MASTER COUPLES STAY “HAPPILY MARRIED FOREVER AFTER”
The most popular months for marriage are October and November. According the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in one year about 122,000 Australian couples will say “I do”, committing to a lifelong relationship full of friendship, joy, and love.
Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most couples, only three in ten couples remain in a healthy, happy marriage. Majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into a bitter and dysfunctional relationship.
SCIENCE OF MASTER COUPLES
Evidence shows that lasting relationships don’t just happen couples need the skills to make them happen.
For the past four decades Psychologist John Gottman and his wife Julie Gottman have studied thousands of couples in an attempt to figure out what makes a happy, long lasting relationship.
The renowned experts on marital stability set up The Gottman Institute, based on the evidence gathered they educate and train couple therapists around the world on what master couples do build and maintain loving, healthy relationships.
MASTER COUPLES ARE KIND TO EACH OTHER EVEN WHEN FIGHTING
Couples can learn the skills that ‘master couples’ do to stay connected, this translates into warm and affectionate behaviour, even when they fight. Master couples create a culture of love and intimacy whereas ‘disaster’ couples do the opposite, they attack, criticise, defend and stonewall each other.
John Gottman states that 67% of problems are perpetual and never go away. Disaster couples show high arousal when there is a problem whereas master couples show low physiological arousal , they know that anger is not bad and knowing how to deal with it is what matters.
An article in Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/lasting-relationships-rely-on-2-traits-2014-11?IR=T describes the Gottman Method and says that most relationships “levels of satisfaction drop dramatically within the first few years together.”
DIVORCE CAN BE PREDICTED
The ABS says those marriages that end in divorce last about 12 years, in 2014 one in three couples divorced.
The impact of divorce on children and couples is huge and can have a profound effect on well-being.
One way is to stay together is to ‘turn towards’ your partner’s bids for connection rather than ‘turn away.’
What you do tells a lot about the health of your relationship. Turning away indicates a low level of connection and looks like this, “I read a great article in the paper today”, your partner grunts and continues reading the paper.
Turning towards your partner you would say, “oh sounds interesting, what was it about?”
It may sound trivial however research gathered by John Gottman show that couples who had divorced after six years had turn-towards-bids 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten bids for emotional connection ended with emotional intimacy.
Whereas couples who were still together after six years had turn-toward-bids 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.
BUILD A POSTIVE RELATIONSHIP BANK ACCOUNT
Linda Taylor, level 3 Gottman Method trained couples therapist can show you the skills master couples practise to create a culture of love and intimacy. This translates into affection, friendliness, kindness and generosity, remaining calm means you can stay connected together even when fighting.