Let’s face it: relationships are hard sometimes. Once the honeymoon phase passes, everyday things like chores around the house, how late you get home from work, and whose turn it is to walk the dog become bigger feats than they need to be. The spark that brought you together is still there, it’s just glowing deep down inside and needs to be brought back to light. Maybe you and your partner are at the point where you don’t know how to accomplish that. Luckily, there are tools and resources available to help you revive your relationship.

The Gottman Method is a therapy technique that was created to help couples work through a myriad of obstacles and get back to a happy, affectionate relationship. Deciding to seek therapy might be a difficult decision, but it proves to be effective in the long run. Relationships are full of ups and downs, but when the downs are really hard and the ups barely exist, it may be time to try out the Gottman Method.

So, What Is the Gottman Method?

The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that is backed by scientific interventions. Dr. John and Dr. Julie Gottman created this method after 40 years of research which has helped them accurately predict divorce in couples and significantly improve marital stability. After completing assessments, a Gottman Method trained therapist works on three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning.

So, what does this mean for you and your partner? This method aims to increase intimacy, respect, and affection in your relationship while also removing barriers that are holding you back from having a happy and healthy marriage. To do so, the research-based Sound Relationship House Theory was created and is compiled of nine key components to healthy relationships. Using this theory, you and your partner can expect to:

  1. Build Love Maps: You and your partner will analyze how well you know each other’s worries, stresses, goals, hopes, and more.
  2. Create admiration for one another: Every relationship should have a certain degree of admiration. You’ll focus on strengthening this bond through appreciation and respect for your partner.
  3. Face your needs: Instead of sweeping your needs under the rug, you and your partner should respond to them.
  4. Have a positive mindset: Being positive when addressing problems or attempting to repair your relationship is essential. It helps you both be less confrontational.
  5. Learn conflict management: Arguments happen. That’s a part of being in a relationship. However, it’s critical that you learn how to appropriately manage conflicts that arise.
  6. Discuss goals: You should establish a safe space to address your goals, values, and hopes for the future and encourage your partner to do the same.
  7. Create a shared meaning: One of the pillars of the Gottman Method, it’s important to understand each other’s mindset in terms of your relationship.
  8. Build trust: Without trust, partnerships cannot function properly. You’ll work on building up trust together.
  9. Establish commitment: For better or for worse, you and your partner are in this together. Cherish your partner’s positive qualities and show them the commitment you’ve made to your relationship.

There are years of research that prove these nine categories are essential in repairing and strengthening any relationship. If you and your partner are experiencing frequent arguments, have poor communication skills, feel emotionally distant, or are going through specific issues like financial strain or parenting issues, the Gottman Method might be the right option for you. Many couples feel stronger and healthier after getting this type of help. No matter if you just want to strengthen your bond or overcome a yearlong battle, your marriage is worth bringing back to life.

Prioritize Your Connection

If you want to spark romance and bring your relationship back to life, you need to prioritize your partner. Even when you feel irritated or “over it,” taking the time to make them a priority and build your friendship can help your marriage thrive. Turn pointing fingers into holding hands and cold shoulders into laying together on the couch. Here are some easy ways that you and your partner can keep your marriage alive.

Go on dates

Whether you’re at home or want a night out, try these date ideas:

  • Bake or cook a new meal together
  • Teach each other about something you love
  • Go for a walk or jog in a park, along the beach, or on your favorite trail
  • Write each other love letters or read your old vows
  • Buy them their favorite snack, something that reminds you of your partner, and/or something you need around the house
  • Go to a spa or create one at home with face masks, a bubble bath, and massages
  • Pick a new restaurant that you would normally not go for
  • Go on a weekend getaway to an unexplored city near you

Spark your connection again

After some time, you might see the flame of your relationship start to flicker. Try out these activities to spark your connection again:

  • Be affectionate and playful at home and in public.
  • Prioritize handholding, even for short periods of time. Next time you go for a walk around the neighborhood, reach out for that small sign of affection.
  • Start saying “thank you” more often. It shows how much you appreciate your partner and lets them know that their acts aren’t going unnoticed.
  • Leave positive notes around the house. Maybe slip something nice into your partner’s lunch bag before they leave for work or write something kind on the mirror for them to see when getting ready.
  • Pay attention to your partner without the distractions of phones, the TV, or video games.
  • Show affection each time you leave each other. Even a small kiss before heading out of the door can give you the butterflies you felt at the beginning of your relationship.

The Gottman Method is proven to be effective for couples who are looking for help. The combination of working with a Gottman trained therapist, implementing these small gestures, and prioritizing date nights, you and your partner can start to rebuild.

Madison Bambini

Madison Bambini

Madison Bambini is a Communications Coordinator at Thriveworks. She received her bachelor's degree from VCU in mass communications, focusing on digital journalism and broadcast journalism. She also minored in gender, sexuality, and women's studies. Coupled with her love for writing, Madison enjoys producing content that is inclusive, empowering, and promotes the importance of mental health.

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