Customer Reviews for

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

35 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

Started a new chapter in my life!

A few years ago, my marriage was going down the drain. I had no idea what was going on or what I could do about it. I felt helpless, hopeless and unhappy. Until then, I was very skeptical about these types of books so I never read them. But became so desperate that I op...
A few years ago, my marriage was going down the drain. I had no idea what was going on or what I could do about it. I felt helpless, hopeless and unhappy. Until then, I was very skeptical about these types of books so I never read them. But became so desperate that I opened this book in a store like a drowning person reaching for a straw. That was the beginning of the end. This book forced me to see my marriage from a completely objective point of view and helped me realize how I was part of the problem. Bad habits die hard but I kept making an effort to change. After a month or two, my spouse noticed this change and became curious about the book as well. We became even more interested in these things and read another book called 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato (I'd highly recommend this fabulous book too if you are ready to take one more positive step in your relationships). Now we appreciate each other. Now we talk about meaningful and interesting things in life. Even though this may sound very cheesy, in many ways we could say that our marriage is in a renaissance period. We still have a long way to go but there already is a newfound calmness in our lives that was never there before.

posted by Anonymous on May 21, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Painfully dull, highly clinical, but good for couples in trouble.

This book was recommended to me by my premarital counselor. I found it to be a painfully dull read and very clinical. I would however recommend it to a couple that fights a lot and would like to work though it as there is quite a bit of good advice for saving a marriage...
This book was recommended to me by my premarital counselor. I found it to be a painfully dull read and very clinical. I would however recommend it to a couple that fights a lot and would like to work though it as there is quite a bit of good advice for saving a marriage and recognizing when a fight is at a point where nothing will be accomplished aside from hurting someone's feelings.

If you think your relationship is rocky or of it gets really bad when you fight, I could see this as a good book for you, also if you guys feel like you need to get to know each other better. I however do not have difficulty with the problems that this book addresses in my relationship. I hope that it can help others more than it helped me.

I would have one recommendation - read it as a couple and do the exercises together... it can't hurt right?

posted by KaraAgnarsdottir on February 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    The message of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work cou

    The message of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work could be summed up in this sentence:

    Men who become more like women have better marriages, and men who refuse to become more like women eventually get divorced and die miserable lonely people who no one cares for.
    In this first 5 chapters of this book this concept that I have just stated is more veiled and subtle. But once you get to chapter 6 you see the author remove his subtly and very clearly state his opinion when he says:

    Begin quote from The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

    I believe the emotionally intelligent husband is the next step in social evolution…this new husband is likely to make his career less of a priority…because his definition of success has changed…He makes a detailed map of his wifes world. He keeps in touch with his admiration and fondness for her…he teaches his children to respect their own feelings…
    the other kind of husband and father is very sad story. He responds to the loss of male entitlement with righteous indignation, or he feels like an innocent victim. He may become more authoritarian or withdraw into a lonely shell, protecting what little he has left….the consequence is that no one will much care about him when he lives nor mourn him when he dies.

    End quote

    Chapter 6 is all about accepting influence from your partner. It starts off with a noble premise that most any one, and especially Christians (which I am) would agree with. Each partner should be willing to accept influence, the opinions, of the other spouse.

    But then switches to attacking men as being weak on accepting influence from women, where women are much more likely to accept influence from men. Therefore men need to learn from women this great skill of accepting influence. He then defines accepting influence as sharing power. He tries to give the lip service those with religious convictions about male headship, but he quickly goes into an attack on any marriage arrangement with there is not an equal power sharing. He is basically saying only egalitarian marriages will be happy and successful, anything short of this may be doomed for divorce.

    He paints this false dichotomy in chapter six that men who are driven by their careers and see their success in life by what they accomplish outside the home somehow could not also care about their family. In Dr. Gottman’s view, unless a man gets more in touch with feelings and follows his wife and kids around the house asking them about how they feel about everything than is marriage will fail. Unless he becomes a more relational being like his wife, a being more willing to influenced (submissive) like his wife, and less career oriented his marriage and family will fail.

    I agree that men should listen to their wives opinions. I also agree that if it is not a matter of morality, like what color the kitchen should be, what to have for dinner, where to go for vacation or things like this then men should try to allow their wives influence in these area. But when there are important moral decisions that need to made, such as how children will be disciplined, what the rules of the house are, and where the family will attend church, God has left the final decision for these things with man as the head of the house. Certainly he should still listen to his wives opinions on these important issues as well, as no man is island. It is always good to get advice from others, and especially your wife. But at the end of the day God has place the man as the head of the family.

    Marriages are ending today because each spouse acts selfishly, and they do not embrace the roles that God has given them. Men need to stand up and be men, and lovingly lead, protect and provide for their families. Women need to accept their husbands loving leadership, protection and provision and be the best helpmeets they can be to their husbands in accordance with God’s design.

    I highly encourage readers of this book to look at God’s way of marriage, and not Dr. Gottman’s. Is there some truth in this book about marriage – yes, but it is muddied with a lot false teachings.
    If you want to know what God says about marriage I recommend you look up the Biblical Gender Roles community group on Facebook for a lot of good articles on how God created man, woman and marriage.

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