The Seven Principle For Making
Marriage Work
中文书名: 幸福的婚姻
Author: John Gottman, Nan Silver

The most outstanding psychologist in the field of human relations.
“He uncovers the surprising ways in which
parents do—and do not—prepare their
children for adulthood.”

Cultivating Happy Marriage with Dedication 

Ms. Yang Jiang wrote this in her book Our Qian Yuan: Qian Yuan, her daughter, once told her parents, “I have always been believing that a child is lucky if she is raised up by an affectionate couple. Her witnessing of their loving adoration enables her to be sensitive to a healthy love, and aware of the right direction to cultivate that love. So I am especially appreciative to my parents, because you love each other and share common thoughts. For sure, I am that lucky child. ”
In stable and harmonious family relationships, the part taken up by a mother is of great importance. The perfect switch between the roles of being a wife and a mother teaches the child how to love others. His/Her future is set in the interaction between parents.
In our culture and society, there are more mothers focusing on the children’s education than those paying heed to the mutual growing-up of couples. Barely do they realize that the core of family happiness is the harmony in husband and wife. So Action. In. Reading drew our attention to the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman. The data cited in the book affirms the truth hidden in the intimate relationships in the Big Data Era.

Our ten reading leaders undertook thought-provoking discussions in a clear manner by dividing the book into 12 chapters. Besides the reading, we even tried to share and finish the testing questions attached in the book with our spouses. One thing particularly impressed me was one day, when I ran into a father in the school auditorium, he came to me and said, “Did my wife attend your reading club? I think it is amazing! Last night, she drew a card and put it under my pillow, which touched me so much. I hoped she could spend more time with the reading club.” At the sight of his sweet and happy smile, I couldn’t help feeling happy, too. Someone once asked me, “How can you make it to have time to manage the reading club since you have three kids to look after?” I guess my empathetic feeling of other parents’ happiness is the best answer to it. Apart from that, there are many heart melted moments in the reading club. It is more than a reading club, it is a garden for our thoughts, a window helping us to be connected with the outer world. 

In the spirit of actions speaking louder than words, on September 19, 2019, our reading leaders visited the head office of WomanAct, our donation recipient, which is an organization committed to anti domestic violence. 

This visit aroused a lot of thinking and reflection. Household violence impacts the lifeline of a family. The data of 2018 demonstrates that in Toronto alone, 21 women died from the suffering of family violence. This is a shocking number. Moreover, more women are being tormented by violence in all kinds.  

Our reading leaders talked with Harmy, Executive Director of WomanAct, and Lieran, Project Manager, for more than an hour. When Harmy introduced her organization with enthusiasm and  passion, we saw through her eyes her commitment and persistence in her work. Their introduction led to a deeper understanding of how WomanAct, by utilizing community efforts and collaboration research, endeavours to eradicate the violence towards women and children fundamentally by policy and education. 

Shelley, one of the reading leaders, shared her thoughts in the reading club: most of the time, our marriage journey is filled with love, excitement, happiness and felicity. However, the sky will not remain blue for the whole time. We also unavoidably experience fight, disagreement, disappointment, tears and hurting hearts. At that time, do we turn and leave our spouses behind or lean towards each other instead?

Two hearts approach closer by the routine trivia and little moments in life. Some are as little as helping to scratch spouses’ backs; some are as tedious as looking after senile and sick parents.  All these constitute the soul and heart of happy and romantic marriage. They are also the deposit for “Love Bank”, saved up enough to make up for the loss of affection resulting from marital conflicts and even crisis, so as to ensure the stability of marriage. 

When the spouse displays any negative emotions due to the upsetting and disturbing events out of marriage, let us start a pressure relieving conversation. 

Let us learn to listen. Do not blame, do not advise. Bearing empathy, understanding and acceptance. Hearkening is love. 

Leaning toward, instead of leaving behind, inch by inch  would have huge impacts like rolling snowball. Remember: a tiny change can essentially improve marriage. 

The above is the main learning contents of this study session. I made a simple summary for the convenience of absent friends. “Updating your love map, deepening your fondness and admiration, increasing your tendency to turn toward each other.” Hope you can apply these quotes in life and enjoy a happy marriage!

Sweet Birthday Surprise for Shelley

Thanks to all the reading leaders:Wendy Wen, Nikki Liu, Simone Chen, Shelley Liu, Claire Chen, Linda Ji, Jasmine Zhang, Michelle Yang, Maggie  Guo, Sisi Chen.
Special Thanks
Article edit:Sisi Chen
Proofreading:Michelle Yang
Translator:Florence Shao
Photo by:Claire Chen
For further information, please visit:
(Dr. John Gottman’s speech on YouTube, more than 125,000,000 views)
(Dr. John Gottman’s speech on TED Talk,  more than 760,000 views)

Member Testimonial

感谢@Claire @Lei @千里香 今天被震惊到了,博引旁证的思辨过程, 带着疑问去讨论 书中 的关于成长,关于成功的思考,非常受启发 – Cynthia Qiant

@Sisi 非常感谢你PET这个坑,入坑后,跟着大家一起又拿起书,这 几年潜移默化的影响与学习,自身的变化与提升现在想起来真的是 非常大,是一点点日积月累的结果,谢谢你和读书会的姐妹们一路 陪伴。- Bonnie Jiang

@nolala 非常感谢你分享马云的演讲,刚刚全部看完了。讲得很好!如果云谷学校成功了,就看到中国教育的希望了。我当初带孩子来加拿大就是不想让他成为一个单纯的学习工具,可现在在养育小儿子的过程中,感觉加拿大的教育氛围越来越像中国了,家长们也越来越焦虑了。我们在读的这本《品格的力量》和马云的演讲是一致的,@Sisi 我也欣赏马云说的这句“父母好好学习,孩子天天向上”,你先我一步分享了。

马爸爸的演讲幽默风趣、句句掷地有声,中心思想与我们本期读 的 《品格的力量》不谋而合,“以前是一部论语走遍天下都不怕,现 在没有哪本书看了可以走遍天下都不怕,只有爱学习、会学习,有乐观精神的人,才真的走遍天下都不怕。”帮助孩子成功的秘诀是让孩子拥有好奇心、乐观精神、坚毅、社交能力、自控力、热情和 感恩这些优秀的品质。又回顾了上周读书会的内容。- Sisi Chen