Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America's Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship
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Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America's Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  323 ratings  ·  46 reviews
In 1994, Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues at the University of Washingto— made a startling announcement: Through scientific observation and mathematical analysis, they could predict—with more than 90 percent accuracy—whether a marriage would succeed or fail. The only thing they did not yet know was how to turn a failing marriage into a successful one, so Gottman teamed...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Crown (first published 2006)
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Elizabeth
Dec 25, 2010 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Elizabeth by: I read everything JG writes
from the library computer:
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
* From predicting divorce to preventing it: An introductory message from John and Julie Gottman
CHAPTER 1-"All you ever do is work!"
* Our analysis: A cycle of criticize/defend/counter-criticize
* Our advice
* One year later
* Healthy complaining vs. harmful complaining
* The "oversensitive" partner
* When one partner works too much
* Quiz: Is there too much criticism in your relationship?
* Exercise: Listen for the longing behind your partner's complaints
*...more
Kate
When I first looked at the chapter titles, I thought, "This book doesn't apply to me." With chapters like "We don’t feel close anymore," "You never talk to me" and "You don’t care about my dreams," I was skeptical. I had heard so much hype about it, though, that I gave it a chance anyway - and I am so glad I did. It's easily the best marriage book I've read since Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. The chapters are pertinent to many situations, not just the title problem. My favorite part?...more
Dawn
Note: My marriage is not in any kind of trouble. :) It's just so easy to order book after book on the Kindle and when I finished Committed, I was on a reading-about-marriage kick and was interested in some of the ideas by John Gottman she referenced, so with just a few clicks, this book was downloaded. I was very engaged in the first three-quarters of the book... finding insight and validation in many of the case studies. By the fourth quarter, I had a good understanding of their basic principle...more
Cameron
A good self-help book that I would recommend for any clients who are haviing marital difficulties. It is an easy read with several examples of couples who do it wrong and then learn how to do it better. After seeing Gottman in SLC I wanted to read one of his books and this was a good place to start. The book focuses more on the mechanics of marriage and relationships rather than underlying issues that could be contributing to the difficulties. Backed by years of research, the ideas presented are...more
L
I had a great deal of fun reading this one, primarily because it bolstered my long-held belief that I have the best marriage on Earth. Comparing my husband and I to the other couples in the book (and don't even pretend like you wouldn't be doing that, too), I felt comfortable and happy that we communicate, respect each other, and share the same goals and values in life. We went through some of these lists and had a grand old time just laughing at how horribly some of the questions were phrased a...more
Michael
I listened to the audio edition, so I got a taste of the book but to really benefit you need to go through the exercises with your spouse. Rather than lessons or principles, this book goes through 10 common scenarios that marriage partners often encounter in their lives together. For example, one scenario is a husband who's so captivated by his work that his wife feels she's not spending enough time and energy on the family. Another scenario is a young married couple who's struggling to have mor...more
Cara
10 case studies point out different ways of interacting that hinder your relationship. The chapters are titled by the problems facing the couples, but I think the interactions are more important and more universal.

1. Healthy complaining vs. Harmful criticism. (Ex. You said you'd take out the trash but you didn't. vs. You never do anything around here!) Share responsibility, describe it as your perception, be specific and focus on one thing at a time, stick to the present, focus on actions and ho...more
Eva
Part of a summary from Amazon, for reference:

“The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”:

*Criticism. Often, criticism appears as a complaint or episode of blaming that’s coupled with a global attack on your partner’s personality or character. Criticism frequently begins with “you always” or “you never.”

*Defensiveness. These are the counterattacks people use to defend their innocence or avoid taking responsibility for a problem. Defensiveness often takes the form of cross-complaining or whining.

*Contem...more
Skylar Burris
The main thrust of this book is to show the many different ways couples fail to communicate and how they might better communicate. This is done using very specific examples and detailing conversations—what was said, what shouldn’t have been said, what should have been said. The cases are perhaps too specific to the various couples included as case studies to make application easy for every reader. As an (almost academic) analysis of what works and what doesn’t, it was a good book, but as a marri...more
Winifred
The book was well-written and easy to read. The 10 lessons come in 10 case studies where details of the couples and their communication patterns were documented and subsequently corrected by the experts. Hence, for every couple 2 dialogues were presented; one that took place before they were counseled and one that happened after they heard the advice. Plenty of suggestions and explanations were given as to why certain behaviours and/or communication patterns could be harmful to the relationship....more
Tiffany
This book was sent to us by a friend who said it'd helped her in her marriage. I found nothing earth-shattering in this book in terms of content, but the writing was clear and put together well. The authors start each chapter by introducing a couple and dissecting a conversation between them. The authors counsel the couple based on that conversation, then have them do it again with new knowledge. The authors then analyze the resulting conversation, and follow up with the patients a year later to...more
Emily
I feel like adding books like this is some kind of confessional, but it's not. I just like refresher courses on basic principles and I'd heard of John Gottman and wanted to read something by him. I think I should have chosen one of his earlier works that was more principle based and less case study oriented. I've noticed my learning style really doesn't jive with the case study approach.

But besides that these were good, common-sense principles that can always use reinforcement. I was happy I re...more
Stephanie
Jul 05, 2008 Stephanie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women and the Men Who Don't Understand Them
Again, not a big self-help book fan. However, I heard about the author during a talk at work, and was fascinated by the scientific basis of his approach to healing relationships. For instance, he can predict with over 90% accuracy whether couples are going to succeed or fail. What's even more compelling is that he's identified the variable that allegedly determines whether the relationship succeeds/fails. Plus, the book has anecdotes about couples working through their problems, including transc...more
Rick
Another great work by Gottman. This is a perfect companion to Seven Principles to Making Marriage Work, with real world examples of how those principles are applied. I found the actual conversations or real couples that were used as examples each of the ten lessons very compelling. Reading the initial conversations was like watching a tragic movie that you already knew the end to, while reading the follow up conversation where the same couples applied the principles taught in the book was a star...more
Katreena Lewis Peterson
AWESOME! Great tools for enlightening your marriage or relationship with the opposite gender.
Hester
Who would have thought that a book with such a cheesy title would be so rich with the messiness of life? I found myself almost in tears at several of the chapters. Each chapter consists of a case study of a marriage in crisis and all of these people are flawed and capable of great growth. I wanted to throttle them half the time and hug them the other half. Sometimes the counselors labeled lots of comments as "intellectualizing," in a negative way. While that was certainly sometimes true, I didn'...more
Cathy
I love Gottman's work, but I felt that if you'd read Seven Principles, there wasn't much new here. I guess if I was looking for help in a troubled marriage, this would be the more useful of the two books because it's very solution-oriented; mostly, though, I just like reading about his research and Seven Principles is more focused on that.

The case histories are interesting to read in their own right, but most of these couples didn't seem that troubled to me. I wonder how well these techniques wo...more
Amanda
While it's not as lively as For Women Only, this was suggested by a family member who has done marriage counseling since it's based on academic research. From what I've read so far, the suggestions are easier said than done. Recognizing some of the subtle counter-criticism, etc. during an argument or conversation seems easier in a lab situation by trained professionals than by someone in the conversation themselves. I'm not too far into it, but that's my first observation.

Didn't finish...
Tracy
The book was helpful for me to recognize my own mistakes in communication. It was easy to read, but for me it didn't make a clear purpose on what to do with the information you've gained. The cases they use are specific situations, and it can be difficult to extrapolate the situation to match your own. Nice resource, though. Gave me lots to think about. I'm not a good communicator. Mark's much better than me!
Rhett
As usual, another practical and insightful book on what creates conflict in a relationship and how to overcome those conflicts. Gottman is always a solid read.
Aletha
If you're in any kind of a serious relationship, you need this book. The Gottman's are simply the standard in relationship-oriented research and counseling today. This book has some very nice sections of dialogue from actual cases with their commentary alongside which is very nice for those who need concrete examples of communication.
Mindy
I really enjoyed this book. It is presented in chapters with dialogues from real couples and different ideas to help with certain conflicts. I found the suggestions to be quite interesting and helpful. It was great to understand more in depth certain behaviors and communication patterns. Lots of helpful ideas.
Jennifer
Really liked this book, the way it was written and the format. Good examples and the exercises provided seemed realistic to try. It was really helpful to see how the clinicians broke down the positives and negatives of each couples dialogue. I will definitely be reading more by the Gottmans!
Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
Another interesting Gottman read, based in his long-term research. Many of the same principles are covered in each of his books but each with a different focus. This book uses a case-study approach, looking at different couples exemplifying typical challenges found in marriage.
Shayne
Good format for reading through. I feel like their line-by-line commentary is helpful for gleaning one's own insights into the conversations that are included. Lots of good information.
Tony Bradshaw
I would have finished this book; however, it got returned to the library (I think). I may still pick it back up as I did eventually get into the material and enjoy the conversations and perspectives and the successes being shared.
Lisa
Easy to read, nice short chapters with a broad range of situations married couples are likely to face. Found the actual conversations helpful to see how much is similar in my own conversations.
Tonya
This is my 1st marriage "self help" book. Although I found that my husband and I could relate to a few of the situations; I also felt that the case studies live in mr. Rogers neighborhood.
Christine


I think this book has lots of useful information for anyone committed to strengthening their relationship. Looking forward to reading the book about raising children.
Sara
It would be a good idea to keep this handy to refer to as needed, as a lot of it would not be especially easy to master quickly. Useful techniques and helpful exercises.
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Dr. Gottman is the co-founder of the Gottman Institute™ with his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, where he currently teaches weekend workshops for couples and training workshops for clinicians. He is the Executive Director of the Relationship Research Institute, where they are developing programs for parents transitioning to parenthood and are beginning a new research project on treatment for Dom...more
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