Are you married to your Best Friend? Is your home the Safest Place on Earth? Millions of couples have already figured out the secrets of a great relationship and are now enjoying their very own Happily Ever After.
If others have figured it out, then you can, too!
Here are a few tips from marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman, who has been studying couple relationships for more than 20 years in his Seattle clinic:
Partners continually make “bids” for each other’s attention, closeness, and reassurance through a comment, question, glance, or gesture.
In happy couples, partners responded positively to these bids 86% of the time.
Through their words and their actions, they invited more connection. They communicated (with or without words), “You matter to me,” and “I want to connect with you, too.”
In fact, successful couples made at least 20 (yes, twenty) positive remarks for every 1 (one) negative remark!
Dr. Gottman also discovered that happy couples argue. What’s important is how you go about it. Among couples with lasting marriages:
- About 80% of complaints came from wives. However, they raised issues gently and brought them up sooner rather than later.
- In addition, husbands were willing to be influenced by their wives and to change their behavior.
- Neither spouse became upset enough with one another to raise their heart rates above 95 beats per minute.
- They didn’t escalate their arguments, but used humor, reassurance, and distraction to ease the tension.
- In fact, successful couples made at least 5 positive remarks or gestures for every negative during an argument. (Remember, when they weren’t arguing, the ratio was about 20 to 1.)
You can read more about Dr. Gottman’s research in Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. And if you need guidance in building the kind of relationship you long for, give us a call. We’re here to help. 800.705.6223