With a third to a half of all marriages ending in divorce, and with over 40% of people reporting unhappiness in their marriages, it is clear that most of us need better education about what it takes to maintain a happy relationship.
Dr. John Gottman, renowned psychologist and relationship researcher, has conducted extensive research at the University of Washington on couples and why relationships fail. He has been able to predict whether a couple would divorce with over 90% accuracy based on six predictive factors. suggest 6 predictive factors:
1. Poor conflict communication: starting with criticism of sarcasm sets the tone for the rest of the discussion.
2. The devastating four horsemen of the Apocalypse: criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.
3. Flooding: a heightened state of arousal and agitation - fight or flight response - to conflict.
4. Body reactions to flooding: higher blood pressure, hormonal changes, release of adrenaline.
5. Failed repair attempts: attempts made by the couple to reduce the tension during a discussion.
6. Bad memories about your relationship history: recollecting past memories with negativity and no fondness.
This is an extract from the book Why marriages succeed or fail by John M. Gottman, PhD.