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Before giving advice . . .

October 16, 2012

Here’s a life-changing idea…                                                                                                                          

In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman says,
“Human nature dictates that it is virtually impossible to accept advice from someone unless you feel that that person understands you….If either (or both) of you feels judged, misunderstood, or rejected by the other, you will not be able to manage the problems in your marriage”  (p. 149).

In other words…

When we feel judged by our partners, “constructive criticism” feels like an attack. In contrast, when we feel understood, accepted and loved by our partners, warts and all, we feel more secure about ourselves, which makes positive growth and change possible.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…                                                          

Next time you feel tempted to correct your partner, pause and ask: Do you feel loving toward your partner? Does your partner feel your understanding and love? Unless there is a feeling of acceptance, advice is not likely to be well received.

To find out more…

check out The Marriage Garden program at, like us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You might also enjoy reading Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

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