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8 Tips for navigating the perks & problems of love in lockdown

Drs. John and Julie Gottman join KUOW's Ross Reynolds to explore the challenges and adventures of coupledom during Coronavirus.

Has your partner's chewing become especially loud during quarantine? Has home co-working with your spouse provided surprising insights into your wife's use of "let's circle back on that" during Zoom calls? Or perhaps the last few months of lockdown together has been the spiciest stretch of your relationship.

In this hour, KUOW's Ross Reynolds joins relationship gurus Drs. John and Julie Gottman to explore how the stay-at-home order has brought on new strains and possibilities for connecting with our significant others.

caption: Drs. John and Julie Gottman
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Drs. John and Julie Gottman

Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman are the co-founders of The Gottman Institute, an award-winning research center in Seattle focused on interpersonal relationships. Dr. John Gottman's breakthrough work has earned him four National Institute of Mental Health Research Science Awards. Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman was named Washington State Psychologist of the Year in 2020. The Gottmans have been married since 1987.


Top 8 tips for enjoying lockdown with your loved ones from the Gottmans:

  1. Create personal space for solitude.
  2. During disagreements, describe yourself, not your partner. "I feel" statements are recommended.
  3. Submerging your face in very cold water is a quick way to bring your heart rate down if tensions are rising.
  4. Communicate about what you want, not about what you don't want.
  5. Make time for play. John recommends a mud fight(!).
  6. Take turns at the end of the day to share about your day for 15 minutes. During those 15 minutes, the listener's job is simply to listen, not to offer solutions.
  7. Take time for touch. Julie recommends foot rubs.
  8. Take time with your family for discussion without any pressure to decide on actions. Suggested discussion questions from the Gottmans: What does courage mean to you? What are you most afraid of? What does racism means to you?

For more about these tips and to hear how the Gottmans themselves are doing during this lockdown, click the play button in the upper right corner.

This show was produced by John O’Brien and hosted by Ross Reynolds. This web story was produced by Kristin Leong.