When was the last time you entered a house, apartment, or other building and thought “that is a good looking foundation!”? Unless you lay concrete foundations for a living, it is probably not a common thing you think about. We tend to take the foundations of buildings for granted, focusing instead on decorations, colors, or furniture. Yet, foundations are the most essential part of any building. Weaknesses in a foundation, such as cracks, sagging, or crumbling, can cause problems in the rest of the building. For example, if you have sagging floors, cracked walls, or a warped ceiling, you might have a failing foundation. When a failing foundation is the problem, there’s not much use trying to fix the floor, walls, or ceiling until you fix the foundation since they are just symptoms of a bigger issue. Fortunately, there are things you can do to repair your foundation before it’s too late.
Relationships are very similar to houses in this way. As Dr. John Gottman explains in his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, a deep friendship is the foundation of healthy romantic relationships. If that foundation of friendship has weaknesses, it can cause problems in the rest of the relationship. For example, if you and your partner can’t ever seem to handle disagreements well, if you two are struggling in your sexual relationship, or you feel like the two of you are growing apart, you might have a failing foundation of friendship. While learning to communicate better, going to sex therapy, or planning a romantic getaway to bring you two together might help, those problems you are trying to fix are likely just symptoms of a bigger issue: a failing foundation of friendship. Fortunately, just as with houses, there are things you can do to repair your foundation of friendship before it is too late. The sooner, the better. So if you feel like parts of your relationship are failing, or if you want to prevent your relationship from failing, it is time to repair and strengthen your foundation of friendship!
For practical, proven ways to strengthen your foundation of friendship, sign up for our relationship class based on Dr. Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Click Our Courses at the top of the page for more information!
Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (2015). The seven principles for making marriage work: A practical guide from the country’s foremost relationship expert (2nd edition). New York: Harmony.