Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the culmination of Dr. John Gottman’s lifelong work: an overview of the skills that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Based upon Dr. Gottman’s revised New York Times bestselling book, this updated course will give you the skills to teach classes and small groups virtually or in-person for couples in your community.

Whether at your church, community center, place of business, or home, the material you learn in this virtual training can be taught by anyone interested in making a difference in couples’ lives.

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A man and woman sitting at an outdoor table.
A man and woman sitting at a table with balloons.
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The 7 Principles

Principle 1: Enhance your love maps — The more you are familiar with your partner, the more intimacy happens.

Principle 2: Nurture your fondness and admiration — work to increase/recall/unearth positive emotions about each other.

Principle 3: Turn towards each other and not away  — This principle is based on the idea of staying connected, and positively so.

Principle 4: Let your partner influence you — Meant for a partner who is unwilling to share power/influence in the relationship.

Principle 5: Solve your solvable problems — If a given disagreement is deemed solvable, then a couple has to try something different than unresolved arguments, screaming, yelling or angry silences.

Principle 6: Overcoming Gridlock — gridlocks happen when people‟s life dreams [hopes, aspirations, wishes] for their life are not being addressed/respected by each other.

Principle 7: Creating shared meaning — one can have a happy marriage, but some people look for a spiritual connection – finding meaning in the togetherness beyond the mere joint tasks of family life.

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A man and woman holding hands in the grass.