I was reading one of John Gottman’s books the other night and learned that one of his “go-to strategies” for determining whether or not a couple’s marriage will last depends upon how they recall past memories together. If they recall the past memories with some sweetness and nostalgia, his research has shown that the marriage will likely last. But if they recall those past memories with animosity and pain, his research would show that the marriage likely won’t last.
The interesting thing about this, however, is the brain’s role in how we recall past experiences. The brain will alter the memory of a past experience through its current filter of beliefs and thought patterns.
For example, if you’re feeling optimistic about your relationship, your mind will recall the past experience through that lens and look for pieces of evidence to support the belief that it was positive.
But the inverse is also true. If you’re feeling hopeless about your relationship, your brain will search through the details of past experiences to look for the pieces that support the current belief that the relationship is doomed.
Our minds search for evidence to support its current beliefs…the current feelings and patterns. It doesn’t want to expend the effort to look for evidence to the contrary and it will not automatically create new thought patterns.
There’s so much more going on in our minds than most people even realize. And how our minds work is dramatically influencing how we show up and engage in our relationships.
Once you understand how to manage your mind, that’s how you can create different results in your marriage.
That’s how you can create real change.
It’s not easy (otherwise everyone would be doing it); but it’s also not impossible.
It is kind of miraculous.
We don’t need cute tests to determine some inevitability about our marriages, as if we have no role in the creation of the relationship every single day. We need real tools to do it differently. And that’s what I teach my clients.
If you’re asking yourself, “Will my marriage last?” the answer depends upon your ability to do it differently than the way you’ve always done it.
That answer depends upon your willingness to learn new tools.
That answer depends upon your readiness to create real change in your life and your marriage.
I’m only taking on two new couples as private clients this month to do this deep work.
No cute tests. Real tools that create real results. All with great love.