It Takes Work
Blog Challenge "100 posts in 100 days" Post #3
Great relationships take work and the best time to do that work is not when you're already struggling. When things are going well, you are both more likely to be open-minded and willing to see things from a different point of view.
Andrew and I started seeing a counselor when we started talking about getting married. We wanted a strong foundation to build our marriage on and take our relationship from good to great.
We had homework after each session, and each assignment had something in common, they were all based on the work of John Gottman.
One of the many theories that John Gottman developed is "The Sound Relationship House."
When we started with the love maps, my first thought was "if we are getting married, shouldn't we already know each other?" I mean if I have to ask basic questions to get fundamental facts about my partner then doesn't that mean I haven't been paying attention?
I learned a valuable lesson. Love maps are constantly changing which means that even if you've asked a question before, don't assume that the answer hasn't changed because more often than not, it has changed.
Here is the love map exercise for those who are interested. If you notice, these questions could also work for friendships (at least a good portion of them). I thought the whole exercise was silly at first, but after doing it I felt more connected, understood, and better equipped to support Andrew when a stressful situation arises.
Love Map Exercise: