The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work - Deepstash

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Can you predict if a relationship will last?

Well, you would be amazed to know that the author and relationship psychologist John Gottman can predict if a relationship would last with an accuracy rate of 94%.


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How does he do that?

His predictions aren't based of the couple's sexuality, income, background, etc. rather he derives it from how the partners act and react. This includes things like tone of voice, body language, behavior, etc. factors which also includes physilogical factors such as heart rate.


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Here are some signs that he has observed

Firstly, couples in fight or flight mode -- racing heartbeat, adrenaline rush, high blood pressure, etc. are more likely to split up. These people are always in a mode to either attack or be attacked.


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Verbal cues

Gottman also uses verbal observations to predict whether the couple "criticize or complain".

Both of these sound argumentative but the main difference being the intention. While criticizing, the person's main aim is to make the other person feel inferior or bad whereas a complaint can be made politely, urging the other person to take the complaint sportingly and work for it.


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What to do to prevent breakups?

It may sound simple but a key component in building a relationship is attention.

In a relationship, partners often share their personal feelings or mundane comments over silly things. They do it to start a conversation or to get attention. These comments or stories are called "bids" for attention. And how we react to these bids decides the future of a relationship


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Gottman started a research

In 1990, Gottman started a research in which he studied how 130 couples reacted to each others' bids.

After six years, he compared the couples who were still together versus the couples that got divorced.

It turned out that the couples who were together reacted to each other's bids on an average of 86% of the times, on the other hand the divorced couple just responded for 33% of the times.


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Why are bids so important in a healthy romantic relationship?

Gottman writes down a time when her wife was grumbling. Taking that as a bid, he reacted to that bid and asked her what happened. She replied that she was tired folding the laundry clothes. As a reaction to this, he helped her by folding some clothes for her. This tells her how important she is to Gottman and how important her miseries are to him.

He then played jazz music which reminded them of an old date in a jazz club. They then went for dinner together. And this is how accepting a small bid and reacting to it can create romantic moments for a couple and create an emotional bank for couples


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