Every relationship is unique, and every relationship faces its own issues and road blocks along the way. We all long for a loving, supportive partnership and this is no different for same sex couples.
At Haven we work with same sex and gender diverse couples who face relationship issues and specialise in understanding the struggles they face. Often, we see couples deal with not only partnership struggles, but couples who are also managing past pressures such as negative societal and family attitudes, communication and identity issues and feelings of isolation.
Haven Psychology offers a safe and supportive space to help LGBTQI+ couples navigate their relationship and personal challenges, and we understand that sometimes it can all seem too complex to manage.
Relationships form an integral part of our lives, and maintaining a strong bond is no different for any couple. In this blog we wanted to touch on The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, created by renowned clinical psychologist and marriage researcher John Gottman.
What are The Seven Principles for Making Marriage/Partnership Work?
1. “Enhance your love maps.”
Happy couples spend time understanding every detail about their partner, they support and encourage what makes them unique. Take the time to appreciate the little things – perhaps this is a favourite book or memory – it’s the little things that matter.
2. “Nurture your fondness and admiration.”
Successful couples learn to create a strong bond of admiration of each other, sometimes we can lose track of this admiration so it’s important at times to revisit the reasons why you fell in love with them in the first instance.
3. “Turn toward each other instead of away.”
Every day life can be taxing and busy, Gottman explains that it’s important to keep a strong bond even in the mundane every day life. Sometimes a simple sign to say you care could be an “I love you” text message, it’s about taking time to acknowledge your partner.
4. “Let your partner influence you.”
Happy couples are a team that considers each other’s perspective and feelings. They make decisions together and search out common ground. Letting your partner influence you isn’t about having one person hold the reins; it’s about honouring and respecting both people in the relationship.
5. “Solve your solvable problems.”
Successful couples deal with their issues immediately and calmly, there is no time left to build resentment. Good communication is key and taking the time to appreciate and understand each other’s values and concerns.
6. “Overcome gridlock.”
According to Gottman, at times we can face gridlocks which are larger than every day issues and problems. Gridlocks are described as “dreams for your life that aren’t being addressed or respected by each other.” If left unchecked, gridlocks can be very damaging so these need to be understood an addressed.
7. “Create shared meaning.”
A loving supportive relationship is about sharing a meaningful life that resonates with both of you. Meanings can range from culture, to family traditions, to hobbies and pastimes. A couple that has a deeper understanding of their partnership and what happiness looks like to them - naturally succeed.
As we stated at the beginning, each relationship differs from the next however all relationships are the same in that they are underpinned by principles that, if followed, can lead to long term happiness.
We welcome all couples and individuals from the LGBTQI+ community to our clinic and value their uniqueness. Effective counselling can support each couple in creating stronger, life long bonds.