The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: Book Review by Ruth L. Snyder

We often think of February as the month of love, but any time is a good time to work on your marriage. If you are looking for a good resource to strengthen your relationship, I highly recommend The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman.



John M. Gottman and his wife, Julie, have studied marriage scientifically for decades in their “love lab” where they recorded interactions between thousands of couples and then sifted through the data to find what makes marriages work well. The findings have been condensed into seven principles:


  1. Enhance your love map

  2. Nurture fondness and admiration

  3. Turn toward each other

  4. Let your partner influence you

  5. Solve your solvable problems

  6. Overcome gridlock

  7. Create shared meaning

(You can download a free PDF copy of the book summary from Yes Magazine here.)


Although the book is written by a scientist, it is easy to understand and includes many checklists to help you and your partner figure out where you are in each area. The book also includes many activities you can do as a couple to build your relationship. I especially appreciated the list of over 80 questions to ask my spouse to renew our friendship.


What do you find most challenging in your relationship? Whether you are a new couple, an experienced couple, or a couple “wanna-be,” you will benefit from this book if you put the information to use. What other resources have you found helpful in building a strong relationship?

Ruth L. Snyder

Ruth L. Snyder

Ruth L. Snyder resides near Glendon, Alberta, along with her husband and five children. Ruth enjoys writing articles, devotionals, short stories, and Christian fiction. She is a member of The Christian PEN and currently serves as the President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

You may also be interested in Ruth’s blog posts, Name Conference: Marriages That Last and A First Aid Kit for Your Marriage.


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