Introduction: Building a Strong Foundation for a Lasting Marriage

Marriage is a beautiful and fulfilling union between two individuals, but it also requires effort, commitment, and understanding to make it work. In the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman and Nan Silver, the authors provide valuable insights and practical strategies to help couples cultivate a strong foundation for a lasting and satisfying marriage. By following these principles, couples can strengthen their bond, navigate challenges, and create a loving and supportive partnership. In this article, we will explore the seven principles outlined in the book, delve into their significance, and provide actionable tips for implementing them in your own relationship.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver

John Gottman and Nan Silver, renowned relationship experts, have dedicated years of research to understanding what makes marriages succeed or fail. Through their studies, they have identified seven key principles that are essential for building and maintaining a healthy and thriving marriage. Let’s take a closer look at each principle and discover how it can positively impact your relationship.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

1. Principle 1: Enhance Your Love Maps

To create a strong foundation for your marriage, it’s crucial to deeply understand your partner’s world. This principle emphasizes the importance of building a comprehensive “love map” – a mental representation of your partner’s likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. By actively updating and expanding your love map, you can nurture a strong sense of connection and intimacy with your spouse. Take the time to engage in meaningful conversations, show genuine interest, and be present to truly understand and know your partner.

2. Principle 2: Nurture Fondness and Admiration

Cultivating a culture of appreciation and admiration is vital for a thriving marriage. Expressing affection, admiration, and gratitude regularly can strengthen the bond between partners and create a positive atmosphere within the relationship. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge your partner’s strengths, achievements, and efforts. By nurturing fondness and admiration, you can counteract negativity and build a solid foundation of love and respect.

3. Principle 3: Turn Toward Each Other

In a healthy marriage, partners actively seek opportunities to connect and support one another. Turning towards your spouse means responding to their bids for attention, affection, or support, rather than dismissing or ignoring them. It involves being emotionally available and engaged, even during mundane or stressful situations. By consistently turning towards each other, couples can foster emotional intimacy, build trust, and create a secure and loving bond.

4. Principle 4: Let Your Partner Influence You

Successful marriages thrive on shared decision-making and mutual respect. This principle highlights the importance of accepting and valuing your partner’s opinions, ideas, and desires. Allowing your spouse to influence you shows that their perspective matters and that you value their input in the relationship. Collaboration and compromise are key ingredients for a harmonious partnership.

5. Principle 5: Solve Solvable Problems

Every marriage encounters conflicts and disagreements. However, the way couples handle these issues can significantly impact the overall health of the relationship. This principle encourages couples to develop effective communication and problem-solving skills. By actively working together to find mutually satisfactory solutions, couples can navigate conflicts, minimize resentment, and maintain a sense of harmony.

6. Principle 6: Overcome Gridlock

Certain issues in a marriage can become entrenched and seem impossible to resolve. This principle focuses on identifying and understanding the underlying emotional needs and dreams behind these perpetual problems. By engaging in open and compassionate dialogue, couples can uncover deeper meanings and find creative solutions that honor both partners’ aspirations. It requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to explore alternative perspectives. Overcoming gridlock involves a commitment to understanding and finding common ground, allowing couples to move forward together.

7. Principle 7: Create Shared Meaning

A fulfilling marriage involves a shared sense of purpose and meaning. This principle emphasizes the importance of creating rituals, traditions, and a shared vision for the future. By establishing a sense of belonging and unity, couples can strengthen their emotional connection and navigate the challenges of life as a team. Shared meaning provides a sense of identity and purpose, fostering a deep bond that transcends individual differences and strengthens the foundation of the relationship.

Woman Wearing Wedding Dress Standing Beside a Man Wearing Tuxedo-The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work


What is “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” about?

“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” is a book by John Gottman and Nan Silver that offers practical advice and insights on building a strong and lasting marriage. It outlines seven principles that can help couples enhance their connection, resolve conflicts, and cultivate a loving partnership.

Who are John Gottman and Nan Silver?

John Gottman and Nan Silver are renowned relationship experts and authors of “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” They have conducted extensive research on relationships and have developed effective strategies to help couples strengthen their marriages.

How can I apply the principles in my own marriage?

To apply the principles in your marriage, start by enhancing your understanding of your partner’s world and nurturing fondness and admiration. Make a conscious effort to turn towards each other, value your partner’s influence, and develop problem-solving skills. Additionally, work on overcoming gridlock and creating shared meaning by engaging in open and compassionate communication.

Can these principles help resolve conflicts in my marriage?

Yes, the principles outlined in the book can be helpful in resolving conflicts in your marriage. By practicing effective communication, empathy, and problem-solving skills, you can navigate disagreements and find mutually satisfactory solutions.

Is it necessary to read the entire book to benefit from the principles?

While reading the entire book can provide a more in-depth understanding of the principles, you can still benefit from implementing the strategies outlined in this article. However, for a comprehensive understanding of the concepts and additional insights, reading the book is recommended.

Are these principles applicable to all stages of marriage?

Yes, the principles outlined in “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” are applicable to couples at various stages of their marriage. Whether you are newlywed or have been married for many years, these principles can help strengthen your bond and build a fulfilling and lasting relationship.

Man And Woman Sitting On Red Textile Having A Picnic-The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Conclusion: Building a Strong and Lasting Marriage

“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman and Nan Silver provides valuable guidance for couples seeking to build a strong and lasting marriage. By applying these principles – enhancing love maps, nurturing fondness and admiration, turning towards each other, valuing your partner’s influence, solving problems together, overcoming gridlock, and creating shared meaning – you can create a foundation of love, trust, and understanding. Remember, a successful marriage requires effort, commitment, and ongoing communication. By embracing these principles, you can cultivate a thriving and fulfilling partnership that stands the test of time.