Relationships are hard at times. Why do some lifelong relationships stay strong, and others fade away and how can you prevent a marriage from going bad or surviving the rocky times?
World renown psychologists John and Julie Gottman have done research on couples over the years and their research predicted whether a couple would stay together or end their marriage. They discovered some key factors in happy couples and devised seven principles to prevent a marriage from breaking up. The principles are as follows:
1. Enhance your Love Map. Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world. They have a detailed love map- they know the major events in each other’s history, and they know each other’s goals, worries, hopes and dreams.
2. Foster nurture fondness and admiration. These are two crucial elements in long-lasting romance.
3. Turn towards each other. In marriage people periodically make “bids” for their partner’s attention, affection, humor, or support. This is the basis for emotional connection, romance, and intimacy.
4. Let your partner influence you. Allowing the partner to share power in the relationship starting with having respect for the other partner’s opinion.
5. Solve your solvable problems. Here are a few tips.
Step 1. Use a soft startup: complain but don’t criticize or attack your partner. State feelings without blame and express a need. Make sates with “I” instead of “you.”
Step 2. Learn and make repair attempts. Deescalate the tension and pull out the negativity by taking a break, sharing what you are feeling, apologizing, or expressing appreciation.
Step 3. Soothe yourself and each other. Conflict discussions can be “flooding.” Take a break to soothe and distract yourself.
Step 4. Compromise. Decide together on a solvable problem to tackle. Draw two circles separately – a smaller inside a larger one. In the inner circle list aspects of the problem, you can’t negotiate. In the outer circle, list the aspects that you can compromise on. Try to make the outer circle as large as possible and inner circle as small as possible. Then compare and look for common basis for agreement.
6. Overcome Gridlock. Many perpetual conflicts are gridlocked behind each person’s stubborn position. In happy marriages, partners incorporate each other’s goals in their concept of what a marriage is about. Getting past gridlock is not necessarily giving in to the other’s position but honoring part of the other person’s concepts and meaning of what their hopes and dreams are.
Create Shared Meaning. Marriage can have an intentional sense of shared purples, meaning, family values and cultural legacy that forms its own microcultures with rituals and customs (such as Sunday dinner or celebrations). The culture incorporates both dreams and is flexible enough to change so that the couple can grow and develop in their relationship. When relationship has this sense of meaning, conflict is less intense, and problems are less likely to lead to gridlock.
You can have a life of abundance, peace, and joy! I am here to help you on this journey. I believe 90% of what happens in life is not what happens to us but how we react to situations. You deserve a life that leaves you excited to wake up every morning. I am here to help you find fulfillment and personal growth.
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