I have found Gottman’s “Six Magic Hours” a helpful tool for couples who desire to enliven their marriage and have drifted away from some of the basics. It may seem elementary at first, but actually consciously employing his principals can make a positive difference.

Gottman’s “Magic Six Hours” from

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
by John Gottman and Nan Silver

Couples who saw their relationships improve devoted extra time each week to 6 categories, totaling 6 hours.

1)    Partings - Make sure that before you say goodbye in the morning you’re learning about one thing that is happening in your spouse’s life that day. (Two minutes per day for five days for a grand total of 10 minutes per week).

2)    Reunions - Gottman recommends greeting your partner each day with a hug and a kiss that lasts six seconds and ending each workday with a stress-reducing conversation that lasts at least 20 minutes. (About one hour and 40 minutes per week.)

3)    Appreciation - Spend five minutes every day finding a new way to communicate genuine appreciation for your spouse. (35 minutes per week.)

4)    Affection - Show each other physical affection when you are together during the day and make sure to always embrace before going to sleep. (Five minutes per day, seven days a week, 35 minutes per week).

5)    Weekly date - For two hours once a week Gottman recommends one at one time during which you ask each other open-ended questions. (Two hours per week).

6)    State of the Union meeting - Spend one hour a week talking about what went right this week, discussing what went wrong and expressing appreciated for each other. (One hour per week.)

April Carlson, MSW, LCSW, LLC