The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman and Nan Silver
Release date: 2012 / 288 pages
Synopsis (from Amazon.com): 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.
Review: After four decades scientifically scrutinizing long-term romance in his “love lab” at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. John Gottman believes he has arrived at a mathematical definition of trust that can determine with great accuracy whether or not a couple’s love will last. Gottman, an optimist at heart, says this discovery can salvage many unhappy relationships and provides hands-on, concrete exercises and tools to facilitate reconciliation in What Makes Love Last?
“Betrayal is the secret that lies at the heart of every failing relationship,” Gottman writes, “even if the couple is unaware of it.” Betrayal can take many forms, beyond turning outside the marriage, including putting career before family or the changing of one’s political or spiritual beliefs. The primary antidote to betrayal is trust, and Gottman uses principles derived from game theory to explain why; he defines trust as “the specific state that exists when you are both willing to change your own behavior” for the other’s benefit.
Gottman provides transcripts from actual couples who have high levels of trust as well as those who exhibit four negative modes of communication: criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. He includes quizzes to help readers evaluate the state of their own relationships, and then provides specific strategies and suggestions to strengthen any relationship.
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