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