Top : Marriages - Making Them Work : Five Essential Skills - Gottman Research
Predicting What Marriages Will Last And Which Will End In Divorce - What It Means For You By Robert Bacal
Imagine if it was possible to predict what marriages would last, and which ones would end up in divorce. That would be a huge stride forward, and that's exactly what John Gottman and his colleagues have been doing over the last few DECADES.
Claims Of Success
Gottman and all claim that it is possible to observe couples for as little as fifteen minutes, and, based on that observation, predict with some amazing levels of accuracy, what relationships will last, and what relationships will fail. The claims, if true are astounding and meaningful. In this section you'll learn a lot more about the research, how it was done, its strengths and weaknesses.
What It Means For You
Does this research suggest what you can DO to make a marriage or relationship last? Yes, and no. The Yes part is that the researchers boiled down their findings into five "skills" that seemed to make all the difference.
Dr. John Brent Atkinson summarized them as follows:
- Partners use a ‘soft start-up’ to bring up an issue.
- Partners are open to their partner’s influence.
- Partners know how to make “repairs” after an upset.
- Partners honor one another’s dreams and aspirations.
- Partners observe a 5 to 1 ratio of positivity
What Predicts Divorce?
Here are six signs that a marriage is headed for divorce based directly on Gottman's work:
- A Harsh Startup
- The Four Horsemen
- Body Language
- Failed Repair Attempts
- Bad Memories
These may seem general, but as you'll find out they are associated with specific observable things couples do and say.
That means that it's possible for you and your partner to learn some of the skills that are associated with long term marriage success.
A Caution About Cause, and Prediction
Gottman's work was about predicting relationships success, and not necessarily about finding out WHY some relationships work and don't work. It's a very subtle difference, because it's possible for something to predict something without it actually causing something.
So, as you read through all the literature on the topic below, keep in mind that it may be harder to apply these findings than you'd think, and that they might not be "magic bullets".
Top : Marriages - Making Them Work : Five Essential Skills - Gottman Research:
John Gottman and collegues claim great success at predicting which marriages will succeed OVER THE LONG HAUL, and which will fail, and can do so looking at only FIVE skills. Is this the holy grail for making marriages work? Find out here.
Available Help About: Marriages - Making Them Work : Five Essential Skills - Gottman Research
What Makes Marriage Work? (Gottman)
Psychology Today covers Gottman's research on what predicts marriages that will last, but also mentions that successful marriages need MORE than effective conflict management.
7 Research-Based Principles for Making Marriage Work
In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, written with Nan Silver, renowned clinical psychologist and marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, reveals what successful relationships look like and features valuable activities to help couples strengthen their relationships.
Gottman's principles are research-based. He and his colleagues have studied hundreds of couples (including newlyweds and long-term couples); interviewed couples and videotaped their interactions; even measured their stress levels by checking their heart rate, sweat flow, blood pressure and immune function; and followed couples annually to see how their relationships have fared.
He's also found that nine months after attending his workshops, 640 couples had relapse rates of 20 percent, while standard marital therapy has a relapse rate of 30 to 50 percent. In the beginning of these workshops, 27 percent of couples were at high risk for divorce. Three months later, 6.7 percent were at risk. Six months later, it was 0 percent. (Here's more on his research.)
Below are his seven principles along with a few relationship-strengthening activities to try.