The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
|Published||March 16, 1999|
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a 1999 book by John Gottman, which details seven principles for couples to improve their marriage. The book was based on Gottman's research in his Family Research Lab, known as the "Love Lab", where he observed more than 650 couples over 14 years.
In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Gottman argues that the basis for a happy marriage is a deep friendship with mutual respect and a positive attitude. He also emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence in couples. In the course of the book, Gottman details seven principles for couples to follow in order to nurture their friendship and improve their marriage: enhancing their "love maps"; nurturing their fondness and admiration; turning toward each other instead of away; letting their spouse influence them; solving their solvable problems; overcoming gridlock; and creating a shared sense of meaning.
The book was released to generally favorable reviews. It was a New York Times bestseller, and was included in the U.S. Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. It has been included in numerous publications' lists of best relationship books. A 2001 study noted the book aligned with feminist principles and research stating that shared power is essential for a successful marriage.
Psychologist Milton Spett criticized Gottman's lack of scientific rigor in his claims of low relapse from his marital therapy: "Gottman makes these claims without reporting any of the standard techniques of outcome research: no control group, no random assignment to treatments, no blind assessment of outcome." Therapist Robert F. Scuka argued against Gottman's criticism of the effectiveness of active listening based on the Munich Marital Therapy Study, saying, "Gottman cites only certain (one-sided) results from the study."
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- Spett, Milton. "John Gottman Proposes Revolutionary New Form of Couple Therapy - or Does He?". NJ-ACT.
- Scuka, Robert F. (28 May 2005). "The Munich Group Study". Relationship Enhancement Therapy.