Build Love Maps
Written by: Seada
If you have not yet heard the relationship advice of Dr. John Gottman, I encourage you to pop over to YouTube and listen to a few of his clips. You will be impressed!
Let’s take a walk down memory lane. Tell me about the time you first laid eyes on a current loved one. What was the time and the date? How did your loved one make you feel? Were there laughs and smiles? Did you feel the need to be in closer contact? We have all fallen in love and found that, over time, desire for one another begins to deplete. New factors come to play: parenting, job changes, perhaps illnesses, cultural expectations, finances, and in-laws. While these changes are inevitable, they require a lot of our individual and collective attention, which can feel demanding.
The first level of Dr. Gottman’s Sound House Relationship is “Building Love Maps.”
“Without a love map,” says Dr. Gottman, “You cannot know your spouse. And if you don’t know them, then how can you truly love them?”
How did Prophet Muhammad (s) build love maps with his wife, Aisha? He knew his wife well enough to pick up on the slight changes in her wording when she was upset. On her end, Aisha knew to reassure him that even when she was angry, her love for him was still intact behind her current emotion. There was no decrease in affection for him when she was upset.
Knowing your partner’s love map allows us to continue to get to know one another which over time strengthens the foundation of our relationships.
You can even apply love maps from a faith-based perspective. How do we build a relationship with God? In my childhood years, I was well-aware of what was wrong (haram) was and what was right (halal). But I grew up fearing my parent’s punishments more than worrying about my relationship with God! If ever you get a chance to watch Russell Peter’s comedy about his parents, you too would understand the fear. Authoritative rules may have been necessary for the development of ethical values and morals, but the installation of fear distracted my ability to get to know God and His mercy and love for His creation. And if I didn’t know God, could I truly love him?