Since 1994, the Gottman Institute has been working on developing tools to help couples identify problems that are proven to destroy relationships and to turn these problems around. They have developed a body of advice from their research and their experience, providing workshops and couples therapy based on two simple truths:
1. Happily married couples treat each other like good friends.
2. Happily married couples handle their conflict in gentle, positive ways.
Here are points to consider and ask yourself:
- Is your relationship characterized by respect, affection, and empathy?
- Do you feel emotionally connected and pay close attention to what is happening in each other’s lives?
- Do you and your spouse recognize that conflict is inevitable and commit to continue talking through the conflict?
- Do you get gridlocked in separate positions and have no way to move forward?
- Are you listening respectfully to each other’s perspectives and finding compromises that work for both of you?
If you’re answering no to any of these questions, then it may be time to come in and learn a new way of relating and communicating. Don’t wait until you are so disconnected that it’s difficult to be empathic with each other. There are ways to maintain a healthy, affectionate, and empathic relationship, even in the every day (and not so every day) stressors of our lives. Call 303-333-5553, or email Lizannecorbit@gmail.com and make an appointment. We’ll get you started on a path of treating each other like the best friends you can be.
Adapted from “10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage” John M. Gottman , PhD., Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D.