Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.
Psychologist John Gottman and applied mathematicians James Murray and Kristin Swanson claim their predictions have 94% accuracy - and this after viewing just the first few moments of a conversation about an area of marital contention.
How can he tell who will split up? There are a number of indicators but at the core of Gottman’s research are ” The Four Horsemen.” These are the four things that indicate a marriage apocalypse is on its way.
Dr. John Gottman runs the "Love Lab" at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he analyzes the way couples communicate with each other and studies what their bodies are doing as they discuss issues in their relationship.
Over decades, John has observed more than 3,000 couples longitudinally, discovering patterns of argument and subtle behaviors that can predict whether a couple would be happily partnered years later or unhappy or divorced.
The Gottmans have found that later happiness in a relationship can be predicted by the way each person talks about the early days: they way they met, their first date.
After researching thousands of couples for more than 40 years at the Gottman Institute, these are some of the myths we’ve encountered most often.
John Gottman’s finding that a happy relationship needs five positive interactions for every negative interaction is widely cited; he and his wife have founded an institute that hosts couples workshops and other events; they even have apps.
John Gottman might be the world’s most calculating romantic. Love is a form of energy, he insists, and by expressing the dynamics of human relationships in mathematical terms, he aims to save more of them.
There’s a large and fast-growing support industry to help us develop our “softer” relationship skills; many CEOs hire executive coaches, and libraries of self-help books detail how best to build and manage relationships on the way to the top.
Being nice, paying attention and praising a partner’s strengths all pay off in a long-term relationship.
The takeaways were many, but here are three we've consistently put into play since our Gottman Method weekend — see if they work for you.
Thanks to longitudinal studies of thousands of couples and emerging research on previously understudied partnerships, one answer is becoming more apparent: Why some couples stick together isn't so much a coin toss as a science.
Whether you’re in a committed relationship or hoping to be in one soon, the Gottman Method provides useful insights into what makes relationships endure over time.