Tonight my husband and I were able to go to an event to hear Dr. John Gottman & Julie Gottman, renowned relationship and marriage experts and founders of the Gottman Institute, speak.
I first heard about the Gottmans when a couple we are friends with went to a two day marriage retreat in Seattle. They came back and shared some awesome tools they’d learned on how to communicate better, how to understand one another better, and ways to build their friendship in order to strengthen their marriage. I was so impressed by what they’d learned I wanted to hear from the Gottmans myself. So imagine my excitement when I found out they were in Utah this week! And after hearing them speak tonight I can tell you I am even more impressed! They gave awesome ideas an insights into how to improve your marriage.
In their talk they stressed the importance of having FUN in your marriage. They shared that so often couples are focused on reducing the bad in their marriage that they forget how to increase the good. Couples need to play together. They explained that play deepens friendship, increases empathy, and tempers our reactions during conflict.
“The correlation between fun and marital happiness is high and significant. The more you invest in fun and friendship and being there for your partner, the happier your relationship will be.” – Howard Markman
They also talked about the importance of having shared dreams and goals as a couple. They explained that relationships are about having meaning and part of making meaning is dreaming what’s possible together. So its important to spend time talking about what you both want your lives to be like five years from now.
They explained that trust is the glue that holds the relationship together and that trust is built through being vulnerable with one another and by leaning on each other. Trust comes from knowing you can count on each other.
They shared that research shows that the couples who have the best sex life are the ones who say I love you every day, who kiss passionately often, who cuddle just for fun, and go on romantic dates.
When asked for their best advice they could give at the closing of the event Dr. John Gottman said “When your partner is upset the world stops and you listen.” Dr. Julie Gottman said, “Go home and tell you partner exactly what you are grateful for in them and what about them you appreciate.”
Great words of wisdom on all fronts. I can’t wait to read the books they’ve published!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )