Magical relationships.

As a Gottman trained therapist I am often comforted by the fact that his 40 years of research shows what I always suspected to be true about what makes for a fulfilling and happy relationship which is:

  1. Relationships shouldn’t be “this hard”. The couples who are happiest together will have arguments and disagreements but they do it without malice and as much as possible without defensiveness and name calling or stonewalling.
  2. As Gottman puts it: the goal of couples therapy is not to heal childhood wounds or to be the other persons therapist but rather to have a couple go out for a coffee and not kill each other 🤣. For me, it’s about choosing to spend time with each other because you really want to! As often as possible.
  3. The definition of true intimacy – which has nothing to do with the physical – is being able to tell your partner what you’re thinking or feeling – knowing it may upset them – but still feeling safe enough to say it because you have agreed it’s better to know and not keep resentments and frustrations underground.
  4. There IS a right and a wrong way to tell your partner if you’re upset about something – especially if it may be taken as a criticism. No-one enjoys being criticised and most people get defensive. Learning how to soften criticism and release defensiveness is a key element to a long and happy relationship.
  5. Couples who stay romantically connected and still have a great sex life after ten or even twenty years are affectionate, make time for each other through rituals of connection and will kiss each other for at least 7 seconds EVERYDAY. 😘😲

So, as Gottman says in the quote – he spent 40 years of his life watching couples from all walks of life in every type of relationship from the worst to the best (who he refers to as “the masters”) and his mission was to scientifically research what the Masters do that make for a magical marriage and therefore a wonderful, loving, fulfilling and happy life.

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David Fox is an author, speaker and registered psychologist with a masters degree in psychology. He believes that overcoming issues like anxiety and depression are best tackled on multiple fronts such as exercise, supplements, working with your thoughts and beliefs, watching your diet and talking to someone who can provide empathy and support while you figure things out. His goal is teach people individually and within organisations in how to help themselves thrive. In addition, David supports patients who would like to eventually reduce or potentially stop taking anti-depressant medication if they are finding major negative side effects from remaining on the medications and looking for alternative routes to a better quality of life. This is not for everyone, and yes some people may need to remain on some amount of medication – especially those with bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. However, for those whose issues began as anxiety and/or depression, there may certainly be another way to healing other than medication. David is the author of the book Change your Life! Hope and Healing for Anxiety and Depression.

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