Making Marriage Work, Pt. 5: Letting Your Partner Influence You

In this post, Robert Grice, PhD, continues exploring Dr. John Gottman’s principles for nurturing a healthy marriage. Dr. Grice is a therapist at Counseling Resources, where he specializes in trauma, grief, and marriage counseling.

In our first four posts, (1, 2, 3, and 4), I introduced the first four of John Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, which he discovered after 40 years of research with couples. So far, we’ve looked at the first three principles:

1. Making love maps

2. Nurturing fondness and admiration

3. Turning toward each other instead of away

Today, we turn to the 4th Principle: Letting Your Partner Influence You

In healthy marriages, each partner is willing to let the other express their opinions without judgment or criticism and is open to their influence with decision-making. The willingness of partners to allow the other to influence them is a demonstration of trust and confidence. Trust builds on commitment, faithfulness, and confidence between partners.

For the “influence” principle to operate effectively, trust must be built upon with clear communication, mutual respect, and the ability to resolve conflict. The “influence” principle will likely be minimally present or entirely absent if these factors are missing. The influence between partners is another reason why the foundations of the relationship must be sound and reliable.

Do you allow your spouse to influence you? Or are you closed off to their voice?

If you are interested in exploring therapy with Dr. Grice, click HERE to send a message to our office, or call (334) 671-1280.

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