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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert Hardcover – March 16, 1999
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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
From the Inside Flap
ers 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 th
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That's why I recommend reading <i>Seven Principles</i> with a highlighter in hand. You can mark the passages in which Gottman gives specific advice/instruction so that when you revisit the book you can quickly skip over the filler. (The filler consists of examples and discussion of how research methods. You really only need to read those parts once. Identifying the applicable parts of the book quickly will help facilitate your revisiting the book for advice over time.)
My partner and I both have a copy and both read it regularly. We participate in the exercises and reflect our actions and reactions against the principles laid out in the book. It's a hands on book. It doesn't just suggest what to say or do, but has exercises that provide a framework to learn more about your partner.
My partner isn't just the love of my life, but he is my best friend. I don't credit "The Seven Principles..." for making us great companions, but it certainly has helped to strengthen us and keep us such.
Whether you're straight or gay, married or dating, just starting out or 20 years deep, I strongly believe this book will be as helpful to you as it has been to me.
The author has a pretty high opinion of himself - he has great ideas but he didn't solve the Israeli/Palestine conflict.