Build Love Maps
Knowing each other’s world is so vital to the health of a relationship. It’s important to make exploration of each other’s world an ongoing effort. This can help strengthen the relationship and help each person in the relationship to feel felt and cared about.
Share Fondness and Admiration
Fondness and admiration is noticing what’s going right and what’s good rather than putting a focus on the negative. If couples are in “Negative Sentiment Override” as Gottman calls them.
Turning towards your partner, both literally and figuratively is important as it sends a message that “you matter”, “I care”, “you’re important to me”. Gottman uses the metaphor of a RELATIONSHIP BANK ACCOUNT to illustrate the need for 5 times as many positives to every one negative in a relationship. Turning towards and accepting “bids for connection”, such as holding hands, inviting on an outing, snuggling, etc. is important to build the relationship bank account up so that when there are negatives, it doesn’t go into a negative balance.
The Positive Perspective
The positive perspective focuses on friendships. When couples engage in a strong friendship, then they can weather the storms better. They have a stronger tolerance for difficult circumstances.
Sixty nine percent of the conflict in a relationship is perpetual, which means it doesn’t have a clear resolution. Often couples need to move towards compromising on issues. It’s important that couples learn how to use soft startup and avoid the 4 patterns of communications that can eat away at a relationship: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, Stonewalling. Gottman refers to these as the 4 Horsemen.
Make Life Dreams Come True
Having fun, adventures and dreams together, as well as honoring each other’s dreams is so vital towards the health of a relationship. Couples that laugh and have fun together often have a much healthier relationship.
Create Shared Meaning
Together, couples build a shared culture that incorporates what each of them knew to be true in their formative years, as well as new things that they do together in their own relationship and their own family. Also, what legacy they want to leave in the world together is explored.
Trust and Commitment
Trust & Commitment are the walls of the sound relationship house. If these walls are weakened in any way, the entire house could be at risk from falling. Through repair work, couples can repair ruptures and move towards healed trust and commitment that can weather the storms of a relationship.