The original Gottman Love Lab first opened in 1986 at the University of Washington. The new Love Lab recently opened, …
My wife and I had occasion to meet a new friend. Bud is in his eighties, has been married over 50 years, strong as a horse, sharp as a tack, and funny as all get out. Bud is a soft spoken man, exuding kindness, and a sort of wisdom that draws you in. He recalled the following story, sharing with Cindy and me that recently his neighbor Jim, was convinced that Bud was having marital problems.
Where is our relationship at? How can I forgive my partner for what has happened? How can we go forward when my partner keeps talking about the past? Do we have a future? These are questions many couples struggle with in the counseling room, sorting through the mixture of ambivalent and often contradictory feelings about the relationship.
Some years ago I was in a session with a couple where they were taking stock of their relationship, discussing how each saw things. They shared with me how nice it was to focus on the positive in their relationship, not just talking about what wasn’t working. Things weren’t perfect, but noticing what was going right helped to cope with what wasn’t. That got me to think about the question of how couples measure their relationships. Lets listen to Mary Ann and David.