I used to have a thing for dating “Prince Harmings.”
Finally in my 40’s I became passionately determined to break my bad love patterns for good
My journey led me to do a lot of soul searching – as well as researching.
I was on a mission: Learn the secrets of happy couples!
I’m happy to say I did indeed my find my sweetie.
I’m now passionately determined to help as many people as I can to find happy, safe-feeling relationships.
Below you’ll find some interesting insights from John Gottman’s research about what most contributes to break ups in marriages.
1. Harsh Start Ups
You begin a discussion with your partner using criticism, sarcasm, or harsh words. Instead you should always begin with a compliment about what you appreciate about your partner and a reminder about how you really want to work on your relationship so it succeeds – and the two of you can grow together.
2. You Ride The Four Horsemen
(1) You stonewall — meaning you withdrawal, refusing to participate in communication. Stonewalling is the numero uno destroyer of love. Gottman believes even fighting is a step upward on the upheaval food chain – because at least there’s authentic and heartfelt communication being exchanged. (2) You criticize without warmth and open-mindedness. (3) You show contempt – speaking with an attitude which shows no respect for your partner — being overly judgmental over the smallest of things. (4) You’re defensive. You do not take any responsiblity for your contribution to problems.
3. Your Body Language Is Cursing And Shouting
Your arms are crossed. Your face is sneering. Your heart rate has increased. Your blood pressure has mounted. You have no ability to process information and thereby pay attention to what your partner is saying.
4. You Suck At Repair
For every negative event you need something positive to repair the emotional damage – or you will overflood your partner with too much negativity. You need to weave into hard times some soothing and adoring good times — like an expression of appreciation, a small apology, a display of some warmth. Gottman recommends a 5 to 1 nice to nasty ratio to keep your love feeling as if its loving.
5. Bad Memories
If you can’t forgive and forget then you will get stuck frozen in bad memories — “stuck” in a negative view. Instead you should purposefully share conversations where you remember the good times and good qualities you love about your partner, so as to jumpstart loving memories, and defuse bad ones.
So, how can one do a swerve-a-roo from downward spiral to an upward spiraling of thriving love?
In a word: Empathize!
Putting in the effort of empathy is the universal cure-all for all relationship woes!
So, if right now you and your partner are undergoing love troubles, purposefully think and feel from your partner’s point of view.
Try to really figure out your partner’s feelings, fears, pains and disappointments.
As Steven Covey brilliantly stated in his fabulous book The Seven Habits for Highly Effective People: “Seek first to understand — then to be understood!”
What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read about these John Gottman predictors? Share your personal story or a personal happiness tool below!