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Gottman Relationship Blog: "How are you doing honey?"

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    They were talking to one another. They were having interesting and very personal intimate conversations, taking one another’s emotional temperature by asking questions. These questions were open-ended questions, like, “How are you doing, honey? How is life treating you? Talk to me.” Of course, a lot of their conversation tended to be about the baby. They were changing as people since they had become parents, and there was a lot to talk about. As a result they stayed emotionally connected.    They noticed when their partner needed something without having to be asked, and they stepped up to the plate to meet these partner needs, even if it was at their own expense. In other words, they became a team, and they sacrificed for the relationship. They were in fact each moving dramatically from a “me” to a “we.”    They allowed themselves to become very dependent on the family for their happiness. The family became the place they went to for getting their needs met, for fun, playfulness, adventures, sex, conversation, cuddling, socializing, and so on.    They were building a culture of appreciation of one another as parents, and as partners. Their habits of mind were very positive rather than critical. They seemed to search their world together for things to appreciate and admire about one another. They were building an emotional bank account in the relationship.    They repaired emotional injuries quickly when they hurt one another’s feelings.

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