If you're like most people, your smartphone is glued to your hand. So it's no surprise that there's now an app to help improve your relationship!
The Gottman Card Decks app is based on the principles of Dr. John Gottman, a leading expert on marriage and relationships. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at how this app can help marriages become stronger and more fulfilling.
What is the Gottman Card Decks App?
The Gottman Card Decks App is designed to help couples learn and apply the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy. This app includes 14 different deck types with more than 1,000 couples questions to address various facets of your relationships.
For example, Love Maps is a deck designed to assess how well you can "map" your partner's inner world, whereas Salsa (mild, medium, or HOT) is a deck that suggests challenges to spice up your sex life.
It's also totally customizable, so you can choose which topics are most relevant to you and your partner. The app is available for Android and iOS devices, and it's free to download.
How does the app work?
So how does the Gottman Card Decks App help improve relationships? First of all, it helps couples learn about each other more profoundly. The quizzes and articles can help you better understand your partner's likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.
This knowledge can help you be more supportive and understanding of your partner. In addition, the app provides couples with practical tools to help them communicate better and constructively resolve conflict.
Some of the decks in the Gottman Card Decks App can be used independently to help develop effective language for expressing gratitude or empathy for your partner. Other decks, such as the Salsa decks and Love Maps, are designed to be used together.
Try taking turns asking each other questions or dedicate a whole night to getting to know your partner more deeply.
A science-based approach
After decades of research in Dr. Gottman's renowned love lab, the Gottman Card Decks app seems to be a conglomerate of what wisdom his studies have yielded. In his book, 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work in which Dr. Gottman presents his findings, there is an interactive question game for couples to play that may have inspired the Gottman Card Decks app.
The core purpose of the deck is to assist couples as they create more robust love maps - a metaphor of the level of understanding one partner has of the inner desires, fears, and experiences of the other.
Gottman Love Maps
In 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, Gottman uncovered a powerful truth about making love last. The more continuously mindful partners are of each other's inner world, including their partner's concerns, stresses, goals, and aspirations, the richer their connection.
Essentially, he found that the key to happiness in marriage is mindful interaction, and to interact mindfully, you have to know your partner as well or better than you know yourself.
The Love Maps deck in the Gottman Card Decks App is a valuable tool for co-creating your understanding of one another. With questions ranging from "what is your partner's favorite musical group, composer, or instrument?" to "what stresses are facing your partner in the immediate future?" opportunities abound to affirm each other's preferences, goals, and worries.
Use it for a few minutes before bed, or give it a go on the weekend while both of you are relaxing at home. The simple act of getting to know one another will help build and solidify trust in your relationship.
And if something comes up that you aren't sure how to answer? That's okay, too. Give your partner a chance to talk about themselves as you practice active listening.
Rituals of Connection
Relationships are founded on how we connect over shared rituals, making this Gottman Card Deck one of my favorites. This deck contains some everyday situations where couples may or may not have already established a shared routine.
With ideas for how to part ways, come together, reduce stress, and stay connected throughout the busy work week, there are opportunities to review and grow the rituals that bring you together.
One of the most effective ways to maintain a happy, healthy relationship is through expressing appreciation for your partner. Unfortunately, many individuals struggle to find the words or aren't sure which little things merit giving thanks. With the Give Appreciation deck, couples are prompted with what to say in various situations where a little praise can go a long way.
When it comes to expressing needs and emotions in a relationship, "I feel" statements are crucial to effective communication. Using "I" statements alleviates any misconstrued feelings of blame and encourages partners to work together to fix the issues between them.
For example, rephrasing "you're stressing me out" to "I feel frazzled" changes not only the delivery but also invites a resolution rather than a defensive response. For couples looking to communicate more harmoniously, this Gottman Card Deck is a great tool.
Empathy is an area often overlooked and misunderstood between couples. This deck is excellent for partners feeling a need for more compassionate exchanges. The urge to weigh in on a loved one's problems to find a solution often outweighs the more empathetic responses that partners need while going through a tough time.
If you're unsure how best to respond when your partner has a hard day, or you just want some go-to lines for showing more empathy, give this Gottman Card Deck a try on your own and pick out responses that you think will resonate with your spouse.
How do you get the app?
If you're looking for an app to help improve your relationship, the Gottman Card Decks App is definitely worth checking out! It's free to download, and it could just be the thing that enables you to take your relationship to the next level.
Whether you have Apple or Android, head over to the app store and search "Gottman Card Decks." Downloading the app is easy, and you can dive right in to start exploring more about each other while improving your communication skills.
Do you have a relationship app that you love and recommend? Let me know in the comments below!