The Strong Relationship House Theory, which was put forward by John and Julie Gottman as a result of many years of research, was prepared on the basis of happy partnerships. While Confidence and Commitment form the pillars of the house in this theory; Starting from the most basic step, it is aimed to inform and help couples about their strengths, areas that they need to support and keep up to date over time.
In other words, the “strong relationship house”, which provides a summary of the characteristics of happy / quality relationships, can actually be thought of as a 7-storey building. In fact, if we build our relationship with these 7 basic attitudes by developing and transforming them into action, we will have a quality, happy and satisfied relationship:
1. Creating Shared Meaning
In the strong relationship house model, creating shared meaning is the conflict of the strong relationship house. On the roof of the house; we have important dreams, stories, myths and metaphors about our relationship and family. Relationship involves creating a life together. This life is full of meaning.
Every relationship is a cross-cultural union. Two people from different families come together and create a new culture. A system of co-created and shared meanings emerges in successful relationships. In this system, we have who we are, what we want to leave, our values and our rituals and habits gathered around them. Partners maintain a happy and strong relationship by creating a common meaning between these cultures.
2. Fulfilling Life’s Dreams and Desires
Couples who know each other’s dreams, core values, beliefs and past stories, that is, couples who can maintain the dialogue, do their best to make their partner’s dreams come true. This feature, which is seen in strong relationships, is a guide for a happy togetherness, and it also ensures that relationships are healthier.
3. Managing Conflict
Conflict is inevitable in a living relationship. It is actually healthy to experience disagreements and discontent when two very different people come together. The quality of the relationship is determined not by the absence of conflict, but by how conflicts are managed. At this point, it will be meaningful to understand the anatomy of conflicts. Couples in discussions in successful relationships; starts the discussion with a soft start, accepts the influence from the opposite comb, attempts to repair them, calms themselves physically and psychologically. As such, couples can maintain a healthy relationship without a destructive effect, regardless of the size of the argument.
4. Positive Perspective
In successful relationships; we see that couples know each other well, appreciate each other and turn towards each other. A strong friendship dimension of the relationship means that positive interactions increase and positive emotion predominates. Increasing the orientation towards each other in relationships allows you to develop a positive perspective towards your partner.
5. Orienting Each Other
In successful marriages, we see that couples value the opportunities to turn to each other during the day and stay in touch. If the couple enters into a relationship pattern against each other or disconnected from each other, it causes problems at this stage. Every relationship has an unseen emotional bank account. On positive interactions and stay in touch, the bank account moves to one unit plus. Decreases occur in our emotional bank account as a result of negative interactions. That’s why we need to increase this bank account by making positive interactions rather than negative interactions. In successful relationships, making decisions together, making plans together, respecting and sacrificing each other increases the emotional bank account in the relationship more and more.
6. Sharing Interest and Likes
In a relationship, we develop a habit of voicing our partner’s dislikes and expressing our complaints. We act with the idea of ”Let me tell you the negativities so that they change”. On the other hand, over time, we begin to not express what we like about our partner. This can lead to the predominance of negative emotion in the relationship and to accelerate and increase over time. At this point, we need to change one of our habits. We can start by scanning and noticing what we see positive in our spouse, not what we see negative. A culture of appreciation, admiration, compassion and respect must be established for the health of the relationship. In many cases it is helpful to say “what you like” and “what you want” rather than “what you don’t like” and “what you don’t want”.
7. Creating love maps
Love maps are the stage about how much we know the inner world of our parties. The better the couples know each other, the more solid the foundations will be laid. When couples know little about each other, they can hurt each other without realizing it, and they may unintentionally end up in dead-end streets. At this stage, as many open-ended questions as possible should be asked in the relationship, and the couple’s current life, friends, enemies, rivals, past traumas, victories and defeats they care about should be kept up-to-date.