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The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Discussion

In the video, 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, many ideas were shared regarding happy marriages and the research surrounding them. The seven principles include: 1) enhance your love maps, 2) nurture your fondness and admiration, 3) turn towards each other, 4) let your partner influence you, 5) solve your solvable problems, 6) overcome gridlock, 7) create shared meaning. The first principle claims that it is important to know what your partner likes, as well as their hopes and aspirations. The second is arguably the most important principle. Showing appreciation is an easy way to nurture fondness and admiration. The third principle means that happy couples show attention towards each other and engage in small acts of connection, like a phone call during the day. The fourth, let your partner influence you, shows that to make a marriage work, the couple needs to work as a team and make decisions together. It is important to hear your partner’s point of view and actually listen. The fifth principle is pretty explicit. It simply means that partners need to actually work on their small problems rather than avoid them. To overcome gridlock, as the sixth principle states, means to accept and adapt perpetual problems. These problems are major personality differences that are unlikely to be solved. The advice given is to accept and adapt, as well as respect your partner’s dreams and beliefs. The last principle, to create shared meaning, explains the importance of creating rituals of connection and working towards a common goal.

Many of the principles described in the video are also used in Com 102, Interpersonal Communications. For example, we discussed that love requires maintenance. The concept of relationship maintenance is similar to the principles for making marriage work. The second principle, nurture your fondness and admiration, applies directly to the relationship maintenance strategies. The relationship maintencance strategies include, positivity, assurances, sharing tasks, acceptance, self-disclosure, relationship talks, and social networks. In the video under the second principle, this concept was shown. The positivity was one of the biggest things. If couples had a positive view on his/her past then they were more likely to have a happy marriage and a good future. The assurances were also shown in the video by way of showing appreciation to the good characteristics in your partner.

All of these principles, in the video as well as class, can be used to better my life. I now know strategies that I can and should use to have a great relationship. Just by watching this video my mind was opened in a way that I now have a better perspective on what it means to be in a relationship. Marriage especially is not easy and requires work. John M. Gottman truly has touched my heart and mind in his wisdom.

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