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The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work

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Daniel Herd

on 20 July 2016

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Transcript of The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles For Making Relationships Work
John M. Gottman Ph.D
Gottman seeks to answer these questions...
The Seattle Love Lab
Myths About Marriage
Neurosis or personality
problems ruin marriages
Common interests
keep you together
You scratch my
back and I'll...
Avoiding conflict will ruin
your marriage
Affairs are the root
cause of divorce
Men are not "built"
for marriage
How the love lab works
How Dr. Gottman Predicts Divorce
The First Sign: Harsh Start-up
The Second Sign: The Four Horsemen
The Third Sign: Flooding
The Forth Sign: Body Language
The Fifth Sign: Failed Repair Attempts
The Sixth Sign: Bad Memories
Enhance your love maps
Nurture Your Fondness
and Admiration
Turn Toward Each
Other Instead of Away
Let Your Partner Influence You
Solve Your Solvable Problems
Overcome Gridlock
Create Shared Meaning
Our Critique
What is a love map?
A love map is a depth of knowledge
that you have about your partner.

This is about more than knowing their
birthday or their favorite ice cream...

These questions are some examples
to gauge your love map with your partner
1. I can tell you about my partners basic philosophy in life.
2. I can tell you what stresses my partner is currently experiencing.
3. I am very familiar with my partners religious beliefs.
4. I can tell you some of my partners life dreams.
5. I can tell you in detail about my first impressions of my partner.
True or False?
Let's Meet Dr. Rory
How do you view
your history?
Positive vs Negative
Horseman 1: Criticism
Complaint vs Criticism
Complaint focuses on a specific behavior
Criticism attacks a partners character or personality
Why are relationships so tough at times?
Why do some lifelong relationships click, while others tick away like a time bomb?
How can you prevent a partnership from going bad or rescue one that already has?
Gottman and his team are now following 700 couples in different studies. His team studies newlyweds, long term couples, couples just becoming parents, couples interacting with their babies, preschoolers, and teenagers.
Divorce Stats
Chance of a first marriage ending in divorce over a 40 year period...is 67%
Half of all divorces will occur in the first 7 years.
Second marriage is as much as 10% higher than first timers.
Marriage Stats
Happily married couples have a lower rate of such maladies and also tend to be more health conscious than others.
People who stay married live 4 years longer than people who don't.
A good marriage can also help your immune system.
Who suffers most in a bad marriage?
"A peaceful divorce is better than a
war-like marriage"
Gottman claims he can predict
divorce on average 91% of the time...
He even states that this can
be done in as little as 5 minutes.
What really makes marriage work?
Evidence that the 7 Principles work.
Couples who attend Gottman's workshops have a
relapse rate about half the rate of standard marital therapy.
The relapse rate of Gottman's workshop is 20% whereas the nationwide relapse rate is 30-50%
Horseman 2: Contempt
Conveys disgust
Cynicism are types of contempt.
Fueled by long simmering negative thoughts
Contempt can lead to
physical illness
Horseman 3: Defensiveness
A way of blaming your partner
The problem isn't me
it's you...escalates conflict
Horseman 4: Stonewalling
Most likely to be the husband, but less likely in newlyweds.
Tends to look down or away without speaking, sits like an impassive stone wall.
Appears disengaged from conversation
Who am I?
Almost as important as understanding your partner is understanding yourself
Connecting with each other on the smallest level.

Turning towards each other is the basis for romance, passion, and a good sex life.
In Gottman's long term study of 130 newlyweds, shows that men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages and less likely to divorce than men who resist influence. When a man is not willing to share power there is an 81% chance that his marriage will self-destruct.
Women however should still let their men influence them...
The majority of data what even in unstable marriages women are already allowing influence of their men.
Using one of the 4 horseman to escalate a conflict is a tell-tale sign that a man is resisting his wives influence.
But...When a wife uses the 4 horseman in the same manner the marriage does not become more unstable.
Religion dictates that men should be in control of their marriages.
The wives of men who accept their influence are fall less likely to be harsh with their husbands when broaching a difficult marital topic. This increases the odds that their marriage will thrive.
A Leopard Never Changes Its Spots
Perceptual Problems
69% of marital problems are perceptual
Problems that are always present in a relationship
What are some perceptual problems you have in your relationships?
Solvable Problems
situational problems are less intense than perpetual problems by nature, but if not addressed can become perpetual.
Soft Start-ups
Effective repair attempts
Being aware of Flooding
Tolerating partners imperfections
Neurosis or personality
problems ruin marriages
Common interests keep
you together...
You scratch my back and...
Affairs are the root
cause of divorce
Men are not biologically
"built" for marriage
Gridlock is reached when a couple cannot agree or agree to disagree on perceptual or solvable problems.
The key to overcoming gridlock isn't solving the problem, it's moving from gridlock to dialogue.
Acknowledging and respecting each other's most personal hopes and dreams is the key to saving and enriching your marriage.
How to overcome the gridlock...
1. Become a dream detective
2. Work on a gridlocked
marital issue
3. Soothe each other
4. End the gridlock
5. Say THANK YOU!!!
Create or continue family rituals from your childhood in your marriage
Share your personal goals with your partner
Shared Symbols
Elise wants to spend less time with Joel and more time with her friends. Joel says this makes him feel abandoned. Elise says that she needs time away from him. He seems very needy to her, and she feels suffocated by him.
Helena gets together with her firends every Monday night. Johnathan wants her to take a ball room dancing class together with him. The only night the class is held is Monday. Helena doesn't want to give up girls night out.
1. Complain, don't blame
2. Use "I" not "You"
3. Be Clear
4. Be Polite
5. Be Appreciative
6. Don't store up and explode!!!
This is what happens when
you let issues build up...
Example for
overcoming gridlock
Perceived Problem:
He enjoys flirting with other women at parties, she wants him to stay with her.

Dreams within
the Conflict:
His: to feel free to explore and meet new people at social events

Hers: To be the center of his attention
Nonnegotiable Areas:

His: Must have freedom to be himself and meet new people

Hers: Cannot allow husband to dance with other women or touch them even in a
friendly way
Areas of Flexibility:

His: He doesn't have to be separate from his wife at parties

Hers: She can tolerate him talking with other women for a little while
Temporary Compromise:

They will stay together at parties for half the time allowing them both to mingle with new people. He will not dance with or touch other women and if she gets upset by his behavior he'll stop
Ongoing Conflict:

He will always want to socialize and she will always wish he would pay attention just to her
6 Common Areas of Conflict
1. Work Stress
2. In-Laws
3. Sex
4. House work
5. Becoming Parents
6. Money
The Magic
5 Hours
1. Partings: Make sure before you say bye, you know one thing that will be going on in their day
2. Reunions: Engage in stress reducing conversation at the end of the work day
3. Admiration & Appreciation: communicate genuinely everyday
4. Affection: Kiss, hold, grab, and touch during time together, Always kiss goodnight
The Marital Poop Detector
What Causes A Partner to be Chronically Critical?
Emotionally unresponsive partner
Self-Criticism is usually connected to self doubt that has developed over the course of ones life, stemming from childhood
The Super Secret Key to Relationships . . .
Full transcript