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

Tekijä: John M. Gottman, Nan Silver (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2,107247,491 (4.04)1
Family & Relationships. Nonfiction. Just as Masters and Johnson were pioneers in the study of human sexuality, so Dr. John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage. As a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and the founder and director of the Seattle Marital and Family Institute, he has studied the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over the course of many years. His findings, and his heavily attended workshops, have already turned around thousands of faltering marriages. This book is the culmination of his life's work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Straightforward in their approach, yet profound in their effect, these principles teach partners new and startling strategies for making their marriage work. Gottman helps couples focus on each other, on paying attention to the small day-to-day moments that, strung together, make up the heart and soul of any relationship. Being thoughtful about ordinary matters provides spouses with a solid foundation for resolving conflict when it does occur and finding strategies for living with those issues that cannot be resolved. Including questionnaires, exercises, and quizzes in a supplemental PDF, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 24) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
It is, perhaps, fitting, that I gave this book 3 stars, placing it between my rating for Why Marriages Succeed or Fail (2 stars) and And Baby Makes Three (5). Gottman's books tend to get better the more recently they are published. The substance does not change dramatically, but the presentation is refined each time. Thus, if I were to recommend a Gottman book of the ones I have read, I recommend And Baby Makes Three. Despite the focus on becoming parents, most of the content is applicable to any romantic relationship, as I noted in my review. And based on the trend, I suspect that 2012's What Makes Love Last? is an even more refined version of the ideas. One question you may ask yourself is: Erika, why do you keep reading Gottman's works if they are all similar in content? Largely, it is because the solid relationship advice Gottman gives is valuable to review every few years.

The key ideas of the book are that relationships are built on a sense of trust and we-ness. Four behaviors are strong indicators that trust is degrading to a harmful point in a relationship: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Avoiding criticism and contempt does not mean always agreeing with your partner or keeping your negative feelings inside. Rather, it is about avoiding making your complaints about your spouse's personality rather than about your reaction to their behaviors. It's the difference between, "You're always late" (criticism), "You can't be trusted to do anything, even arrive on time" (contempt), and "When you were late for our dinner out, I was really upset because I had been looking forward to it all week" (complaint). Honest complaints are a necessary part of a relationship. Criticism and contempt damage it.

After laying out how these behaviors tend to destroy a relationship, Gottman and Silver go into seven principles for improving relationships. Although these are presented separately, they reinforce each other. The more you practice some, the easier the others become.

First is enhancing love maps. Having a deep understanding of your partner's present and past, hopes and dreams, makes it easier for you to respond to them in an understanding way. It also helps you respond to them in a more positive manner. You are less likely to fall into a pattern of thinking your spouse is unreliable if you remember all the times they were reliable.

Next is to nurture your sense of fondness and admiration for each other. By taking time to remember and observe the things that attracted you to your partner, you strengthen your relationship and your ability to view them positively. One thing that stuck out in this discussion is that couples who are headed for separation often have trouble remember what it was that attracted them to each other in the first place or what it was they enjoyed about their early days together. Often, couples who have troubles seeing the good in each other now can start to reconnect over their past. If they can no longer do this, that is a very negative sign.

Third is turning toward each other. However the authors' presentation of ideas changes, this is one that is always called out as critical. For a relationship to be strong, the participants need to turn toward each other when one of them makes a bid for affection. This includes being responsive when a partner tries to make repair attempts during conflict. Turning toward each other also matters in the day-to-day nurturing of a relationship, such as being responsive to a partner's need to reconnect at the end of the day.

Partners need to accept each other's influence. Gottman and Silver note that both partners need to do this, but also notes that in US culture (that being the one for which he has data), it tends to be men who are not as open to accepting influence. Accepting influence does not mean giving into your partner, especially when you do not agree. Rather, it means treating them as a partner in decision making and taking their concerns seriously when they express them.

The next two principles are related to problem solving. The authors distinguish between solvable problems and persistent problems. Solvable problems are those that are situational and can be fixed. Persistent problems are those where there are underlying issues that are not specific to the situation at hand, although disagreements over them are often triggered by specific situations. Whether a problem is solvable or persistent depends on the feelings that the participants bring to a disagreement. A disagreement about buying a car can be a situational problem about current finances or a persistent problem about attitudes toward money. Also, situational problems can become persistent problems over time if they are not handled.

Solvable problems can generally solved more productively if you approach disagreement in a productive manner. This book's method includes having a soft startup to a discussion, making repair attempts during the discussion, taking time to sooth yourself and each other during a discussion, and finding compromises.

The authors also stresses becoming tolerant of each other's differences. This is relevant for solvable problems but even more so for persistent problems. Persistent problems will probably never be solved. One partner may like order, another want the freedom to not leave their home a bit messy. One partner may be religious and the other not. One may be a spendthrift and the other thrifty. Couples can successfully live with deep differences like this as long as they come to see these as something that they can live with and even appreciate. Maybe your partner is a spendthrift and you are thrifty, but you can learn to appreciate the generosity that comes with that -- and learn how to compromise and set budgets. Likely, you will never see fully eye-to-eye on persistent issues, but you can learn to be ok with that.

The last principle is that successful couples create shared meaning. They find the areas in their life where they can create a deep inner life that belongs to both of them. This can come in the form of shared values, shared traditions, or even shared life missions. In some ways, this sense of shared meaning is the most fundamental of the principles because with it, the rest become easier. It is also the hardest; without all of the others, creating shared meaning is difficult.

P.S. I have also read, and really enjoyed, The Science of Trust. It is distinctly more academic in tone and thus not quite comparable to Gottman's straight-up relationship advice books.

P.P.S. This was a book I'd gotten on Audible years ago when I had some credits to use up. Because of the focus on questionnaires to analyze a relationship and lists of ideas for how to improve things it was actually a terrible choice for an audio book.

P.P.P.S. The language of this book focuses on marriages and is rather heteronormative. I tend to be rather "eh, it was published in 1999" about that, but others may be more annoyed. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
I read most of this during marriage counseling but my partner just wanted to quit without trying. ( )
  John_Hughel | Jun 25, 2022 |
I picked up this book when I read an excerpt about a long-married couple who swept all of their major problems under a rug and never discussed their relationship. I was curious to discover how they could be considered "happily married" when they broke all the rules of communication and compromise.

What I discovered through reading this book is irreconcilable differences exist in EVERY marriage, even happy ones!

Mr. Gottman shows how to live with irreconcilable differences in seven simple steps. Of course, simple does not necessarily mean easy!

If you're in a romantic relationship and wondering if it's possible to learn how to live with a messy partner when you're neat, or how to live with a compulsive shopper when you're a saver, or how to live with a partner who must socialize every night when you just want to stay home and curl up with a good book, then this is a MUST READ. You'll gain valuable insight and practical advice on the nature of true love and what it takes to live "happily ever after."

( )
  AngelaLam | Feb 8, 2022 |
I hardly know what to say! This book seemed pretty sensible, but obviously it didn't work on me. Your relationship is probably doomed, but the exercises are thought-provoking and will keep you busy? ( )
  jollyavis | Dec 14, 2021 |
Having never been married, I couldn't tell you if these recommendations are valid for that particular state or not, however: I liked them. It made sense and I certainly see aspects of these traits in successful marriages that I've observed. I pulled back a bit and observed some of my own relationships based on these principles and I found them to be pretty accurate.
ANYWAY.
I liked it. It's rather like your teeth. You will have to meet the dentist at some point in your life- at least for a cleaning. So why not begin good habits like brushing your teeth before you meet the dentist? So it is with this book. Most people will have a chance for marriage. . . so why not start stacking the cards in your favor and study up on it? ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 24) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (8 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
John M. Gottmanensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Silver, NanTekijäpäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
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Teoksen muut nimet
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (4)

Family & Relationships. Nonfiction. Just as Masters and Johnson were pioneers in the study of human sexuality, so Dr. John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage. As a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and the founder and director of the Seattle Marital and Family Institute, he has studied the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over the course of many years. His findings, and his heavily attended workshops, have already turned around thousands of faltering marriages. This book is the culmination of his life's work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Straightforward in their approach, yet profound in their effect, these principles teach partners new and startling strategies for making their marriage work. Gottman helps couples focus on each other, on paying attention to the small day-to-day moments that, strung together, make up the heart and soul of any relationship. Being thoughtful about ordinary matters provides spouses with a solid foundation for resolving conflict when it does occur and finding strategies for living with those issues that cannot be resolved. Including questionnaires, exercises, and quizzes in a supplemental PDF, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.

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