Book Review: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
John Gottman’ s book titled The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, presents what could be considered a useful guide for how couples should be able to not only avoid ending up divorced but instead reach their highest potential. He provides a good overview of the problems that affect most marriages with mention to the fact that not all problems are solvable. Gottman’s fifth principle is “solve your solvable problems.” However, step five within this principle states that it is important for couples to be tolerant of each other’s faults. In other words, happy couples must learn to find acceptance in their problems so as to be able to continue their married life without these problems negatively impacting their marriage.
Throughout the book, Gottman makes a point to mention that these principles are not simply him offering up his own opinion of what couples should and should not do. Instead, he presents ideas that are reflective of patterns that developed and were extracted from scientific research he conducted. He covers everything from conflict resolution to stress management and housework to sex and does it in a manner that is insightful and lacks intimidation. Even though his principles are based on scientific research, the book is written in a manner that makes it digestible to any reader.
Also contained within this book are a series of questionnaires and exercises related to each principle that couples can complete at home or in a therapeutic setting. These alone make this book a potentially invaluable resource for couples and therapists alike.
Gottman, J.M. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work: A practical guide from the country’s foremost relationship expert. Three Rivers Press: New York.