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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work Paperback – 10 May 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Paperback, 10 May 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA); 1 edition (10 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805794
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 599,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

According to most relationship books, the key to a solid marriage is communication, communication, communication. Phooey, says John Gottman, PhD, author of the much-lauded Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. There's much more to a solid, "emotionally intelligent" marriage than sharing every feeling and thought, he points out--though most couples therapists ineffectively (and expensively) harp on these concepts.

Gottman, the director of the Gottman Institute, has found through studying hundreds of couples in his "love lab" that it only takes five minutes for him to predict--with 91 per cent accuracy--which couples will eventually divorce. He shares the four not-so-obvious signs of a troubled relationship that he looks for, using sometimes amusing passages from his sessions with married couples. (One standout is Rory, the paediatrician who didn't know the name of the family dog because he spent so much time at work.)

Gottman debunks many myths about divorce (primary among them that affairs are at the root of most splits). He also reveals surprising facts about couples who stay together. They do engage in screaming matches. And they certainly don't resolve every problem. "Take Allan and Betty", he writes. "When Allan gets annoyed at Betty, he turns on ESPN. When Betty is upset with him, she heads for the mall. Then they regroup and go on as if nothing's happened. Never in forty-five years of marriage have they sat down to have a 'dialogue' about their relationship." While this may sound like a couple in trouble, Gottman found that they pass the love-lab tests and say honestly that "they are both very satisfied with their relationship and they love each other deeply". Through a series of in-depth quizzes, checklists and exercises, similar to the ones he uses in his workshops, Gottman provides the framework for coping with differences and strengthening your marriage. His profiles of troubled couples rescued from the brink of divorce (including that of Rory, the out-of-touch doctor) and those of still-happy couples who reinvigorate their relationships are equally enlightening. --Erica Jorgensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The revolutionary guide to show couples how to create an emotionally intelligent relationship - and keep it on track --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book is based upon scientific research, not oppinion. A VERY positive book. It gave us real hope. Not just another 'feel good' pop-psych book. It takes you inside the conflicts of real couples, and reveals the four marriage-killers, and the seven, very do-able skills to aquire to make a marriage work. I've read a lot of books trying to save my marriage. Some of them had some good things that truely helped. But it wasn't enough help. It never got to the root of the problem, and it left us both feeling like 'we have to completely change ourselves if we want to stay married'. Following the principles outlined in this book is FAR easier and FAR more effective than most other books I've read.
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Format: Hardcover
After watching marriage-advice books catalyze the destruction of my first marriage, I did not think I would find myself reading any more of these books soon. But I heard an interview with Dr Gottman on National Public Radio and I was so impressed that I ran out, bought the book and read it. The thing that makes the book so good is that it is based on rigorous, scientific research (you know, set up an experiment, collect data, look for patterns in the data without inserting your own preconceptions and report it). Although I found that most of Dr. Gottman's findings were not particularly surprising, I still found the book to be extremely useful because out of the many possible things a person could do to improve their marriage, this book tells you which ones really matter. The book also gave me a good sense of the problems that are encountered in happy marriages. For example, about 60% of the conflicts that happily married couples have are unresolvable (perpetual). This fact alone would have helped my first marriage a lot considering all the good will that we burned up trying to solve problems that were not solvable. Dr Gottman found that happy couples accept that these problems are unresolvable and can learn to live with them without damaging their relationship. As an analogy he points out that people with bad elbows can live very rich and rewarding lives as long as they don't make playing tennis a central part of their lives. In summary this is a great book that people who don't like marriage advice books can enjoy (as well as those who do).
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. Very well wtitten and very clearly explained. It outlines the fundamental differences in how males and females communicate which I found very helpful. Also , how to approach sensitive issues plenty of advice and examples on what to say, how to say and when not to say anything. Since, reading this book I am certainly communicating better with my husband and conflicts have decreased to almost nil which is super. Really liked it and if you are at the end of your tether and ready to just leave.. read this book. I am not saying it will heal your relationship , but, it will give you the tools to bring you to a place of peace and a better understanding of your spouse and yourself which i found very helpful in making the important decisions necessary in times of crisis. To stop the silly games . .and truly see your relationship for what it is and take ownership for your role in the dysfunction. I also, learned alot about myself and how I had fallen into every trap of bad communication there was so it really is excellent... Enjoy.
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By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Under the guise of scientific research, this book recommends that couples develop certain attitudes - cognitive styles - that will improve interactions. This is more important, the author asserts, than trying to resolve the issues that are discussed, debated, and argued about. In other words, he argues that it is far more important to be nice, to avoid being defensive or sarcastic, to avoid stonewalling and the like.

While this may well be an important insight and may predict the prospects of couples facing divorce, I believe that the issues matter in marriages and thus that this advice only gets a couple in trouble part way there. THere are also exercises, in which couples can check their cognitive styles and try to adjust them.

REcommended with these limits in mind.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm highly suspicious of self-help books as a genre, but this one really is good. I checked it out of the library initially, but will be purchasing it because it is so sensible, practical, and down-to-earth. There's no magic here; what Gottman points out seems like it should be obvious. Still, the obvious often eludes us, and this book provides some great ways of getting back in focus.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely marvellous. A great book. To be read over and over!

I really mean that - its very densely packed with great ideas and it takes a while to absorb the lessons, let alone put them into practice.

But real research-based suggestions on this topic are like gold dust,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend the book, as I found it amazing and full of advice for various relationship situations.
Looking at the title and cover of the book, you may think that they leave to be desired. But they actually hide a very precious content for anyone who wants to invest in their relationship, whether you're at the start or after 20 years of marital life, whether you're welcoming a new child or struggling financially.
The book obviously does not have the magical solution, however it gives lots of useful pointers and suggests multiple tools to maintain a healthy love relationship or to improve your everyday marital life.
And even for those not in relationship, I find the book teaches how to tackle difficult situations generally while remaining a good person.
I highly recommend it.
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