This method is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy, productively manage conflicts, generate greater understanding between partners, and support each other’s hopes for the future. Drs. John and Julie Gottman have demonstrated how couples can achieve greater friendship, conflict resolution, and meaning by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House, or the seven components of a healthy marriage.
• Build Love Maps: Knowing each other and staying updated on the partner’s internal and external worlds. The fundamental process involves asking open-ended questions.
• Share Fondness and Admiration: Including expressing appreciation and gratitude, affection/intimacy, and showing respect for one another.
• Turn Towards: Building awareness of how one’s partner asks for connection and expresses emotional needs and deciding to turn towards these “bids” rather than turning away dismissively or turning against with hostility or contempt. Turning towards makes deposits in the emotional bank account of the relationship, creating a reserve to draw on in times of crisis or turmoil.
• The Positive Perspective: What does it feel like to be in this relationship? The overarching sentiment is negative if neutral or positive messages are perceived as negative. Building the Positive Perspective involves shifting focus to notice what your partner is doing that is thoughtful, interesting, or positive in some way.
• Manage Conflict: Learning to dialogue about Perpetual (unsolvable) Problems and work on Solvable Problems.
• Make Life Dreams Come True: Create an environment that welcomes honest exploration of each person’s dreams, values, beliefs, and aspirations.
• Create Shared Meaning: Creating narratives about what life means and the rituals of connection that enact these meanings.