John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life's work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Packed with practical questionnaires and exercises, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.
Dr. John Gottman has some great examples of couples he has studied that are relatable then some that take the subject to an extreme to prove a point that his method works. I read books like this as a preventative measure and this ended up bringing to light some situations that could have been turned into a contemptuous events, but were nipped in the butt early. I'm still working through and reflecting back on several exercises. There are exercises from creating personal lists of things you remember your spouse doing that made you feel loved to have maybe when you are not feeling like they care as much to interactive questions to help you better understand and appreciate how they react to situations and why. I'd recommend this book to anyone. It covers a lot of topics and has a lot of research to prove his points. I easily would give this a five out of five star rating.
We got into a routine of daily picking one question for each other from the book, then taking turns to be the first to answer and email it to the other during the work day. We weren't so overwhelmed this way with answering them all at once and we could take more time in each answer.
A few of the questions I enjoyed learning from and answering the most:
- Did your parents show you that they loved you? How? Was affection readily expressed in your family? If not, what are the effects and implications of this for your marriage?
- What would you most like to change about yourself?
- What significant goals have you yet to realize? This can be creating something or having a particular experience. Minor examples are learning to play the banjo, climbing a mountain, and so on.
- What legacy would you like to leave when you die?
My biggest take away from this book was that assumptions and expectations are crippling. Don't assume you know anything about your spouse and always give them the benefit of the doubt.