Tags:psychology & science

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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman (1999)


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Principle 1: Enhance your love maps (how well you know each other)
2: Nurture your fondness & admiration
3: Turn toward each other instead of away
4: Let your partner influence you
5: Solve your solvable problems
6: Overcome gridlock (learn to live with your unsolvable problems)
7: Create shared meaning

"Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling)

Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse...."positive sentiment override." (20)

Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other's world [they have a richly detailed love map]. (48)

Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a rewarding and long-lasting romance....happily married couples...feel that the person they married is worthy of honor and respect. (63)

Emotionally intelligent husbands....[have figured out] how to honor [their] wives and convey [their] respect. (109)

The two kinds of marital conflict: Either they can be resolved, or they are perpetual, which means they will be a part of your lives forever, in some form or another. (129)

The basis for coping effectively with either kind of problem is the same: communicating basic acceptance of your partner's personality. (149)

Model for conflict resolution:
1. Soften your startup
2. Learn to make and receive repair attempts
3. Soothe yourself and each other
4. Compromise
5. Be tolerant of each other's faults
...To a certain degree, my fifth principle comes down to having good manners. It means treating your spouse with the same respect you offer to company. (158)

Softening the startup is crucial to resolving conflicts because, my research finds, discussions invariably end on the same not they begin. (161)

What separates these blissful mothers (33%) from the rest (67%)...has everything to do with whether the husband experiences the transformation to parenthood along with his wife or gets left behind. (212)
  JennyArch | Aug 8, 2018 |
This book is very practical, gives great insight, and even has exercises and questionnaires to help along the way! Highly recommended. ( )
  kfiore88 | Apr 29, 2018 |
Admittedly, I flipped through most of this, because we're still doing okay. It just seems like common sense to me (catch up with what's going on with each other, be affectionate, don't be critical, learn to compromise), but I think of the toxic relationships I know, and I can see how what I think of as "silly exercises" can really help. Especially the last few chapters of the book, which give examples of frequent points of contention between couples, and show the difference between problems that are solvable, and those that are permanent, and focus on the former, to save yourself a lot of grief.

I am making a mental note though to express more of an interest in my SO's life. So that's my homework. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
The best book on the subject. Well written, backed by research and full of helpful exercises. I would recommend it to anyone that cares about their relationship. No need to be married or to have relationship issues to learn from this book. ( )
  ralu1150 | Jul 15, 2016 |
I was hoping to be struck by lightning with this book. My marriage is pretty solid but I could always use improving in the relationship department (who couldn't?). So I was a little worried when the first piece of advice sounded something like this, and I'm paraphrasing: if you can accommodate each other's "crazy" side and handle it with caring, affection and respect, your marriage can thrive. Talk about a duh moment. Of course ANY relationship is going to benefit from caring, affection and respect. The advice gets better and as a result I do see my relationship differently. If I had had more time with the book I would have tried some of the quizzes and exercises. Maybe next time. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John M. Gottmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Silver, NanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0609805797, Paperback)

According to most relationship books, the key to a solid marriage is communication, communication, communication. Phooey, says John Gottman, Ph.D., author of the much-lauded Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. There's much more to a solid, "emotionally intelligent" marriage than sharing every feeling and thought, he points out--though most couples therapists ineffectively (and expensively) harp on these concepts.

Gottman, the director of the Gottman Institute, has found through studying hundreds of couples in his "love lab" that it only takes five minutes for him to predict--with 91 percent accuracy--which couples will eventually divorce. He shares the four not-so-obvious signs of a troubled relationship that he looks for, using sometimes amusing passages from his sessions with married couples. (One standout is Rory, the pediatrician who didn't know the name of the family dog because he spent so much time at work.)

Gottman debunks many myths about divorce (primary among them that affairs are at the root of most splits). He also reveals surprising facts about couples who stay together. They do engage in screaming matches. And they certainly don't resolve every problem. "Take Allan and Betty," he writes. "When Allan gets annoyed at Betty, he turns on ESPN. When Betty is upset with him, she heads for the mall. Then they regroup and go on as if nothing's happened. Never in forty-five years of marriage have they sat down to have a 'dialogue' about their relationship." While this may sound like a couple in trouble, Gottman found that they pass the love-lab tests and say honestly that "they are both very satisfied with their relationship and they love each other deeply."

Through a series of in-depth quizzes, checklists, and exercises, similar to the ones he uses in his workshops, Gottman provides the framework for coping with differences and strengthening your marriage. His profiles of troubled couples rescued from the brink of divorce (including that of Rory, the out-of-touch doctor) and those of still-happy couples who reinvigorate their relationships are equally enlightening. --Erica Jorgensen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Drawing on research into the dynamics of healthy relationships, a study of the basic principles that make up a long-lasting marriage shares advice on how to cope with such issues as work, children, money, sex, and stress.

(summary from another edition)

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