Couples who have details love maps—my term for that part of your brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner's life—are far better prepared to cope with stressful events and conflict. When couples are already in the habit of keeping up to date and are intently aware of what each other is feeling and thinking, they aren't thrown off course. But if couples don't start off with a deep knowledge of each other, it's easy for a marriage to lose its way when lives shift so suddenly and dramatically. Just the passage of time can do it as well. The more you know and understand about each other, the easier it is to keep connected as life swirls around you.

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Principles for Making Marriage WorkReprinted from The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert. Copyright © 2015 by John Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.


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