“The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work”–The Afterword And Our New Book Study

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,

2 thoughts on ““The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work”–The Afterword And Our New Book Study

  1. Hi Carrie, I love your blog! I was the person that wrote a long time ago asking you where your old photo went of the misty/foggy bridge or stream…. You wrote back and I haven’t found that image again. It was so lovely.

    Anyway, I wish I had read this information below a few years ago! I am now divorced (after 7.5 years of marriage and nearly 14 years together!). It’s definitely not what I had EVER expected or ever thought would happen, and the marital demise was not my doing (meaning: I wanted us to stay together and work on us and grow deeper). I fought for us to stay united, but for my husband, he was already on another level and had made up his mind that it was over for him. And we had a just-turned two year old. Still a baby. Many men leave their wives when a child is 2, it’s very strange. That all said, though, I am finally quite happy in my life and with my 5 year old daughter and in my cozy home and community of friends! I never thought I would say that, either! And I am happy to be alone and not with anyone and just forging a trail for me, which I need. Perhaps a love relationship will come along again, but for now I am just fine with myself.

    For me, learning to accept the path that has been given me was healing. Thanks for reading!


    • Aw, Anne Marie, I have a few friends in the exact position you were in — so challenging!! But, like you said, it is satisfying to be able to come through that and be happy with life. Acceptance is an important part of that healing journey.
      I am so glad you are still here, I totally remember your question about the misty bridge! 🙂

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