The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work has revolutionized the way we understand, repair, and strengthen marriages. John Gottman’s unprecedented study of couples over a period of years has allowed him to observe the habits that can make—and break—a marriage. Here is the culmination of that work: the seven principles that guide couples on a path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.
Straightforward yet profound, these principles teach partners new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy. Gottman offers strategies and resources to help couples collaborate more effectively to resolve any problem, whether dealing with issues related to sex, money, religion, work, family, or anything else.


John Gottman is one of the most well known researchers and authors on marriage. The book was originally published in 1999 and has been updated through the years with the most current and up-to-date research done by John Gottman’s team and research institute. Based on years of research and counseling, this book has impacted the lives of individuals for over 20 years.

Gottman attempts to pull back the curtain to explain how his research is done as well as how he is able to use that research to predict and encourage how a couple will interact and fair in marriage. Explaining how he has created the seven principles based on his research that he has spent decades collecting and interpreting sets up the remainder of the book and his seven principles.

The technique that Gottman uses is unique in that he does not simply give you a list of do’s and don’ts but he provides principles that must be adjusted to your marriage. This is not a list of homework assignments but are concepts that should be personalized to your particular marriage. Gottman does a great job explaining a concept and offering a variety of scenarios that show how a concept might look vastly different in marriages.

While this book will not guarantee marital satisfaction and success it will be helpful for anyone who desires to work on their marriage. These concepts are not earth shattering but they are written in a way that makes working on them possible. An average marriage that takes these concepts and puts them into practice would likely improve in quality and intimacy.

Confidentiality in Group Counseling

One of the most common concerns of a participant is confidentiality. Without confidentiality the work of counseling would be problematic because participants would find it difficult to trust their group facilitator or group enough to share the most intimate details of their lives. 

Confidentiality is too important to a counseling ministry to assume that it is being done well. For this reason, we strive to do everything possible to ensure that we are protecting the stories of those who have entrusted us with them. For this reason, at G4 we believe confidentiality to be so fundamental to caring well for people that it is one of our seven core values. This blog explores two different aspects of confidentiality: (1) why confidentiality is important, and (2) how we as a ministry strive to uphold it. 

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Go Unresolved

No one sets goals to intentionally fail at them, but year after year it happens to people who make New Year’s resolutions. G4-1It’s why the gym is always crowded in January, busy in March, and empty by June. Whether people make resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight, or even become emotionally healthier the goals are often pushed aside if not completely forgotten relatively early in the year. Why is it that people who start the year with so much excitement about change so quickly lose steam?

Change Requires a Process

We often make resolutions in an area of life that we desire to see change happen but have previously been unable to see it through. Continue reading

Which Group is Right for You?

The decision of which group would best serve a new participant is one of the more difficult questions that is asked early in the process of attending G4. G4-1Finding the starting point for each participant can be difficult because some feel as though they have many prominent issues that need to be addressed. Given the limited amount of information that you are given by participants as they register for the first time, you are going to help them decide which group will best serve their needs. Below are five levels at which a person might find themselves which will tell them which group is right for them.

The level of self-awareness will typically increase as you move down the levels. A struggle at a higher level might exhibit symptoms of a lower struggle but without addressing the higher issue first; for example, an addiction should be addressed before a skill. To address a lower level struggle without addressing those at a higher level, it is more likely that the lower level struggle will return because it is a symptom of the other. Continue reading