I recently heard a quote about a guy claiming he could walk into a restaurant and tell you within minutes who was married and who wasn’t by which couples were talking and which weren’t.
Ouch. I’ve been married 8.5 years and I resent that a little. Sometimes it’s so nice to just sit in silence with your spouse and enjoy eating food in peace without anybody crying, yelling, whining, screaming, pouting, demanding other food or complaining at you while you try to eat.
Then again, John and I have definitely been there. Finally out on a nice date, staring at each other across the table and trying to think about a good conversation topic that doesn’t revolve around the kids or our jobs. Hmmmmm.
It can be tough to keep getting to know each other.
Recently I read through John Gottman’s Art and Science of Love Marriage Workshop (I got it out of the library since we couldn’t afford the actual weekend conference). It was excellent and one of my main takeaways from the material was the idea of “love maps.” It’s a super basic understanding and awareness of each other’s worlds. It’s knowing the little things about each other’s lives as well as the grander things: goals in life, worries, hopes, dreams.
A blog post on Love maps from the Gottman website explains why this is so important, “From knowledge springs not only love, but the fortitude to weather marital storms.”
Marital storms often relate to what Gottman calls “perpetual” problems: basic personality differences and differences in lifestyle needs that the couple will deal with all their lives.
When I read Gottman’s definition of “perpetual problems” I got super excited. Not because I’m a conflict-lover but because of the work that I do.
95% of my time is spent as a full-time mom to two small boys. But in the other 5% of my time I provide consulting services to people using the Birkman Method (http://www.mycallingiq.com/). It’s my favourite personality assessment in the whole world because it talks about your usual positive behaviors (basic personality), your motivational needs – what you need from others and the environment around you in order to be able to function in your typical positive style (aka those lifestyle needs Gottman describes), and the stress behaviors you might have if your needs go chronically unmet.
I had always thought the Birkman Method would be a great tool for helping every married couple boost their communication skills and understand each other better. Seeing Gottman’s research showed me why.
So I’m super excited to share a new product with you called My Marriage IQ. You take the Birkman Method questionnaire, get your reports and receive a discussion guide with videos that help you walk through your reports together over the course of six date nights. So you won’t be sitting there at the restaurant wondering what “deeper things” you could talk about!
This product is only going to be available until Valentines Day so get it as a gift for your relationship – but if you head over to My Marriage IQ before Feb 8, you can enter a giveaway to win a free copy for yourself!