Excerpt from Dr. John’s Gottman’s Love Maps:
BUILDING LOVE MAPS
Do you know what kind of salad dressing your partner likes? Do you know what their biggest stressor is right now? Is religion important to them? What are some of their deepest fears?
These are examples of details you may or may not know about your partner, and they’re stored in what Dr. Gottman calls your Love Maps. Enhancing your Love Maps is the first level of the Sound Relationship House, and Dr. Gottman uses this term to describe the part of your brain where you keep all the relevant information about your partner’s life.
Emotionally intelligent couples remember all the major events in each other’s history, and continuously update their information as the facts and feelings of their spouse’s would change. Knowing your partner not only deepens your bond but also prepares you better for stressful events and conflicts.
THE FIRST BABY
In one study, Dr. Gottman found that after the birth of the first baby, 67% of couples experience a decline in marital satisfaction, while the other 33% did not experience this decline. In fact, half of these couples saw an improvement in their marriage.
What caused the difference in satisfaction between these two groups?
The couples whose marriages thrived after the birth had a deep understanding of each other’s worlds. The couples who didn’t start off with deep knowledge about each other were thrown off course when they faced a dramatic shift in their lives.
Detailed Love Maps protected couples in the wake of this dramatic upheaval. Because husband and wife were already in the habit of keeping up to date and were intently aware of what each other was feeling and thinking, their marriage remained stable.
But if couples don’t start off with deep knowledge and understanding of each other, it’s easy for a marriage to lose its way when lives shift so suddenly and dramatically.
What question above stumped you? Were you able to answer all the questions about your spouse? Comment below.
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