Here’s an exercise from couples therapy that activates the power of storytelling to create a happier, more resilient relation. The idea of The Story of Us was developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman at the Gottman Institute and is used to create a healthier and more inspiring story about your relationship – as well as to reveal vulnerabilities that may need special attention.
In this episode, we cover:
- What is “The Story of Us” and why it matter
- Why couples therapists use “The Story of Us” to reveal couple’s strengths and vulnerabilities
- How to communicate with more love, generosity and empathy
- Why stories matter, and how to tell a better story about your relationship
- How to become the author of your own Story of Us
Here are a few questions to get your conversations started:
- How did you meet?
- What drew you to one another?
- What have you been through together?
- What are the greatest challenges you have faced together?
- What are your shared values?
- Where are you headed in life together?
The story you weave about who you are as a couple plays itself out – you are both writing and acting out the script simultaneously.
As you become more aware of weaving “The Story of Us” always remember that your story is still being written! Every day is a new moment in your story, as individuals and as a couple. So don’t pretend to know one another too well, as you are both always becoming new people.
As you speak to one another and about your relationship, be on the lookout for the phrases “always” and “never” – these phrases lock us into narrow scripts and can create defensiveness in communication. Instead, acknowledge the patterns and focus on your shared values and intentions as a couple.
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