Staying Connected with Each Other

When Russ walks in the door, Carol looks up from her newspaper and says, "How was your day?" When Christine and Steven are walking down the grocery aisle he asks, "Aren't we almost out of milk?" When Jay peers over Liz's shoulder to see what she's doing, she turns and gives him a quick kiss on the chin. Each of these mini-scenarios represents a couple connecting in some small way. A wife acknowledges her husband's entrance instead of keeping her eyes glued to the newspaper. A husband...
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Nurturing Friendship in Marriage

Good marriages seem rare these days, but a leading marriage expert says it's not complicated—or even necessarily difficult—to make a marriage last. Friendship, says John Gottman, is at the core of a strong marriage.  Friendship between couples means they "know each other intimately" and "are well versed in each other's likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes and dreams," Gottman says in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Based on twenty-five years of research, The Seven Pri...
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Nurturing Love and Respect in Marriage

The Family: A Proclamation to the World reminds us we have an obligation to love and serve our marriage partner. To love them effectively, we have to know and understand their inner world—their likes, dislikes, thoughts, and feelings. Taking the time to do this and then acting on what we learn is a powerful way to nurture love and respect in our marriage. John Gottman calls this process enhancing our "love maps." A love map is the part of your brain where you store important information a...
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Increasing Intimacy in Marriage

What Is Marital Intimacy? Intimacy is the closeness of your relationship with your spouse -- emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, sexually, and in many other ways. Intimacy is not an end goal but rather a journey that lasts throughout your marriage. Marriage and family researchers Schaefer and Olson describe attaining intimacy as “a process that occurs over time and is never completed or fully accomplished". As you both grow and develop, each of you changes. If you neglect intimacy i...
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Equal Partnership in Marriage

The Family: A Proclamation to the World teaches that fathers and mothers have specific, God-ordained responsibilities within an equal partnership, with neither husband nor wife seeking to dominate the other. When partners in a marriage value equality, they treat each other with respect, consider each other’s needs, and support one another. Equal partners agree on goals and work as a team to achieve them. They show equal commitment to the relationship and provide mutual support and nurturi...
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Creating Shared Meaning

Culture is not limited to countries or nations. Even two people who share a life together can create their own culture. They can have customs, traditions, stories, and beliefs that bind them and give meaning to their life together. As John Gottman says, "Marriage isn't just about raising kids, splitting chores, and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together-a culture rich with symbols and rituals, and an appreciation for your ro...
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