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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – Principle 1: Enhance Your Love Maps

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – Principle 1: Enhance Your Love Maps

Last Updated on March 22, 2022 by admin

In any romantic relationship, there may come a time where you begin to doubt. You might doubt yourself, your partner, or your relationship, and this can make a person feel like their whole world is shaking. Needless to say, the breakdown of a romantic relationship can be devastating.

Luckily for us, John Gottman, Ph.D. offers us The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Based on decades of research, he identified the secret weapons of happy couples: enhancing love maps, nurturing fondness and admiration, turning toward each other instead of away, accepting your partner’s influence, solving your solvable problems, overcoming gridlock, and finally, creating shared meaning. In this first of a 7-part series we’ll focus on the first principle – Enhance Your Love Maps.

“Love Map” is a term that Gottman uses to describe a person’s intimate knowledge of their partner’s world. Do you know the name of your partner’s childhood best friend? What about their hopes and dreams? Could you explain to someone else the kind of work that your partner does? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, congratulations! You have a love map of your partner.

Gottman has found that the more detailed a person’s love map of their partner, the stronger the friendship, leading to a healthier and happier relationship. Friendship is the foundation of a happy relationship as it sets up a couple nicely to be better able to deal with stresses during big life shifts like changing jobs or having a baby, or even just through the passage of time and the stress that comes along with the natural order of things. Knowing each other really well is what’s going to keep you grounded and connected while the rest of the world is swirling around you.

Next time you get the opportunity, try taking a minute to intentionally expand on your love map. Eliminate distractions and set some time apart to build your love maps. Here are some questions to help you get started:

– Name your partner’s two closest friends
– What was your partner wearing when you first met?
– Name one of your partner’s hobbies
– What stresses your partner right now?
– Describe in detail what your partner did today or yesterday

For a full list of love map questions, you can download the Gottman Card Decks app for free from your app store!

Remember… enhancing your love maps is a lifelong process, so be prepared to update the map regularly!


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