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Save Your Relationship With A Sound Relationship House – Part Two
Did you know that Gottman’s Sound Relationship House theory can help to improve conflict stability over time by as much as 80%? With this in mind, it is no surprise that relationship therapists regularly use the Gottman Method to help improve relationships. In last week’s blog post, I shared advice for the first few layers of the Sound Relationship House theory. In this week’s post, I’ll be detailing the remaining floors in the house theory and giving actionable advice so that you can save your relationship.
The Gottman Sound Relationship House So Far
You can find a detailed explanation for each of the layers covered in last week’s post here. But, here is a quick recap too.
Foundations – Build Love Maps: Get to know your partner deeply and intimately. This includes their past, the present and their hopes and dreams for the future. Tell each other stories about your lives to build up a unique picture of that person.
Basement – Share Fondness And Admiration: This level focuses on showing your partner that you appreciate them. Share the qualities that you like most in them. This layer is vital for establishing respect and showing each other that you do not take each other for granted.
Ground Floor – Turn Towards: Research has shown that couples that show each other that they are there for them have longer, more fulfilling relationships. Turning towards each other is all about providing support. Furthermore, it is through small gestures that show commitment, attention and romance and can save your relationship.
First Floor – Positive Perspective: For this level, you need to think of your emotional bank balance. It is important to keep it topped up with positive interactions to negate any negative withdrawals which can leave the emotional bank balance overdrawn. For this, the focus needs to be on kind gestures, power-sharing and joint decision-making.
Now, let’s look at the remains layers of the Sound Relationship House, which can help to save your relationship.
Second Floor: Managing Conflict
The most successful relationships are not the ones that are free of conflict but are the ones that manage conflict successfully. Remember, conflict is inevitable, but it can be constructive too. The essential aspect of successful conflict is the ability to say what needs to be said, but in a way that it can be heard and understood.
Individuals need to be calm, open to compromise and be willing to listen and communicate appropriately to hear their partner’s point of view.
In relationships, there are two types of problems: solvable and perpetual. Solvable problems are typically situational, and there is a solution that can be found that fits that situation. Perpetual problems are the ones where there is a fundamental difference in views, personalities, or lifestyle. Research indicates that 69% of relationship problems are perpetual problems
When conflict is not managed successfully, these perpetual problems can become gridlocked. This is where the same fight keeps occurring without any resolution. The same arguments are repeated, and there is no room for manoeuvre.
How To Manage Conflict
- Remember to take a 15-minute break during a conflict if things are getting too heated.
- Use terms such as ‘I feel’ rather than ‘you never’ when in a conflict situation to avoid accusations.
- Use repair techniques such as saying ‘I understand’ or confirming understanding by summarising what your partner has just said.
- Offer genuine apologies for hurting your partner regardless of whether you agree or disagree with their perspective.
- Ask your partner what they need in order to heal from the conflict and try to deliver or find a way to satisfy both needs.
Third Floor: Make Dreams Come True
Every individual will have hopes, dreams and aspirations. As a partner, it is crucial to be curious about your partner’s desires. It is important to encourage your partner to talk honestly and openly about their hopes, values, convictions and dreams. You should want to support these dreams in the best way you can, even if these do differentiate from yours.
How To Make Dreams Come True
Couples will want to help each other to make their dreams come true. However, so often, these dreams are not focussing on the bigger picture and instead focus on the symbol. For example, many will dream of the ideal wedding day, rather than the marriage itself. Perhaps you dream about the amazing home, but a house will only be a home when it is filled with love and personality, not fancy furnishings.
So, make sure you’re dreaming about the right goals, not symbols and then work out how you can both make it happen.
The Loft: Shared Meaning
Your relationship is entirely unique and should be treasured as such. Your relationship will need quirks to make it distinctly yours. This means shedding the narrative that you may have shared with someone else before your current partner and allowing yourself to create new traditions, symbols of love and goals.
Remember, as your relationship progresses, these aspects may need to adapt to reflect your present relationship. However, these aspects will always give meaning, life and purpose to your relationship.
How To Improve Shared Meaning
Think about the important moments in your relationship. This doesn’t have to be anything wildly extravagant or expensive. It could be as simple as a movie night with your favourite snacks and make it a ritual for your relationship. Any way that you can create memories for the future and define the ‘story of us’ is essential for a Sound Relationship House.
The Walls: Trust And Commitment
Now the walls of trust and commitment should be seen as the pillars of a successful relationship. This means working hard to avoid unfavourable comparisons and jealousy, maximising your partner’s wellbeing and making trust a priority in the relationship.
It is important to realise that there is no singular way to build trust. Instead, it is built over time and in small steps. A vital component of a happy relationship will be when you can both say; ‘my partner has my back and is there for me’.
Is It Time To Save Your Relationship?
If your relationship is not as successful or abundant as you would like, then relationship therapy can help. Using a blend of therapy methods such as hypnosis, coaching and NLP, we can dive deep into your relationship and work out whether your relationship is healthy, right for you and how you can save your relationship.
I offer relationship hypnotherapy at my practice on Harley Street, London, but I also offer virtual appointments for patients further afield. If you would like to find out more, book your free consultation with me today.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free appointment.