After about 45 years of research, the Gottman’s have determined what makes relationships last a lifetime. Their theory can be visualized in the “Sound Relationship House.” Like any house, it starts with a solid foundation. The foundation is built upon a strong friendship.
What they refer to as “Love Maps” can encompass how well you know each other and how well you know what is going on in each other’s world. For example, do you know your partner’s favorite cousin? What about their favorite vacation spot? Do you understand the stressors they have in their lives?
The Walls of Trust and Commitment
A lack of trust and commitment can send a sound relationship house tumbling down. Likewise, a recent affair or infidelity or a decision to no longer commit can require a rebuilding of all of most of the house if the relationship is going to return to what it once was.
Turning Towards Instead of Away
The Gottman’s talk about bids for connection. A bid can be any attempt to get your partner’s attention. Do they turn towards you and support you? Do they nod “uh huh” and not even hear you? Do they minimize your concern or make fun of your situation and turn away from you?
The Positive Perspective
It is usual for couples who have been together for a while to take one another for granted. You may have started dating and primarily noticed the good things. However, as time goes on, you may see more of the less positive aspects of your relationship.
Managing conflict is often discussed before some of the lower items on the relationship hierarchy. Working on the lower things can sometimes be difficult without healthy or healthier ways to manage conflict. A lot of disputes revolve around continuing topics that never seem to improve. These are referred to as perpetual problems. The Gottman’s research shows that 69% of relationship problems are endless. These problems will never be solved. When you choose to commit to someone, you decide what problems you are willing to live with. This isn’t to say that some of these problems can’t be better managed so that they don’t destroy your relationship.
Creating Shared Meaning and Making Life Dreams Come True
Once the foundation has been established, a couple can work on creating shared meaning and making life dreams come true. It isn’t easy to focus too much on these aspects if the other house parts are not in place.
How to Repair the Relationship House
Even the most broken of houses can sometimes be rebuilt. The Gottman Method of couples therapy is designed to do just that. Dublin, Ohio counseling at Cardinal Point counseling uses many aspects of the Gottman Method to repair or rebuild your sound relationship house.
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