There is so much great information out there on how to have a healthy relationship, it's hard to keep up with it all! This is good news for all of us.
In addition to all of Sue Johnson's work and her latest book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships, I'm excited to share with you a book that has been around for a bit longer, but is still as worthwhile to read as it was when it was first published.
John Gottman's The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a book based on his years of research on relationships and what makes them work. In my article on this book, I share a summary of each of these seven principles, so read the article to get your relationship on track today!
A lot of my work revolves around helping people with their relationships, so naturally I like to write articles about relationship health. After all, strong relationships are so important to our health, and it's recently been shown that healthy relationships even change the way our brains respond to pain and distress. I believe that your primary relationship with your significant other is your best asset, and it's up to you to make sure it thrives.
If you feel like your relationship is in trouble, it would be worthwhile to learn about the work of Dr. John Gottman, a renown psychologist who has been studying relationships and predictors of marital success and failure for over 40 years. Are you worried that your relationship may be headed for divorce? Read about 6 of his predictors of divorce.
John Gottman offers a specific form of couples therapy known as Gottman Method Couples Therapy, which many couples have found to be helpful. It is based on helping people learn the skills and qualities of healthy and happy marriages, so that they can be happy and healthy together. If there is anyone I would trust learning about what makes for a happy relationship, it would be John Gottman, as he has devoted his entire career to learning just what that is.
Dr. Gottman's work is also complementary to Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). In fact, he has named the creator of EFT, Dr. Sue Johnson, "the best couples therapist in the world." That says a lot, especially coming from someone who has spent over 40 years of his career researching relationships. (And even though I haven't even lived 40 years, after seeing her brilliant work with numerous couples, I completely agree.) EFT helps couples in trouble understand which of 3 killer patterns their relationship is suffering from. Then, the EFT therapist helps them stop this pattern and develop 3 key qualities for healthy relationships, and be more emotionally open and authentic with each other, creating a stronger connection between them.
Despite how effective EFT is, many couples cringe at the thought of having to see a couples therapist every week, or one partner refuses to go. A solution to that is to attend a weekend workshop based in EFT and Dr. Sue Johnson's widely acclaimed book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. These workshops are structured, educational, and involve couples doing exercises together.
If you are considering attending one of these weekend workshops, I strongly encourage you to. I have led these workshops in the past - at a college and once for the public - and have found them to be incredible. They are also great for couples looking for pre-marital relationship enrichment. The feedback is consistently positive and couples learn a lot about themselves and each other from these workshops. One person even said it was more effective than 6 months of intensive couples therapy. WOW!
The point of all of this is to say that if you are facing relationship distress, you are not alone. Relationship distress is an epidemic at least in the U.S., but the good news is that there is a lot of good help out there, and more and more psychotherapists, counselors and coaches are being trained in effective ways of helping couples through it to the other side of relationship difficulties. Don't give up on each other and get some help.
One last thing - if you are interested in the new science that is being discovered about love and what love is all about, be sure to check out Sue Johnson's 2013 book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary Science of Romantic Relationships. It is amazing!
Be well, and thanks for reading,
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