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Building A Shared Meaning System

John Gottman, Ph.D.

One of the things that we found to be really the most critical in making relationships work is this idea of building a shared meaning system. What do we want to accomplish in this world? What legacy do we want to leave when we die? What are our goals? What does it mean to have a child? What does it mean to be a parent? What does love mean? Let's create a culture that really means something. Couples create this shared meaning system and it really takes them through tough times and it builds a tremendous bond between them.

Gonzalos Freixes

Having a child has really been a boon to the relationship in the sense that we have this common commitment. We created this child (Alex) and we're both very committed to the family. He's now 18; he's an adult. During the time he was growing up, we really were committed to doing things with him and for him and doing things with the family and with friends that had children and all that. Again, we've been very lucky in that we have a lot in common. Common cultural background, common careers and sort of the same sense of values. I think raising our son is definitely one of those primary factors.

Grace Freixes

I like to refer to Alex as our greatest work product, because what attorneys do is they produce work products. So this is our greatest work product, our son