Marriage Minute: Kintsugi

Kintsugi is the Japanese tradition of restoring broken objects with gold so the cracks are illuminated, not hidden.

The belief is that the pottery is more beautiful for having been broken.

Relationships work the same way.

If we choose to embrace our struggles and repair ourselves with love, we too become more beautiful for having been broken.

This is the essence of resilience.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 15 November 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: We are pack animals

We are wired to connect.

After all, biologically, we are pack animals. Our need for connection is as fundamental as our need for food and water.

Aristotle asserted long ago in Politics: Man is by nature a social animal… Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.

New research has shown that preventing loneliness is a critical component to staying healthy, much like eating right and exercising.

Making time to connect with your partner isn’t just important for the health of your relationship—it’s an essential investment in your overall health.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 8 November 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: Halloween Rituals

Some couples get really into Halloween. If you’re one of those couples, that’s great. If you’re not, that’s okay, too.

Even if you don’t dress up as Sandy and Danny from Grease, you can still celebrate tomorrow. Holidays are an opportunity to create rituals of connection in your relationship.

In his book The Intentional Family, Bill Dougherty discusses “rituals of connection” as an important tool for successful relationships. A ritual of connection is a way of regularly turning towards your partner that can be counted on.

Instead of going to a Halloween party, you could stay in and watch the same scary movie together every year. Or you could carve pumpkins. Whatever you do, make it your “thing.”

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 30 October 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: Emotional Triggers

We all have emotional triggers. When those buttons are pushed, we’re reminded of a memory or situation from our past.

Working on understanding each other’s triggers is one of the most important things you can do in your relationship.

Learn the stories behind your partner’s triggers to understand where they’re coming from.

With this knowledge, you can identify which behaviors to avoid, so that the two of you don’t accidentally set each other off.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 23 October 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: Dream Together

When was the last time you and your partner dreamed about your future together?

Our research shows that dreaming together creates shared meaning in a relationship. You don’t need to have the same dreams as your partner. You just need to support them.

If you’re dating or engaged, ask each other questions like, “Where do you want to live?” and “What do you want our home to look like?” and “How do you want to celebrate holidays?”

If you’re married, ask each other questions like, “Where do you see our marriage in five years?” and “Where do you want to travel together?” and “How do you want to raise our children?”

If you’re empty nesters, ask each other questions like, “How do you want to spend our retirement?” and “How do you want to be involved in the community?” and “What legacy do you want to leave?”

As you live your lives life together, it’s important—and fun—to talk about your dreams as a way to give purpose and meaning to your marriage.

Open-Ended Questions
For more Open-Ended Questions to facilitate meaning conversations, download Gottman Card Decks for free.

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 9 October 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: A stroll down memory lane

Your first date. Your first kiss. Your first anniversary. Your first vacation together.

What do you remember about those moments? What stands out to you now?

Taking a stroll down memory lane can be a powerful way to reconnect with your partner. Look through old photos or pull out your scrapbook if you need to jog your memory.

Periodically reflecting on the positive, not the negative, memories of your past experiences will bring back those good feelings and will keep your marriage strong for years to come.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 2 October 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Marriage Minute: My spouse is a gamer

Here’s another great reader email.

I’d love to hear advice on how to deal with a spouse who is a gamer. My husband is much better than he was, and far better than some, but sometimes I feel that the games take precedence over our relationship and our time and that hurts.

Fortnite made headlines last week after being cited in more than 200 divorce proceedings in the United Kingdom.

Every relationship is different, so we don’t have rules about video game usage. Some people play games to decompress and that’s their thing.

We do recommend that you establish rules that work for you and your marriage.

What’s most important is how you talk about it. Remember the soft start-up formula: I feel ___, about ___, and I need ___. Make statements that start with “I” instead of “You.”

Don’t judge. Instead of accusing or blaming, just describe what you see and feel. This will help prevent your spouse from feeling attacked or getting defensive.

Again, it’s important to establish policies that feel fair to you both—and then to respect them.

Gaming addiction
If you think you or your partner may be suffering from a video game addiction, it’s best to seek the professional guidance of a trained therapist.

Related blog posts

The Marriage Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 27 September 2018. You can sign up here to get The Marriage Minute delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.