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Amazon Price: $15.00 (as of February 21, 2018 5:17 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life's work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Packed with practical questionnaires and exercises, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 16, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805794
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

Customer Reviews

Lots of insight regardless of whether you’re married, engaged, or just dating

19 people found this helpful.
 on July 2, 2016
By Nora L.
This was an extremely insightful read leading up to (ironically) my divorce. It helped me to more clearly identify what was going wrong in my marriage and what it would take to fix it. His descriptions of the different ways couples argue were especially helpful. He provides relationship strengthening exercises that can be done individually or as a couple. One exercise in particular provided a lot of clarity because my immediate thought on reading it was, “This seems like a really good idea, but the emotional toll it would take on me given the state of our relationship isn’t a cost I’m willing to bear.” That sober look at the costs necessary to repair my marriage allowed me to clearly see the pros and cons of staying in the relationship. Although we ultimately divorced, I continue to use the insight I gained from this book in evaluating the health and long-term viability of my dating relationships.

Not just for straight or married couples

8 people found this helpful.
 on September 7, 2012
By Steven W
I’m a gay male and had this book suggested to me by a friend. (who happens to be a relationship counselor) I had only just started a relationship and was still very much in the honeymoon stage. He suggested “The Seven Principles…” as a way to keep things going strong.

Yay, Gottman!

One person found this helpful.
 on February 13, 2017
By Lena's Mum
Dr. Gottman’s principles are simple but they aren’t easy. Some of the exercises are fun, others, not so much.

Good marriage counseling book and came highly recommended

 on January 17, 2018
By Brian Zubia
My wife and I were told to get it and read it before attending marriage counseling. I have talked to other couples who attended counseling at different places and they all were told to read this book.

I’m not much for psychobabble

One person found this helpful.
 on March 28, 2014
By R. Kutschia
I’m not much for psychobabble and tend to look at books like this, as just that. However, I was way off on this one. If you and your partner actually “like each other” but find yourself struggling and are wanting to reconnect, this book may be very helpful. The truth actually does hurt but, if you can listen to it and admit it, the author makes it clear that you may need to cut your losses and save each other more grief and disappointment. Some things just can’t be fixed. There is nothing too heavy or complicated in this book to keep you from understanding each other better and having a great, long life together, if you’re willing. I actually got a lot of good information and insight out of this book…..go figure.

Excellent resource

 on October 19, 2013
By Dan King
Very good work and worthy of use in graduate level counseling courses and with many clients. More intellectual than needed. I have nearly four decades providing Family Therapy and this would be too difficult for over half of my former clients. Some of our clients are not the brightest bulbs on the tree and others because they have spent so much time observing which way the electrons rotate about the filament inside the bulb are now blinded and have not noticed anything outside the bulb in years. As with any resource you need to understand someone and the book before recommending it.

EXCELLENT book and I recommend couples to read it BEFORE …

 on April 4, 2015
By cj
EXCELLENT book and I recommend couples to read it BEFORE they get married or shortly thereafter BEFORE problems and emotional baggage build up and can’t be repaired. Great for any stage of a relationship however, and also helpful for ANY relationship-not just marriage. A lot of basic relationship advice, communication and expectations discussed that would be helpful for co-workers, neighbors or relatives ect.

A must read!

One person found this helpful.
 on January 23, 2013
By Juliet Marie Gause
I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to be in a romantic relationship, not just married people. John Gottman is the best author you could read. I bought this book for a Psychology of Marriage class at my university, and I will always keep this book like a bible to me; I even bought one for my sister and brother in law, who are the best couple I know, because they found it interesting as well. My copy, which I’d bought brand new, now has several underlines and stars and dog ears, because every page is filled with wisdom. These are not just an old man’s ideas about how relationships should work, he really has several years of studies under his belt. This book really tells you what works and what doesn’t, and how to get your relationships on track. This book changed my life, because it helped me with not only romantic relationships, but my family and friend relationships. It has several handy little exercises throughout the book that you can do with your partner, if you wish. It’s 7 principles are so easy to understand and once you do understand, they are easy to put into practice. Everything is supported by research and explained in a very logical way.

Good book to read with your future (or current) partner

4 people found this helpful.
 on September 9, 2015
By Amy Dru
We had to buy this book and read parts of it as part of our marriage counseling. It really has some great things in it. Even though we had been dating for years and were planning to get married, this book shows you ways to learn new things about your partner. One of our favorite things in the entire book is to ask your spouse questions the questions about yourself to see if he/she knows the answer. This led to a lot of late night conversations about why we feel the way we do, or how we came to act different ways. This book can help bring a couple some insight into each other. The book was also good about making us have discussions that we hadn’t previously thought about. When we were dating and planning a wedding, neither of us thought about how we would punish our children, or how much money we should plan to spend on certain purchases. This book served as an eye-opener for those kinds of situations, and helped us at least begin talking about different situations that may come up in the future. We’ve been married over two years, but still pull this book out from time to time just to see what new insight we can garner from it.

Great for therapists & anyone!

One person found this helpful.
 on December 10, 2014
By Amazon Customer
As a counselor with a specialty in marriage and family therapy, I rank this book quite high on my suggestions of MUST READs. I’ve worked with many couples and found this book to be quite helpful for clients as well as conducting therapy. I’ve found that couples can understand better when they are able to put a label on behavior rather than just having a gut feeling. For example, the four horsemen (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling) gives people labels or definitions for behaviors that can occur during ineffective communication. Now partners can label what was offensive rather than “it was the way you said it!” Its also great because it gives readers assignments or therapists can tap into it for ideas for homework assignments. Excellent book. 🙂