The Seven Principles for making Marriage work book review

So I wanted to share some thoughts on this book, The seven principles for making marriage work by John Gottman. This book was actually recommend by Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed at her event that I attended last year about marriage.

My rating: 4/5
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This book teaches us methods that the author has tried and tested on many couples over the years to create a happy marriage. It has easy to follow exercises that you can do as a couple to help resolve conflicts, improve communication, nurture love, fondness and respect for each other.

I found the book very useful and insightful in helping to improve my own marriage. Although there are small things I disagree with the majority of the book is very relatable and easy to understand.

What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day to day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones. They have what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage.

He first discusses signs of a unhappy marriage and one of the first things discussed in his book, are things that are so toxic to a marriage that he’s named it the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. He discusses how these can create long term problems and eventually lead to the couple becoming emotionally distant and can even cause divorce if they aren’t dealt with.

Then each chapter discusses a principle that will help to achieve a happy marriage.

The first principle is Enhancing your love maps. He explains that couples with detailed love maps of each other are better able to cope with stressful events or conflicts. Having a detailed love map means that they are intimately familiar with each other’s worlds.

The second principle is nurturing your fondness and admiration for each other. This is where you build on the belief that your spouse is worthy of being respected and liked. Reminding yourself of your spouses positive qualities even if you struggle with a negative one.

The third principle is turning toward each other instead of away. So the little things you do on a day to day basis has a greater impact on your marriage than going away for a holiday for example. The way you respond to your spouse can have a big impact on your emotional connection.

The fourth principle is letting your partner influence you. It’s important that you and your spouse make decisions together and you honour and respect each other’s feelings and opinions.

The next principle that was discussed was the two types of conflict, one that you are able to solve and the other that is perpetual. He discussed ways in which we can solve the solvable conflicts through several techniques in how we discuss them.

The sixth principle was overcoming gridlock, where a couple is stuck on a conflict for so long they feel they can no longer move past it. They are conflicts that keep coming up again and again, issues with in laws, when to have children, how to raise your children etc. These issues may never be resolved completely but the goal was to move out of the gridlock and to be able to reach a compromise.

The last principle was creating a shared meaning, so you are not just roommates that have seperate lives but you have goals and you create a life together that has deeper purpose than just sharing chores and looking after kids.

I found this book hugely beneficial even though I read it feeling unsure as to what I would gain from it. His writing can be a bit annoying at times but it well worth reading. Everyone has issues in their marriage, especially at the beginning when we’re learning how to communicate and understand each other but this book actually has really helpful advice in making it more effective.

There was a few things I disagreed with, for example he said the husband should always side with the wife in a disagreement between his wife and his mother. I don’t think it’s just to do that. Instead the husband needs to always remain just in all situations.

I think this is beneficial for anyone who is looking to find ways to strengthen their marriage and help to build better communication and understanding and to resolve conflicts.

Also if you’re interested in books check out my Instagram account @thetsundokuchronicles

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The Hate U Give Book Review

Hey guys so I wanted to share a book with you all that I read recently called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

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To say I loved this book is an understatement! This book is a YA contemporary book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

It is a brutally honest, heartbreaking book but is something that is so needed in today’s society. It was inspiring, insightful and empowering for all those who read it.

We all know what is happening in America regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and this explains everything so well. It follows a 16 year old girl called Starr who witnesses a police officer shoot her friend Khalil. From that we see from her point of view the way people react, how it’s portrayed in the media and what she and her family go through in the aftermath of this event.

The characters are so relatable and well fleshed out that you can’t help but feel for them and being muslim I can totally relate to so much of this book. There are assumptions and prejudices made about me because I wear I cover my hair. People think I’m uneducated, just there to serve my oppressive husband or even that I am a terrorist. But I’m none of those things but there are people who never see who I am because they never look past the scarf on my head. And like Starr I feel I can’t truly be me in front of certain people.

This book discusses police brutality, it discusses the oppression and prejudice that black people face and so much more. It is an eye opening read and I recommend everyone to read this book.

*This part is a bit spoilery*

One part of the book which really stood out for me was a conversation between Starr and her dad about why her friend was shot. Another part which was so well written was how people dehumanised her friend because he was suspected of being a drug dealer so in many people’s eyes it was justified. There are so many important scenes in this book, another part is how Starr is conflicted between how much she fears the police and the fact that her uncle is a police officer.

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I also had the pleasure of meeting the author Angie Thomas at a book signing and she is honestly such a lovely person. This book is something so close to her heart as she grew up in a similar environment to the main character of the book and she wants more people to widen their perspectives. This was her way of fighting the oppression.

The only part of the book I didn’t like was the swearing, it’s a personal preference that is something I dislike in all books.

If you have read this book do let me know what you think!

What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?

For The Love Of Reading

So today I want to share with all of you something that I love and that is, reading! People who know me, know just how passionate I am about reading and some of my most difficult shopping decisions are about what book I should buy. I’ve been reading since I was a child, I have read countless number of books over the years and until now my favourite hobby and way to relax is to read a good book.

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This is one of my several bookcases 🙂

I will carry a book with me everywhere and I if I had the time I can finish a whole book in a day. Books and reading is a huge part of my life, I honestly can’t imagine not reading. When I am super busy I barely get to read and I miss it so much I will stay up a it later than usual just so I can read, even if it’s only a few chapters. Once I’m hooked on a book I can barely put it down and I will go through a huge range of emotions. I feel the sadness, anger, pain, heartbreak, happiness, joy, love that the characters feel. And to me that’s a sign of a really good book!

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading, how much sooner one tires of any thing than of a good book. – Jane Austen

Many people I know just don’t like to read they haven’t picked up a single book since they left school. But for me reading is something I could never give up completely and I think it’s because it’s so instilled within me. My whole family are avid readers. My parents and all my sisters, my parents house has books piled up high in every single room, so much so, that we’ve had to put books in our attic to make more space!

It was my parents that first got me into reading, they would take us to the library almost every Saturday as kids. It was there that I first discovered my love for reading. I still remember the books I read that got me into reading, The famous five series and The secret seven series by Enid Blyton. I still love these books today. But the books that really made me fall in love with reading is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book. – J.K. Rowling

I literally grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and I related to them so much. I still remember that I insisted that my dad take me to Asda at midnight to get the 5th book as it was released. I just had to have it the same day and I read it all the same day. Even now I still consider it to be one of my all time favourite series. I love reading YA fantasy books, that feeling of being transported into a whole different world and the epic adventure you go on…ahhh I just can’t get enough! I have a “to read” pile that never ends! There’s just so many good books being released every month!

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. – C.S. Lewis

As a teenager I met others who loved reading as much as I did and we instantly became friends. When book nerds unite we can literally talk about books for hours, gush more like. Most of the friends I made through a mutual love of reading eventually became my best friends and we will still talk for ages about books we’ve read.

But it’s not only fiction that I love, I learnt a lot about Islam through reading initially. And even now I use these resources to develop my understanding of Islam. I mean after all the first word revealed in the Quran was Read.

So this leads me onto something else I want to share and that is that not only is reading a great way to relax but there are so many benefits of reading! Something which I hope to share with you soon.

If there are any readers out there do comment below! It’s always lovely to speak to fellow book nerds!

Book nerd and proud! 🙂