The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work [NOOK Book]

Overview

John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life's work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Packed with practical questionnaires and exercises, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their ...
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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

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Overview

John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life's work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Packed with practical questionnaires and exercises, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gottman comes to this endeavor with the best of qualifications: he's got the spirit of a scientist and the soul of a romantic." —-Newsweek
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609899533
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/4/2002
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 13,627
  • File size: 413 KB

Meet the Author


John Gottman, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington and the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen books, including The Relationship Cure, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Nan Silver is the former editor-in-chief of Health magazine and coauthor, with John Gottman, of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail.

John Allen Nelson's critically acclaimed roles on television's 24 and Vanished are among the highlights of his twenty-five-plus years as an actor, screenwriter, and film producer. As a narrator, he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for his reading of Zoo Story by Thomas French.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Inside the Seattle Love Lab: The Truth about Happy Marriages
It's a surprisingly cloudless Seattle morning as newlyweds Mark and Janice Gordon sit down to breakfast. Outside the apartment's picture window, the waters of Montlake cut a deep-blue swath, while runners jog and geese waddle along the lakeside park. Mark and Janice are enjoying the view as they munch on their French toast and share the Sunday paper. Later Mark will probably switch on the football game while Janice chats over the phone with her mom in St. Louis.
        
All seems ordinary enough inside this studio apartment--until you notice the three video cameras bolted to the wall, the microphones clipped talk-show style to Mark's and Janice's collars, and the Holter monitors strapped around their chests. Mark and Janice's lovely studio with a view is really not their apartment at all. It's a laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle, where for sixteen years I have spearheaded the most extensive and innovative research ever into marriage and divorce.
        
As part of one of these studies, Mark and Janice (as well as forty-nine other randomly selected couples) volunteered to stay overnight in our fabricated apartment, affectionately known as the Love Lab. Their instructions were to act as naturally as possible, despite my team of scientists observing them from behind the one-way kitchen mirror, the cameras recording their every word and facial expression, and the sensors tracking bodily signs of stress or relaxation, such as how quickly their hearts pound. (To preserve basic privacy, the couples were monitored only from nine a.m. to nine p.m. and never while in the bathroom.) The apartment comes equipped with a fold-out sofa, a working kitchen, a phone, TV, VCR, and CD player. Couples were told to bring their groceries, their newspapers, their laptops, needlepoint, hand weights, even their pets--whatever they would need to experience a typical weekend.
        
My goal has been nothing more ambitious than to uncover the truth about marriage--to finally answer the questions that have puzzled people for so long: Why is marriage so tough at times? Why do some lifelong relationships click, while others just tick away like a time bomb? And how can you prevent a marriage from going bad--or rescue one that already has?

Predicting Divorce with 91 Percent Accuracy
After years of research I can finally answer these questions. In fact, I am now able to predict whether a couple will stay happily together or lose their way. I can make this prediction after listening to the couple interact in our Love Lab for as little as five minutes! My accuracy rate in these predictions averages 91 percent over three separate studies. In other words, in 91 percent of the cases where I have predicted that a couple's marriage would eventually fail or succeed, time has proven me right. These predictions are not based on my intuition or preconceived notions of what marriage "should" be, but on the data I've accumulated over years of study.
        
At first you might be tempted to shrug off my research results as just another in a long line of newfangled theories. It's certainly easy to be cynical when someone tells you they've figured out what really makes marriages last and can show you how to rescue or divorce-proof your own. Plenty of people consider themselves to be experts on marriage--and are more than happy to give you their opinion of how to form a more perfect union.
        
But that's the key word--opinion. Before the breakthroughs my research provided, point of view was pretty much all that anyone trying to help couples had to go on. And that includes just about every qualified, talented, and well-trained marriage counselor out there. Usually a responsible therapist's approach to helping couples is based on his or her professional training and experience, intuition, family history, perhaps even religious conviction. But the one thing it's not based on is hard scientific evidence. Because until now there really hasn't been any rigorous scientific data about why some marriages succeed and others flop.
        
For all of the attention my ability to predict divorce has earned me, the most rewarding findings to come out of my studies are the Seven Principles that will prevent a marriage from breaking up.

Emotionally Intelligent Marriages
What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren't smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day-to-day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones. They have what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage.

I can predict whether a couple will divorce after watching and listening to them for just five minutes.

Recently, emotional intelligence has become widely recognized as an important predictor of a child's success later in life. The more in touch with emotions and the better able a child is to understand and get along with others, the sunnier that child's future, whatever his or her academic IQ. The same is true for relationships between spouses. The more emotionally intelligent a couple--the better able they are to understand, honor, and respect each other and their marriage--the more likely that they will indeed live happily ever after. Just as parents can teach their children emotional intelligence, this is also a skill that a couple can be taught. As simple as it sounds, it can keep husband and wife on the positive side of the divorce odds.

Why Save Your Marriage?
Speaking of those odds, the divorce statistics remain dire. The chance of a first marriage ending in divorce over a forty-year period is 67 percent. Half of all divorces will occur in the first seven years. Some studies find the divorce rate for second marriages is as much as 10 percent higher than for first-timers. The chance of getting divorced remains so high that it makes sense for all married couples--including those who are currently satisfied with their relationship--to put extra effort into their marriages to keep them strong.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Table of Contents

1. Inside the Seattle Love Lab: The Truth about Happy Marriages 1
2. How I Predict Divorce 25
3. Principle 1: Enhance Your Love Maps 47
4. Principle 2: Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration 61
5. Principle 3: Turn toward Each Other Instead of Away 79
6. Principle 4: Let Your Partner Influence You 99
7. The Two Kinds of Marital Conflict 129
8. Principle 5: Solve Your Solvable Problems 157
9. Coping with Typical Solvable Problems 187
10. Principle 6: Overcome Gridlock 217
11. Principle 7: Create Shared Meaning 243
Afterword: What Now? 259
Index 267
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 127 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 127 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2004

    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 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.

    35 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    Harmonious Relationships John M. Gottman has great suggestions

    Harmonious Relationships

    John M. Gottman has great suggestions that have supported my relationship with my husband. Of the “seven principles”, my favorite is “Turn toward Each Other Instead of Away”. I found the questionnaires inspiring and with Gottman’s discoveries, I can see that my husband and I have strength in our marriage and our “emotional bank account” is full. I enjoyed Gottman’s observations on couples he worked with and his tenacity to discover principles that can help couples experience harmonious relationships.

    Another relationship book that I highly recommend is Ariel & Shya Kane’s “How to Have A Match Made in Heaven”. Like Gottman, the Kanes write about sessions they have with their clients – with a BONUS – links to companion videos & audios of the Kanes working with their clients. So you get to “see” what you just “read”! I have discovered a sense of ease with all my relating since reading this book. It’s an amazing book. I applaud both Gottman and the Kanes for writing successful books that support relationship.

    25 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2012

    I so enjoyed reading John Gottman's "The Seven Principles f

    I so enjoyed reading John Gottman's "The Seven Principles for Making
    Marriage Work".  I was half way through the book when I
    realized it's already working! I had been behaving in a more sweet and
    tender way with my husband since I'd started reading it.  We already have a
    lovely relationship but throughout "7 Principles" I noticed my thoughts and
    actions were even more gentle and held even greater fondness for my husband
    and for our relationship.  Gottman takes readers through the early moments
    in a marriage, reviving the feelings of falling in love and recharging the
    magic of wedding celebrations.  On this journey I got to recall the
    admiration, respect and fun of being partners in my marriage.
    I highly recommend this book to those in great relationships, less than
    great
    relationships and of course, troubled relationships.  "7 Principles" can
    give you great comfort and joy.  Gottman has created a simple roadmap that
    leads to a great marriage.  Well worth the trip.

    Those who enjoy this book will also enjoy Ariel and Shya Kane's latest book:
    How to Have A Match Made in Heaven.  It's terrific.  I know I'm
    interested in having the best possible marriage and the Kanes illustrate
    how easy it can be to have such a relationship.  In reading the
    touching true stories and accompanying videos, I got to see how
    potentially relationship
    injuring behaviors can dissolve just by observing them
    non-judgmentally.  Yep, I said it: issues just dissolve. Just by
    seeing it. I know.... that simple.

    These two books Gottman's The Seven Principles for Making Marriage
    Work and the Kanes': How to Have a Match Made in Heaven can rock your
    world in a fantastic way!  Buy them, read them, have sweet
    relationships.

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Men Should Read This Book Too

    This is probably the best book on marriage on the market. Gottman thinks outside the box, making understanding how to have a good marriage both practical and possible. Men, especially, need to read this book.

    I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" for anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain. I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. It was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong.

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it. It is on sale here on BN.com.

    11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Standard

    This book should be standard reading for couples. It is clear, concise and makes total sense. This book is for anyone wishing to improve their relationship, get back on track or learn how to not make the same mistakes over and over. When reading this book, I had many moments of "I knew that!" but had somehow forgotten over the many years of being married.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2003

    For Any Relationship You Want to Improve

    When I was first introduced to this book, I was a bit skeptical since I have heard different perspectives on marriage counseling. After I started reading this book, I found myself identifying with the information that Gottman was telling me. I believe that this book is more personal and gives a person a sense of taking control of his/her own relationship. There are practical strategies that take time to work through, but are definitely worth your time. One of the best aspects about this book is that it isn't preaching or using "Christian" based lessons. I am not saying that it isn't spiritual, I am saying that Gottman has a way of presenting the facts that he found without slighting your religious beliefs. I would recommend this book for any couple who is in a serious relationship because this book only for married couples.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    Janelle Matheny The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work By

    Janelle Matheny
    The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
    By John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver
    The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is one of the most insightful books I’ve read in a long time. Not only does John Gottman establish credibility in the first five pages, but he is full of valid information and leads you to believe that he really does know what he’s talking about. I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now, “What is the point of this book?” or, “what is the book even about?” To put it quite simply, this book is a very good guide to making your marriage work and how to have successful relationships in your intrapersonal life. In the first chapter of the book, Dr. Gottman explains how he can usually tell if a marriage will last in the first three minutes he meets with the couple. He reveals the truth behind all happy relationships and marriages and that is happiness. If a couple has had a good friendship and great mutual sense of respect for each other before they had romantic feelings for each other, according to Dr. Gottman, the relationship will last and it can be salvageable if at any time in the future it is suffering. It was very interesting to read this book because he had some very valid points that really made me stop and think about my relationships in my life currently. Not only does he explain in every chapter the tips and tricks to making relationships work, but he also has activities and short quizzes throughout the book to help you understand what happened in the previous chapter and to make sure you’re on the right path to a successful relationship.The 7 principles for making a marriage work was a book I could not put down. I found that in every chapter, while he was explaining each principle that he really understood and he’s an educated man that knows what he’s talking about. It was such an intriguing book and I highly suggest you read this with your loved one and help improve the way you communicate and love each other.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2009

    Interesting, base in proves

    I am a soon-to-be-married and I really like it. It gave a lot of examples of happily married people and not so happy that gives you an idea of what to do or if your marriage is directing to divorce. A lot of exercises that you have to do with your spouse to improve your marriage. Excellent information and easy to read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    Excellent help for any relationship

    I finally admitted that we needed help in our relationship, I bought this book with a little reservation.... I'm sorry I waited so long. If you practice what's in this book, I'm sure that you can make it. Everything can be related to in an easy understandable manner. If your willing, this book will definately help!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2003

    Do the dance... and enjoy it...

    This book has lots of excellent and interesting advice about how to keep a relationship together. It is written in a way that everyone can understand and is full of practical suggestions. If you are in a relationship and want to figure out some ways to keep two souls dancing together to the wide variety of tunes life throws at us, read this book. Chances are, you will learn numerous things that are very helpful. If you want to go one step further and develop a deeper understanding of your relationship and what it means, you should read, 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato. It is simply the best book I have ever read on this topic! Meanwhile, enjoy the dance.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    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 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?

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    If you have questions about relationships. . .

    This book is a "must read" for anyone in a committed relationship. Helpful, informative, and if so motivated, effective!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    great advice for all relationships

    This book was really amazing, and even though I am not in a relationship now, most of the principles apply to relationships in general, whether they be familial or otherwise. Gottman bases his advice on sound scientific evidence and removes personal, religious, and social biases. I highly reccomend this book to anyone who is looking to improve relationships in their lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2002

    Two Books Saved My Marriage!

    Thank you 'Seven Principles' for starting to put my marriage back on solid ground. The book that completed the difficult task and ensures our longivity for now on is 'Loving Vows: Inspiring Promises For Building and Renewing Your Marriage' by Barbara Eklof. It took our wedding vows to a higher level by showing us how to KEEP each one during the day-to-day reality of marriage. Now, thanks to these two great books, we're discussing a second honeymoon instead of a divorce.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Great summary for making marriage work.

    Dr Gottman does a great job of outlining some of the common problems that plague relationships. I have started using this book as a tool in helping couples get stated on the path of healing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2005

    Among the Best Books in it's Class

    Dr. Gottman is THE most prolific and authoritative researcher on marriage in the field. He doesn't write about his personal ideas but bases his writings on sound, exceptionally-crafted research. What he says is vital to your relationship. Paul Coleman, author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Intimacy'

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2003

    The best advice I have heard or read...

    I was a bit skeptical that this book would help me out in any way. What I found was that this was an amazing book that gave me a lot of insight on marriage that your friends and family don't tell you because they don't want to 'air their dirty laundry'. This book keeps it real based on extensive research of real-life couples who experience the same problems that almost all married couples do.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    It is a very useful guide for couples who want to improve their relationship.

    I think this book can help strenghten the friendship of a married couple.It mainly concentrates on communication between man and woman and provides guidelines for working with the partner from an optimistic point of view. I strongly recommend it!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2006

    Top notch

    This book is really a treasure trove of all the important data on marriage, and spells out what to do,and why, to make marriage great. I recommend it highly, and have used some of the data in it for my own book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    excellent work, backed with decades of research

    excellent work, backed with decades of research

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