Here’s some of my favorite love research, so you can enjoy your happiest relationship!
1. Marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman’s main learned hypothesis: Respect and consistent daily affection are the two top essentials for successful relationships — and contempt is the number one destroyer.
2. Dr. Gottman discovered couples who remain married vs. divorced often experienced just as much conflict — but put in more “repair” — with a 5 to 1 ratio of nice to nasty moments. Or as Dr. Gottman himself said: “Satisfied couples maintained a five-to-one ratio of positive to negative moments in their relationship, whereas couples heading for divorce allowed that ratio to slip below…to often one-to-one.” Dr. Gottman’s presecription: If you’re having problems with your honey,add more honey! Give a hug. Cuddle. Compliment.
3. Psychoanalyst Dr. Jani emphasizes the importance of two people being able to appreciate ordinary everyday moments together — and recommends always starting your day asking: “Anything special going on today?” At the end of the day, always ask: “Hey, how did that special thing go?” All this might seem obvious, but we can forget to ask about daily minutia. And the more you remember to ask, according to Dr. Jani, the more your sex life will improve — because it will make your partner feel more connected with you! (Who knew? Simply asking:”How was your day, dear?” can lead to hot times in bed?!)
4. Research consistently shows money plays a far lesser role in divorce – usually ranking about fifth in the blame line-up – behind incompatibility, lack of emotional support, abuse and sexual problems. According to Olivia Mellan, author of “Money Harmony: Resolving Money Conflicts in Your Life and Relationships” even when couples fight about money, they’re often fighting about underlying problems. Mellan reminds: “Fights about money are usually more about what money represents: dependency, control, freedom, security, pleasure, self-worth.”
5. All psychologists agree: A couple is only as “strong” as their weakest moments — how they handle conflict! There are THREE conflict strategies: #ONE: avoidance (the worst); #TWO: fighting (better than avoidance, but still not healthful or helpful); #THREE. validation (the winning method – which means trying to see things from the other person’s view, and sharing all views with kindness, and the goal of finding a win-win compromise!) TRANSLATION: When facing conflict, talk with your partner at the speed of life. Do not shut down. Do not attack. And ABSOLUTELY avoid that #1 love vaporizer: condescension!
If you’re having a difficult time feeling happy, check out my newest book INSTANT HAPPY – overflowing with my inspirational art – which works as a “pattern interrupt” on negative thinking. Click here to be whisked to a place where you can take a peek inside.
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Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.