Book Review: The Relationship Cure – A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships

Gottman does it again. In The Relationship Cure he combines the insights gained from over 30 years of relationship counseling with the outcomes of literally thousands of case studies and the resultant research data to clearly and plainly describe a fundamental element that defines the way our relationships work: the bid.

Bidding in relationships is the way we attempt to connect with others. Bids happen in every relationship we have, whether they are long term or short term, emotional or non-emotional, transactional or collaborative, or any other type. The way we bid, and respond to bids, determines whether the relationship will grow, or not.

Again, bidding occurs in marriages, in work relationships, friendships, and even when you check out at the grocery store. Failure to bid, or respond to bids, in a manner that shows you are interested in the relationship – whatever type it is – most often leads to collapse of the relationship.

Gottman discusses in depth how to bid, and respond to bids, in ways that develop and deepen relationships of all types. For instance, he devotes an entire chapter to the 6 bid busters and how to avoid them. He provides exercises that help you identify how you bid and react to bids, as well as how your emotional heritage affects your bidding style. He also provides a chapter on your brain’s emotional command systems to help you identify how your thinking and behaviors affect your bidding style.

The combination of these exercises, and the plain language Gottman uses to describe the ins and outs of bidding, are sure to help anybody learn more about themselves, their friends, parners, work colleagues, and how to develop better relationships.

In short, The Relationship Cure is all about the bid… and the bid is what makes or breaks relationships. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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