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