SATISIFIED MARRIAGES ARE PREDICTABLE
People are wanting to connect on some level with romance and eventually an intimate, happy and long-lasting marriage.
The average couple take 6 years before seeking help for marital problems and almost 50% of marriages end in the first 7 years.
Many social and cultural forces shape intimate relationships of today. In the current millennium courtship can be viewed as superficial but according to couple’s experts, John and Julie Gottman, it can influence a long-term commitment relationship.
Esther Perel, another relationship expert, explains marriage in three ways: 1) traditional family centered marriage, 2) the couples centered marriage, and 3) the child centered marriage.
Each type of marriage can bring struggle but what keeps a marriage satisfying?
Gottman discover with his first study in the ‘Gottman Lab’ experiments that he could predict the changes in marital status. Another study looked at the links between marital interaction, parenting, and children’s social development.
He developed the concept of ‘meta-communication’. How people feel about feelings, particularly anger, emotional understanding and expression and mismatches between people in the marriage.
Amazingly marriages that stay together or divorce can be predicted with 90% accuracy. Here are some interesting findings from Gottman’s research:
- with 80% accuracy he could predict divorce with meta-emotional mismatches between couples
- couple’s interactions became stable over 3 years
- most relationship problems never get solved and 69% are ‘perpetual’ problems
- perpetual problems are based on personality differences between partners
People in marriages can learn skills to stay together in a mutually satisfying relationship by:
- remaining friends
- admiring each other with fondness
- turning towards each other’s attempts for connection
- scanning each other for positive aspects of their personality
- managing conflict
- help each other to make dreams a reality
- share each others’ meaning in life
Couples can build a solid relationship house with each of the above as levels that are supported up with commitment and trust.
Linda Taylor May 2018