October 1, 2023
Events | Mental Health
Dolly Parton once said,
Love is sent from Heaven to worry the Hell out of you.
Dolly, using her usual wit, is correct; love makes life worth living, but also can create pain. While difficulty in our personal relationships is an unavoidable part of life, it is possible to develop an understanding of healthy relationship dynamics and enact positive change in your relationships.
So, what makes a healthy relationship? How do we recognize and understand our unhelpful communication patterns? What steps can we take to ensure that the relationships we are in can be as good as possible?
Luckily for those of us who decided to pursue lifelong partnership, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have spent over 40 years studying couples and their dynamics. Through their incredible careers, they have developed Seven Principles that, when committed to and maintained, foster healthy and happy partnerships over the lifespan.
Here is a breakdown of the Seven Principles:
1 – ENHANCE LOVE MAPS
What in the world is a love map, you ask? It’s the familiarity and fondness you have and cultivate for your partner. The stronger and clearer our love maps, the more intimacy and care exists in the partnership.
2 – NURTURE FONDNESS
Your partner needs to know you actually like him/her! This is not groundbreaking news, but something we all neglect from time-to-time.
3 – TURN TOWARD
This is based on the idea of staying connected, and positively so. It’s all about making positive deposits in our “emotional bank accounts.” If you are feeling connected to your partner, you’re better able to handle conflicts as they occur.
4 – LET YOUR PARTNER INFLUENCE YOU
Do you always need to win in an argument? This may indicate that you’re not accepting influence from your partner- you just want to be right. Unsurprisingly, this stubbornness is often met with harshness and withdrawal from the other partner, creating even more distance.
5 – HOW TO SOLVE SOLVABLE PROBLEMS
This section focuses on understanding the types of conflicts. How can we solve the solvable conflicts and accept the unsolvable conflicts?
6 – OVERCOME GRIDLOCK
Every couple has that “hot issue,”- that fight that just keeps coming back up, over and over. Gridlocks happen when people’s life dreams (hopes, aspirations, wishes) for their life are not being addressed/respected by each other. This section will offer practical tips to work through that dreaded gridlock.
7 – CREATE SHARED MEANING – WHAT NOW?
Maintenance is just as important as learning the new skill. The Gottmans teach us about the importance of creating “rituals of connection” and how to continually apply the principles in your everyday life.
I’m so excited about this workshop because I truly believe in its worth. Good relationships aren’t just built without effort, and problems just don’t “go away.” Join me in at our next Seven Principles workshop to make a positive difference in your relationship!