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How My Wedding Crisis Strengthened My Marriage

Wedding Crisis

1. When your partner comes to you with a frustration, concern, or is just upset about something, stop and listen. Be interested. Say, “You seem upset. What’s going on?”

2. Paraphrase what your partner shares by saying, “So what I’m hearing you say is ____” and repeat back your understanding of what you heard them say. Check for accuracy. Let them clarify.

3. Don’t be a problem solver. Let go of your agenda. If you have a potential solution or feedback, check in with your partner to see if they are in a place to hear it. You might say, “I’ve got a couple of ideas that may help with the situation, do you want to hear them?” Remember, it’s not personal if they don’t. They just aren’t ready.

In his book What Makes Love Last?, Dr. Gottman explains that your role as a listener is to understand your partner’s point of view, respond non-defensively, and practice empathy. Problem-solving comes after understanding, not before, otherwise, any proposed solution will create disconnection and resentment.

So, learn to show up for your partner. Day after day.

As you continue forward on your wedding planning and marital preparation journey, be mindful of the opportunities to connect with your partner. These connection opportunities may come in the form of crisis, stress, and frustration, but if you can learn to utilize them in positive ways, you will be actively setting up your marriage for long-term success.

By Liz Higgins, LMFTA

This article was originally published on The Gottman Relationship Blog.

Are you getting ready to tie the knot? See if your relationship has the 7 Signs Your Relationship Will Last by getting a free copy of our guide here.

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The Gottman Institute

The Gottman Institute uses over 40 years of research on thousands of couples to provide research based tips on how to make love last. Our research has saved troubled relationships and strengthened happy ones. Get your free copy of 7 Signs Your Relationship Will Last by clicking here Workshot for Couples Professional Training Certificate CoursesView Author posts