How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. How do we honor the bonds that bind? John Gottman PhD has spent his lifetime studying marriage. Based on his findings, he has culled seven essential keys to the success of a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Here are the principles espoused from: Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Maintain a love map. Love is in the details. Get familiar with those details. In your memory, create a detailed “love map” of relevant information about your significant other. A favorite movie, a current stress, a life dream. And share yours with them.
Foster fondness and admiration. Choose to see the best in your significant other. Embrace shortcomings with compassion. Show respect for each other. Hold a general positive view of each other.
Turn toward instead of away from one another. Relationships thrive in the day-to-day little things. Let your significant other know you value them. Show it regularly during the daily grind life. Encourage one another. Take time to listen and respond—even if it means postponing an important discussion till you can give it your attention.
Accept influence. Consider your significant other’s perspective and feelings. Make decisions together. Find the common ground. Let your partner influence you and share your influence, too. Honor and respect each other in the relationship.
Solve solvable conflicts. There are two types of problems: conflicts that can be resolved and perpetual problems that can’t. Determine which ones are which. Here are five steps for resolving conflict:
- Start the conversation without criticism or contempt.
- Make and receive repair attempts—actions or statements that reduce tension.
- Soothe yourself and then your significant other. Admit when you are overwhelmed and take a 20-minute break (the time it takes for your body to calm down). When you’re calmed, offer soothing to your significant other. Ask each other what’s most comforting and do that.
- Compromise. In conflict, always take your partner’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. Find common ground. List non-negotiable points. List what you can accept. Share these with each other. Find agreements, common goals, and feelings.
- Be tolerant of each other’s faults. Compromise is possible when you accept your partner.
Cope with conflicts you can’t resolve. Manage perpetual problems by moving from gridlock to dialogue. Usually gridlock is due to unfulfilled dreams. It is a sign that life dreams aren’t being respected by each other. Realize the importance of assisting each other in manifesting dreams. Talk through issues to build understanding.
Create shared meaning. Develop a culture with shared rituals. Appreciate your roles. Outline goals that align direction and vision. Understand what it means to be a part of the relationship.
Wow. Think about it, this could also apply to friendships, parent-child relationships, employee relations, and etc… some really helpful concepts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.
“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director