And sometimes you have them over and over and over. John is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington and co-founder of the Gottman Institute. John has studied thousands of couples over his year career. Four things came up again and again that indicated a relationship was headed for trouble.
The Disasters did them a lot and the Masters avoided them:. The Masters did the opposite: Ladies, are you listening? The second horseman was defensiveness which is a natural reaction to being criticized. Again, the Masters were very different even when their partner was critical.
Contempt is talking down to their partner.
Not only did it predict relationship breakup, but it predicted the number of infectious illnesses that the recipient of contempt would have in the next four years when we measured health. Want to know a shortcut to creating a deeper bond with a romantic partner?
Naturally, you want to know what stops those things from occurring, right? Why is this so rare?
John cited a study showing couples with kids talk to each other about 35 minutes per week. No, this has nothing to do with eBay. You say something and you want them to respond.
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Couples with high scores build relationship equity. And that makes a big difference.
Ever listen to someone madly in love talk about their partner? They sound downright delusional. They act like the other person is a superhero. And research shows that is perfect. Masters see their partner as better than they really are. Disasters see their partners as worse than they really are. For more on the science of sexy, click here. Admiration is about the story you tell yourself about your partner. And that leads us to how to predict whether your relationship is working….
You can do this yourself: What kind of story do you tell? Does the story minimize the negatives and celebrate the positives?
Did it make the other person sound great? They really emphasize what was missing.
They nurture gratitude instead of resentment. For more on what research says makes love last, click here. Negativity feeds on itself and makes the conversation stay negative. The New Science of Love:. Now you should stop talking.
The Masters know how to listen. When their partners have a problem, they drop everything and listen non-defensively with empathy.
And sometimes the best thing to do at the beginning of a relationship argument is to end it immediately. You can edit these videotapes together and it looked like the same conversation over and over for 22 years. Masters learn to accept what will not change and focus on the positive. For more on how to listen like an expert, click here.
One last thing that really blew me away: Research shows, happy people seek out the positive and are grateful for it. Unhappy people find the negative in everything.
So the positive habit of mind is actually more accurate. Some of the same things that make you happy can improve your relationships — and vice versa. Recipe For A Happy Marriage: The 7 Scientific Secrets. What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life? So where are the real answers? The four things that doom relationships.
The three things that prevent those four things. The single best predictor of whether a relationship is working.