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Got a minute for your marriage?

Photo: Pixaby.com

Photo: Pixaby.com

I get it… every one is busy, busy, busy! So I am going to share with you one of my favorite relationship resources that really only takes a minute of your time.

The Marriage Minute from the Gottman Institute drops helpful relationship advice to your inbox twice a week. The best part (obviously besides improving your relationship) is that the tips are quick. Seriously, we all have 60 seconds to improve our marriages, right? I thought so.

A while back I signed both me and my partner up for the emails. He had to confirm them, but still, I think it was a pretty slick move.

Anyways… we’ve had a lot of fun with them! Sometimes we will forward the message to each other with a quick comment. Other times a message will spark us to plan a date night, or remind us to express appreciation for each other.

I often recommend that couples that I am seeing in therapy signup for the Marriage Minute as well!

Give it a try! It really is the small things, done often, that strengthen a relationship.

How to make love last

What is it that makes a relationship stand the test of time? I wish I had an easy answer for that one! But I can share that strong relationships have one thing in common, and that is trust. According to relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, trust is one of the most important things to make love last. 

Trust is built in the small, every day moments.png

Often the conflicts that couples have are related to questions of trust. Can I trust that you will be here for me? Will you will put our relationship first? Can I trust that you will be faithful to me? Can I trust that you will take care of our kids? Will you take my side? Can I trust you to comfort me when I've had a bad day? Will you be emotionally available? Can I trust you to love me for who I am?

So how do you build and nurture trust? According to Gottman, trust is built in the small every day moments. He calls them sliding door moments, based on the movie Sliding Doors. In these moments you are paying attention to your partner and their emotional needs, and you make the choice to connect with your partner.  Sliding door moments happen quick and they happen all the time. You have a choice how to respond.  

An example of a sliding door moment that I like to share with my clients in therapy, is one that Dr. Gottman talks about from his own relationship. One night he was tired and wanted to get into bed to read a book. But as he passed by the bathroom, he noticed that his wife looked sad. In that moment, she didn't see him so he had a choice. Does he go into the bathroom and ask her what's wrong? Or does he get in bed and read the book he was excited to get back to? She would never know the difference. Spoiler alert-- he went into the bathroom. By responding in that way, he turned towards his wife and built trust. 

In the video below, Dr. Gottman talks more about sliding door moments.

The renowned marriage expert explains that couples build trust in the small moments of a relationship, when we're emotionally attuned to our partner. Learn more tips on how to build trust here: greatergood.berkeley.edu

In couples therapy, a lot of the work we do is learning how to strengthen trust and intimacy. We focus on how the couple can recognize those sliding door moments and how to respond in a way that that brings them closer to one another. 

Read more about couples counseling with me.