Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
by John Gottman and Nan Silver
I accidently ordered a British version of this book from Amazon. I know because of words like "learnt, analysed, and practise."
This book is about half questionnaires, quizzes, and discussion points, so it's a short, easy read. Unless you stop and do all the "work." Then it would take forever. Because I was reading this on my own instead of with Jeremy, I didn't go though much of the work. I answered some of the questions, but it's really designed to be done together. I think.
Overall, I like marriage books, because I think it's important to address problems right away before they get huge. I wish there were an easy way to get all the questions, etc. from this book into a big jar so we could pull one out and talk about it every day.
Along those lines, I think Table Topics would be a great way to start conversations we wouldn't think of.
Principle #1: Enhance your love maps
This is all about knowing your spouse--little things and big things. Like who they sit next to at work, what they're struggling with, and what their hopes & dreams are.
Principle #2: Nurture your fondness and admiration
This was about remembering the good things and having a positive image of your marriage and relationship.
Principle #3: Turn toward each other instead of away
The example to describe this principle was a parenting one: about a husband who made fun of the way his wife parented while he was with his family. Then his family undermined her parenting preferences with the grandkids. The wife was upset. Instead of being worried about his parents, the husband had to start defending his wife's choices and be on the same team as her. It's all about being a team and being on the same side.
Principle #4: Let your partner influence you
This is just as simple as it sounds. Let your partner influence your choices and decisions. Take them into consideration.
Principle #5: Solve your solvable problems
There were a lot of pages dedicated to conflict. Because we don't ever have any conflict, I skipped these chapters.
There are a couple types of conflict: problems you can solve and those you won't. This was about identifying the solvable problems you have and then solving them.
Principle #6: Overcome gridlock
This chapter was about those problems you can't solve and how to at least come to an amicable disagreement. Like me accepting that Jeremy will never like tomato soup.
Principle #7: Create shared meaning
I might have liked this chapter the best. It's all about traditions, rituals, and customs in your family. I like traditions. I like having special things we do because it's "the thing" we do.
I think this is a good book. Probably better to read together. Maybe for small group in the fall. :)