Habits can often be hard to break, especially the habits that we don’t even know that we’ve developed. In this era of fingertip solutions our society has become accustomed to solving a problem with the 6-letter search engine that seems to have all the answers or asking their nearest electronic device. This fact is why the 40 years of research that Dr. John Gottman put into researching what makes marriages succeed or fail is more important now than ever.
Dr. Gottman constructed a theory of all the behaviors successful couples engage in, which today has become known as “The Sound Relationship House”. The foundation of the relationship is: Trust and Commitment. These principles consist of being faithful to each other and working to develop the trust needed to be emotionally vulnerable. According to Gottman, without these pillars in place, you cannot build a sound relationship. A troubled marriage can be the result of one of these foundational pieces cracking, but this can also be applied to a hostile work environment, a family relationship, or even a close friendship. The Sound Relationship house is built on:
- Building Love Maps: Knowing your partner for who they really are; they’re hopes, dreams, and even fears.
- Shared fondness and admiration: Actively displaying affection and respect for your partner
- Turing Towards Instead of Away: Speaking about your needs and responding positively to your significant others
- Embracing Positive Perspective: We can tackle the world together
- Managing Conflict: Learn to manage conflict in a healthy productive way
- Supporting Goals and Dreams: Just because you get married doesn’t mean a person can’t have individual goals and aspirations. The support of each partner can help fulfill these dreams and fulfill a relationship.
- Create Shared Meaning: Having rituals such as family dinner, practicing traditions around birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, or having a pact to never go to bed angry.
- Trust: Having each other’s back and making sacrifices to make someone else happy. What would you sacrifice to make the other person happy?
- Commitment: Believing in the lifelong journey that you will have with this person, for better or worse, through thick and thin, and displaying your belief with actions.
Google “happy” and you’ll get the definition of “the state of being happy”. Utilizing the Gottman Method of actively finding happiness in yourself and another will result in inner peace as well as helping a couple remember what brought them together at the beginning.
Here at St. Charles Counseling we help you and your spouse find that inner peace to what may seem like a war that you have been fighting in your relationship. A marriage therapist with over 25 years of experience, Nancy can help you understand the principles that fuel the storm you may be having, and she has the wisdom to help guide you both back to the path of happiness.