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Making Marriage Work Part 6

We been referencing the book, The 7 Principles for Making Your Marriage Work written by Nan Silver and John Gottman. At this point of the series we are on step six. According to Gottman, in ideal healthy marriages couples believe in the importance of supporting and helping one another reach their goals and dreams.  Consequently, the thorn in reaching this blissful state of any relationship is what Gottman calls “gridlock”. Dictionary.com defines gridlock in one definition as any situation in which nothing can move or proceed in any direction.

Most marriages fail in this area without ever discovering the break through that could have sustain the marriage. Gridlock is when the relationship is not moving forward at all like 85 south traffic to Atlanta, GA. No talking or communication, no intimacy, no companionship, no connection, and this does not look like the dream relationship either of you imagined.  Then the thought and doubts start to set in whether this is the person you were going to share your dreams with and achieve goals together as well as grow together.  This is gridlock, when the direction of the relationship just does not exist.

Silver notes that Gottman says the goal with perpetual problems is for couples to move and advance towards conversing and away from gridlock. Gridlock derives from unfulfilled dreams according to Gottman.  It’s a sign that you or your spouse have dreams and they are not being regarded or taken into consideration by the other or either of you. This is frequently the careless response to one another that creates the gridlock.

Gottman recommends the first step to overcoming gridlock is to assess the dream that might be causing the conflict.  Then create a good dialogue with one another to remove the pain from the discussion so that both can really hear the dream and properly address what needs are not being met.  Then agree on what works for both to meet each other’s needs in that area. Ultimately you want to move to a place of making peace with the problem.

How do you get through gridlock? Were you successful? Please share what you and your spouse do to get through gridlock as a couple.

(The information from this blog series has been adopted from the book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver, 2017)

“Healthy Living Begins with Healthy Thinking”

Joseph Briscoe

Life Coach

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