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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An eminently practical guide to an emotionally intelligent -- and long-lasting -- marriage."        
-- Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

"Gottman stays refreshingly down to earth, rather than on Mars and Venus."
-- Bill Marvel and Geoffrey Norman, American Way

"Gottman comes to this endeavor with the best of qualifications: he's got the spirit of a scientist and the soul of a romantic."        
-- Newsweek

"Twenty-five years of landmark marital research."
-- USA Today

"Offers something every relationship can benefit from."
-- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Astonishing new research!"
-- Woman's World

"Debunks many myths about divorce . . . reveals surprising facts . . . enlightening!"
-- Amazon.com

About the Author

JOHN GOTTMAN, a leading research scientist on marriage and family, is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington; executive director of his laboratory, the Relationship Research Institute; and cofounder of the Gottman Institute. He held an NIMH research scientist career award for twenty years. Dr. Gottman is the author of more than two hundred professional journal articles and forty-two books, as well as the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his extensive contributions to marriage and family research.

NAN SILVER is a former editor in chief of Health magazine and coauthor, with Dr. Gottman, of What Makes Love Last: and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Revised ed. edition (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553447718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553447712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr Conrade Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 24, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
When it was first published back in 1999, this book made a huge impact that shot authors and marriage counselors, John Gottmann and Nan Silver to fame, becoming their most popular book. Using interviews, research, and scienfic data analysis, the authors begin with a startling claim: They can predict an impending divorce with a 91% accuracy just by looking at various signs. Moreover, they criticize most marital therapies as ineffective. They can recognize the four horsemen of the relationship apocalypse. They can also tell the health of a marriage by asking a few questions and observing the responses. Fortunately, they are able to come up with seven principles not just to make marriage work, but to sustain it over the long haul. In brief, the principles are:

1) Learning to enhance one's love maps
2) Nurturing fondness and admiration for each other
3) Turning toward each other instead of away from
4) Letting One's Partner Influence You
5) Solve the Solvable problems
6) Overcoming gridlock over unsolvable ones
7) Creating shared meaning

Filled with plenty of tips and advice, the authors know that marriage has far more complications in real life. In fact, one criticism of the first edition of this book is the heavy dependence on data and scientific analysis, just like a book having lots of theory but little practice. This second edition tries to correct this imbalance by putting their findings to work through the Gottmann Institute. Using direct support for couples, marital therapies, and training sessions, they have accumulated more statistics on the Seven Principles. They claim that couples who read the book without additional professional assistance "were significantly happier in their relationship.
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This is a fantastic book that is very helpful for all couples. The advice is very simple and easy to put into practice. I can already see a difference in our relationship after just a couple days of mindfully applying these principles.

I would recommend this book to everyone. I have already started telling my family about it. Even if you marriage is not in trouble, these are great things to keep in mind that will definitely serve to strengthen your marriage.

Dr. Gottman can predict divorce with 92% accuracy. He explains how he does so in a very informative what-not-to-do sort of way. He makes it very easy to identify things that we may be doing wrong, and he explains how to counteract those negative behaviors.

This book is easy to read. It is interesting and oh-so informative. Many self-help books are chock-full of fluff and filler that is boring and redundant. I honestly did not feel that way about The Seven Principles.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had the opportunity to review this book from NetGalley and jumped at the chance. I studied John Gottman when I was a psychology undergrad and again in graduate school. I've always respected John Gottman in the realm of marriage therapy, as most of his teaching stems from empirically-based research findings. His "love lab" at the University of Washington is a wealth of data and the data doesn't lie. I enjoy his statistics and how spot-on he is on his assessments. I also enjoy that many times he points out that even happy and healthy relationships can have issues...but the reason they don't tank your marriage is because of the strong foundation you and your partner have. He really stresses the importance of your "love map" which is primarily how well and how deeply you know your partner (their friends, stresses, dreams, fears, hobbies, likes/dislikes, etc.). I would count myself lucky in that I consider myself to have a solid and healthy marriage in this respect. Their were checklists and exercises at the end of the chapter which you can take with your partner...and we did...and it was fun to see how much we knew about each other and it actually led to other conversations unexpectedly, that was amazing. Now, you always need to take these types of books with a grain of salt...but I fully believe that there is something to be gaining by a John Gottman book, whether you are trying to make your marriage better or if you simply want to do a tune-up. Even the best marriage can be made better. I am glad to have this book as a resource for years to come.

<i> I received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review </i>
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Read this book just when I was about to give up on my marriage. It turns out that there have been so many things I took for granted and this book helped me realize exactly what my husband and I have been doing right, what we've been doing wrong and what else we can do to strengthen the bond. This saved me from so much marital grief and frustration.
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Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book for sure. I have read several books about 'making marriages work' and found this one to be one of the better ones. It is very readable and has some good information. I do not pretend to be an expert on making marriages work but having been married for 47 years and going through a whole lot including a separation due to the Vietnam War, the loss of a child, illnesses, minor and major events, I think that truly nobody can tell anybody else how to make a marriage work. What works for some won't work for others. I would take the information in this book for how it can apply to each individual situation and go from there. I would not use this book or any other such book as a Bible for making marriages work.
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