This is the last chapter of our book study, “The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work”, by John Gottman, PhD. Today we are looking at “Afterword: What Now?” and how to put some of things Dr. Gottman talks about in his book into play in our relationships.
He talks about “The Magic Five Hours”, which is a combination of saying good-bye each working day to your spouse, reuniting at the end of the day in conversation, expressing admiration and affection toward your spouse every day, expressing physical affection each day, and a weekly date. This totals about five hours a week, and is a small investment in keeping a marriage on track.
He also address holding higher expectations of each other. He talks about the work of Dr. Baucom of University of North Carolina and writes…”people with the highest expectations for their marriage usually wind up with the highest-quality marriages. This suggests that by holding your relationship to high standards, you are far more likely to achieve the kind of marriage you want than you are by looking the other way and letting things slide.” Dr. Gottman provides a checklist on page 263 in order to do a weekly check-in of what is happening in your marriage.
Dr. Gottman addresses the many partners are critical for two reasons: one is in response to an unresponsive partner, and the other cause is connected to one’s own self-doubt and criticism of oneself, and provides an exercise for thanksgiving.
Our next book is not a marriage book, but one geared toward Waldorf parenting and education: “Completing The Circle” by Thomas Poplawski. It is available for free here: http://www.waldorflibrary.org/index.php?option=com_booklibrary&task=view&id=1202&catid=133&Itemid=3. I will be posting on this book on Wednesdays.
Love to all,