4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married Couples - Karen Salmansohn

4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married Couples

divorced versus married couples
By now it’s about 10 years ago I moved apartments.

When I packed to leave, I discovered I had over 700 books – many of them books with interesting research studies.

I decided it was time to edit my book collection from 700 books to 100.

I made sure that Dr. John Gottman’s books were absolutely brought with me.

I love his tools – and include them in many of my books and video courses.

Here’s some of what Gottman has researched and discovered.

4 Differences Between Divorced Vs. Married Couples

1. Respect and consistent daily affection are the two top essentials for successful relationships — and criticism and contempt are the top two destroyers.

2. Couples who remain married vs. divorced often experience 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 says: “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 prescription: If you’re having problems with your honey,add more honey! Give a hug. Cuddle. Compliment.

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3. Certain kinds of negativity are so deadly to a relationship that Dr. Gottman calls them the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Usually these four horsemen clip-clop into the heart of a marriage in the following order: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling. Research also 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. (Note: 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.”)

4. Dr. Gottman believes he can predict if a couple will last not based upon how well the two people get along -but by how well they do not get along. Meaning? A couple is only as “strong” as their “weakest moments” – how they handle conflict! There are 3 conflict strategies: #1: avoidance (the worst); #2: fighting (better than avoidance, but still not healthful or helpful); #2. 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 those 4 Horses Of The Apocalypse.

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

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.

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