Building Your Sound Relationship House: Part 7- Creating Shared Meaning
The final step in Gottman’s Sound Relationship House is Creating Shared Meaning. This area focuses on rituals of connection, roles, goals, and symbols for the couple. Gottman posits that each family creates its own unique culture. Within that family’s culture, different things, holidays, traditions, etc. hold great importance. For example, some families insist that dinnertime is sacred, while others place great significance on the annual family vacation.
There are also different definitions of things within each family and couple. What is the couple’s philosophy on things like money, love, commitment, religion, etc.? Part of building a strong marriage means creating a shared culture and understanding that promotes unity in these areas and sharing in them together.
One of the most exciting aspects of Creating Shared Meaning is the “goals” portion. What are the couple’s dreams for the future? Do they want to save for a house? Travel the world? Build a large family? These things could seem daunting if partners have opposing views of how they want their future to play out. Discussing these things and finding out more about what the couple can share is an important part of strengthening the relationship. The expectation is not that couples agree on everything, rather that they create their own Shared Meaning that is special to them.
If you would like to learn more about Creating Shared Meaning with your partner, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with a trained mental health counselor.