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“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert” by John Gottman provides valuable insights into building and maintaining a successful marriage. It offers practical advice based on years of research, helping you strengthen your relationship and create a happy and fulfilling marriage. Reading it can equip you with the tools to enhance your connection with your partner and navigate challenges effectively.
- Genre: Self-Help, Relationships, Marriage
- Themes: Marriage, Relationship Improvement, Communication, Emotional Connection, Conflict Resolution
What is this book about?
“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” is a highly regarded self-help book. It offers practical guidance and insights into building and maintaining strong, healthy marriages. This book addresses marriage, communication, emotional connection, and conflict resolution themes.
The book is written around Dr. John Gottman’s extensive research on relationships and marriage, which spans several decades. The book’s central theme revolves around the seven principles he identified as crucial for thriving marriages.
Gottman begins by emphasizing the importance of knowing your partner profoundly and understanding their needs, desires, and dreams. He introduces building a “Love Map” to foster a strong emotional connection.
Communication is a key focus of the book, with Gottman offering practical advice on communicating effectively, expressing feelings, and listening empathetically. He introduces the concept of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” He provides strategies for addressing and avoiding these destructive communication patterns.
Conflict resolution is another central theme. Gottman highlights that conflict is natural in any marriage but can be managed healthily. He introduces methods for “softening” startup arguments and offers insights into how to navigate disagreements constructively.
The book also delves into the importance of cultivating positive interactions and maintaining fondness and admiration for one’s partner. Gottman provides exercises and activities to help couples strengthen their emotional bonds and nurture intimacy.
Trust and commitment are recurring themes throughout the book. Gottman discusses the significance of building trust and fostering a sense of commitment in the marriage.
Gottman’s research-based approach includes quizzes and self-assessment tools to help couples identify areas of strength and areas that may need improvement in their marriage. He also provides practical exercises and homework assignments for couples to work on together.
Takeaways and tips
Key essential principles for a happy and successful marriage.
- Enhance your love maps. It means understanding your partner’s inner world, including their hopes, dreams, fears, and desires.
- Nurture your fondness and admiration. It means expressing appreciation for your partner’s good qualities and what they do for you.
- Turn toward each other instead of away. It means being responsive to your partner’s bids for attention and connection.
- Let your partner influence you. It means being open to your partner’s ideas and suggestions and willing to compromise.
- Solve your solvable problems. It means communicating effectively about your problems and working together to find solutions.
- Overcome gridlock. It means finding ways to resolve conflicts that seem to be irresolvable.
- Create shared meaning. It means developing common goals and values and connecting more deeply.
Additional takeaways and tips from the book:
- Communication is key. Gottman emphasizes the importance of communication in a healthy marriage. Couples should engage in open and honest communication about their thoughts, feelings, and needs.
- Conflict is normal. No relationship is perfect, and there will be times when couples disagree. Gottman teaches couples how to resolve conflict healthily and constructively.
- Invest in your relationship. Just like any other important aspect of your life, your marriage requires time and effort. Gottman encourages couples to prioritize their relationship and schedule time for each other regularly.
“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” is best for couples who want to strengthen their marriage, improve communication, and resolve conflicts constructively. It’s particularly valuable for those seeking practical, research-based advice from a renowned relationship expert. This book offers actionable insights and exercises to help you build a strong foundation for a lasting and fulfilling partnership. It’s also suitable for individuals interested in understanding the science behind successful marriages and the factors contributing to long-lasting love. John Gottman’s book is a practical guide for couples who want to create a resilient and loving relationship that can withstand the tests of time.
Best-recommended books besides “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”
If you found “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman insightful and are looking for books with similar themes related to improving and maintaining healthy relationships, especially in marriage or partnerships, here are some recommendations:
“Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson
“Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson explores the science of love and attachment in relationships. Drawing on decades of research in couples therapy, Johnson presents a series of seven conversations designed to strengthen emotional bonds and foster intimacy. Couples can better understand their attachment patterns and create a secure, lasting bond through these conversations.
Why we love it:
- Gain insights into the science of attachment and emotional bonds in relationships.
- Learn practical techniques for improving communication and intimacy with your partner.
- Strengthen your relationship by addressing attachment patterns and emotional needs.
“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman
“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman introduces the concept of love languages, which are how people express and receive love. Chapman identifies five primary love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. The book helps couples discover their love languages and learn how to communicate love effectively to their partners.
Why we love it:
- Explore the concept of love languages and how they impact relationships.
- Identify your love language and that of your partner to enhance communication.
- Learn practical strategies for expressing love and strengthening your relationship.
“Attached” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
“Attached” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller delves into the science of adult attachment styles and how they influence romantic relationships. The book identifies three attachment styles—Anxious, Avoidant, and Secure—and explains how understanding your attachment style and your partner’s can lead to healthier and more fulfilling relationships. It provides valuable insights into compatibility and communication.
Why we love it:
- Gain a deeper understanding of adult attachment styles and their impact on relationships.
- Learn how to identify and navigate attachment dynamics in your relationship.
- Discover strategies for building secure and lasting connections with your partner.
“The Relationship Cure” by John M. Gottman, PhD
“The Relationship Cure” by John M. Gottman expands on the principles of successful relationships by focusing on romantic partnerships and family and friendships. Gottman offers a five-step guide to improving emotional intelligence and communication, leading to stronger and more satisfying connections in all areas of life.
Why we love it:
- Extend the principles of marital success to all your relationships, including family and friends.
- Learn practical steps to enhance emotional intelligence and improve communication skills.
- Strengthen your ability to build and maintain meaningful connections with others.
“Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
“Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs explores the key concept that women primarily desire love and men primarily want respect in their relationships. Eggerichs explains how misunderstandings in these areas can lead to conflict and offers a better framework for couples to meet each other’s needs. The book offers practical advice on fostering a loving and respectful marriage.
Why we love it:
- Understand the fundamental desires of men and women in relationships.
- Learn how to bridge the gap between love and respect to strengthen your marriage.
- Gain practical tools for improving communication and resolving conflicts.
“The Science of Trust” by John M. Gottman, PhD
“The Science of Trust” by John M. Gottman, Ph.D., delves into the research behind trust and emotional attunement in relationships. Gottman explores “sliding door moments” when partners can connect or disconnect emotionally. By understanding the science of trust, couples can navigate these moments more effectively and build deeper intimacy.
Why we love it:
- Explore the science of trust and emotional connection in relationships.
- Learn how to navigate pivotal moments and build deeper intimacy with your partner.
- Gain insights into the factors for trust and emotional attunement.
“Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray
“Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray is a classic guide to understanding the differences between men and women in relationships. Gray explores how gender differences affect communication, emotional needs, and intimacy. The book provides practical advice for improving understanding and harmony between partners.
Why we love it:
- Gain insights into the unique communication styles and emotional needs of men and women.
- Learn practical strategies for bridging the gap between genders in relationships.
- Improve your communication and connection skills with your partner.