Thanks to the world-famous psychologist, Dr. John Gottman, it’s never been easier to build and maintain a stable and healthy relationship. To be clear, it’s still not an easy job, but if both partners follow the ‘rules’ of Dr. Gottman’s Sound Relationship House theory, success is guaranteed.
Maybe you’ve heard about this theory before, or maybe you haven’t, but today, we’ll explain it in detail. The theory allows every couple to build and maintain a strong, healthy, and successful relationship.
If you’re in a relationship, I wish both you and your partner the best of luck. Stay with us until the end because this article may change your lives and relationship forever.
What Is The Sound Relationship House Theory?
In 1994, Dr. John Gottman and his wife and partner, Julie Gottman, built a theory they named Sound Relationship House. That year, at the Gottman institute, the perception of a healthy relationship or marriage was revolutionized forever.
Gottman’s research began in the 1970s and has brought us this amazing theory. Dr. Gottman also wrote a book in the 2000s called The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, where he described the Sound Relationship House theory perfectly.
According to their theory, a healthy relationship is like a big house built on strong foundations. The building blocks of that house are trust and commitment.
After that, there are seven floors that keep that building strong, massive, and powerful. The indispensable floors of the Sound Relationship House are:
• Floor 1: Building love maps
• Floor 2: Sharing fondness and admiration
• Floor 3: Turning towards
• Floor 4: Keeping a positive perspective
• Floor 5: Managing conflict
• Floor 6: Making life dreams come true
• Floor 7: Creating shared meaning
These seven floors have also become the basis for the Gottman method couples therapy. The main goals of their couples counseling therapy are stepping into one another’s inner psychological world, strengthening your emotional connection, and building trust between partners.
How Do You Build A Sound Relationship House? 9 Ways
I’ll guide you through the process of building a healthy relationship, and you’ll be able to build one IF you pay attention to these levels of the Sound Relationship House and practice them in your relationship.
1. Building trust
This is the core basis of the Sound Relationship House. Without it, the whole building (the entire relationship) would simply come crashing down.
It’s crucial for a couple’s friendship to be able to trust one another. On the other hand, building a friendship connection is fundamental to maintain a healthy relationship.
If partners don’t trust each other and don’t even want to work on fixing that part of their relationship, it’s pointless. Their relationship is already doomed, and they’ll just be wasting time until they finally understand it.
The fact is, you can’t commit to someone, nor can you let them completely into your life if you don’t trust them. You won’t feel comfortable, and you’ll struggle with different fears caused by that lack of trust.
If you want that kind of relationship, go for it, but you must be aware that it’ll never be healthy. You can lie to yourself as much as you want, but deep down, you’ll know that you aren’t happy.
2. Committing sincerely to one another
If you sincerely love someone, you won’t even think about whether you should commit to them because that would come to you naturally. You’ll simply commit to them because love will make you do so.
On the other hand, if you don’t love that person or have doubts about them and your relationship, you’ll never be able to fully commit to them.
You need to know that there is no healthy relationship without commitment. If you aren’t able to honestly commit to one another, you should stop wasting each other’s time and end your relationship while you still have time to save your heart from being broken.
3. Building love maps
Now, we’ll move to the first floor of the Sound Relationship House. Dr. John and Julie Gottman named it love maps, and by this, they meant getting to know each other and welcoming one another into their outer and inner psychological worlds.
How can a couple do that? It’s simple. Actually, you do it through direct, regular, and healthy communication.
Building love maps simply means getting to know each other on a deeper level. This won’t just allow you to get to know one another better, it’ll also be a great foundation to build a strong emotional connection.
4. Sharing fondness and admiration
This is the second floor of the Sound Relationship House theory. Partners need to build a habit of appreciation in the relationship.
They need to compliment one another more often and emphasize their good sides over the bad ones. They should remind each other of all the reasons they fell in love and all the things that attracted them to one another.
They also need to care about one another’s well-being. Through these little things, they actually show how deeply they care for each other.
5. Turning towards one another
This level of the Sound Relationship House also has another very interesting name: the Emotional Bank Account. Does this explain this floor any better?
The couple needs to turn toward one another and not against or away from each other. They need to be each other’s best and closest friends.
Leave your defensiveness aside and open up to one another. Your issues and problems need to be solved within your relationship. Keep others outside of your relationship, and don’t allow them to interfere in it.
6. The positive perspective
Keep a positive perspective. Focus on your good sides and stop looking for one another’s flaws because that won’t get you anywhere.
Also, keeping a positive perspective will help you greatly with your problem-solving issues and make your repair attempts and interventions more successful. On the other hand, negative emotions and thoughts will consume you and negatively affect your relationship.
After all, you know the saying, “If you think negatively, you give those negative thoughts life, and they become reality.” So, if you don’t want your reality to become negative, keep a positive perspective.
7. Managing conflict
Dr. John Gottman and his colleague, Dr. Robert Levenson, performed a study in which they discovered that most marriages that end in divorce ended that way because of the toxic and unhealthy way the couple managed their interactions and conflicts.
Truth to be told, every couple fights, and we all have disagreements almost every day. But the point is how we decide to deal with those arguments and manage our conflicts.
Of course, we argue over little, unimportant things that can be solved very easily. However, there are also those perpetual problems every couple has, and they need to be very careful while dealing with them.
Those problems perhaps can’t be solved, but you can definitely find a way to manage them in a healthy way.
8. Make life dreams come true
Focus on your goals and find ways to achieve them. And by this, I mean both your individual goals and dreams and those together as a couple.
This will also strengthen your relationship because working on your goals means working on your future together. Those goals are the basis for a successful future.
This is the whole point of a partnership. To be together, to stay by one another’s sides no matter what, and to imagine, build, and fulfill the goals and dreams you create TOGETHER.
Most people and experts think this floor of the Sound Relationship House is the same as the first one, building love maps. And it indeed has some similarities.
However, this floor represents creating habits and rituals together that will keep you connected to each other. These rituals will also help strengthen your bond.
You can find a hobby to do together, or you can simply have date nights where you can be alone and spend quality time together.
Creating shared meaning will also help both partners figure out whether they’re on the same page and if their compatibility is really strong enough. If they fail to build this floor, it’s almost certain that their relationship won’t stand any chance of succeeding.
I think we should all be thankful to Dr. John and Julie Gottman. Their Sound Relationship House theory allows us to build and have healthier and stronger relationships.
The truth is, there is no relationship that hasn’t weathered some storms and bad times. However, when it’s built on a strong foundation, there is no storm, no obstacle it can’t go through.
If you let this theory guide you through your path of building a healthy relationship, you really have nothing to worry about. You can rest assured knowing you have a stable relationship that can’t be easily shaken, damaged, or destroyed.