This chapter begins by citing the hot buttons of marital discord: “Work stress, in-laws, money, sex, housework, a new baby..Even in very happy and stable marriages, these issues are perennials…Although every relationship is different, there’s a reason why these particular conflicts are so common: They touch upon some of the marriage’s most important work.
Wow. Think about that for a moment. These are issues that cover almost everything in life, and gives true credence to that idea that having a good marriage takes work. However, what the author adds to this oft-repeated phrase and conversation about work in marriage is that it takes a “rich understanding” between the husband and the wife. Both people need and should feel secure in the marriage. Dr. Gottman cites that marriage should be a port in the storm , a place of peace.
I love this chapter because Dr. Gottman provides some real solutions to the six basic areas of stress. What I like about the sections devoted to each area is that he breaks it down to an essential task for the marriage to accomplish. He starts with the stress of the work day, and then spends a particular amount of time on the stress that in-laws can provide to a marriage (including an exercise based around this for you to work on in your family).
He also provides a multi-step solution to the dilemmas about money Continue reading