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  • Marriage is a Verb

    For those of you familiar with Drs. John and Julie Gottman you know that the first step of building a Sound House is the building of Love Maps. To use their words, Love Maps are about knowing your partner’s “inner psychological world, his or her worries, stresses, joys, and dreams. Building Love Maps is about communicating and listening to one another in order to stay connected.” Building Love Maps takes action.

    Through John’s many decades of research, he learned that this action of knowing one another is a contributing factor in achieving a healthy and successful marriage.

    I have counseled many couples, some went on to successful and fulfilling marriages and unfortunately, many did not. Honestly, I had to learn not to take that personally. The most experienced and skilled therapists share one thing in common and that is the fact that marriage counseling is mostly unsuccessful. Insight happens in the room, change happens at home.

    Marriage is not a thing to be taken for granted. It’s not a thing to be tolerated or endured. It’s not a thing to be fixed. Marriage alone will not achieve a loving, healthy, successful or fulfilling relationship. You and your spouse are responsible for creating the relationship that you married to achieve and only you and your spouse can make that happen. The thoughts, ideas and insights discovered in the therapy room will not work if they are not practiced outside the therapy room.

    According to any dictionary, the word “marriage” is a noun. That implies a thing, a thing you can have, own or possess. In reality marriage takes a lot of work, it needs constant action and it requires selfless responsibility. Over the years, I have come to believe that too many couples only see marriage as a noun. As something they have and not as something that requires constant attention and nurturing.

    The term “Love is a Verb” has become quite a common phrase in the last few years, despite the word “Love” actually being a noun. Even the singer John Mayer has a song titled “Love is a Verb”. Let me tell you that Marriage too is a verb.

    What actions have you taken recently to strengthen your marriage?