Today we’re going to talk about the Sound Relationship House, a theory from John Gottman after decades of research and studying couples. This theory provides a nice structure for a relationship. As you can see, trust and commitment are pillars in a relationship, meaning that if one or both of them fall, the whole house comes down. When that happens, such as after an affair, you have to start from scratch and rebuild the foundation and go up.
Building Love Maps is learning your partner’s likes and dislikes, what are their desires, what are they looking forward to, what are they excited about. Really, it’s just knowing about each other’s worlds.
Sharing Fondness and Admiration is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s its about building a culture appreciation in the relationship that you really feel inspired by your partner. You want to admire them and appreciate them.
Turning Towards Instead of Away is the idea that when there’s conflict, you’re turning toward that conflict and addressing it, communicating your needs and feelings, rather than withdrawing or isolating from each other.
The Positive Perspective talks about building more positive ideas and memories with each other than negative. One of the biggest killers of relationship satisfaction is Negative Sentiment Override, when it’s hard to find one positive quality about your partner, and most interactions are negative. This point asks, “How can we build more positive interactions with each other?”
Managing Conflict is something that couples have probably known or talked about. It’s understood that conflict is going to happen in a relationship. But this piece breaks down how to address it differently: accepting your partner’s influence, dialoguing about problems, and practicing self-soothing. It’s important that you’re talking about perpetual problems, meaning problems that happen over and over again, in a new way, to where maybe you don’t agree, but you understand each other better.
Creating Shared Meaning And Making Life Dreams Come True speaks to building shared goals and dreams with your partner: where are we going to be in the next 10 years? Where would we like to live and retire? Are we going to have children?
This is a great depiction of all the important pieces of relationship and helps people pick out what they want to work on.
If you’d like support on any of these issues with YOUR sound relationship house, feel free to get in touch.
Coriann Papazian, LMFT
Coriann is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving adults, teens, and couples virtually throughout California.
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Laurel Therapy Collective
offers online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.