September 1, 2006
John Gottman is a psychologist researcher that claims he can predict whether people will divorce with 91% accuracy. What do you think?
Gottman begins the book with a bold and unsettling assertion: He can predict in five minutes -- with 91 percent accuracy -- whether a couple will eventually divorce. How can he do this? Years of observing the healthy and unhealthy ways couples argue. Specifically, he watches out for certain corrosive interactions that, left unchecked, will kill a relationship. He calls these the "Four Horsemen": criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
The author offers up some other startling findings: Communication, and more specifically, conflict resolution, is not the key to a happy marriage. Anger is not necessarily destructive; couples in good marriages also argue and fight. Traditional marriage therapies, including active listening, where spouses mirror back each other's feelings, are often ineffective and for the most part useless, he says. Affairs are not the cause for most breakups. And men and women do not have different needs in marriage. Indeed, what is most important to both sexes, Gottman says, is the quality of the couple's friendship.
Consider taking a month and devoting yourself to your relationship. It's a worthwhile investment. Join us for A MONTH OF SELF-REFLECTION starting September 13, 2006.