7 Myths About a Good Marriage Busted By a PhD
My only regret regarding John Gottman is that I haven’t heard about his work earlier. This doctor has been nicknamed ‘the Einstein of Love’ by Psychology Today and for good reason.
Gottman spent more than 40 years in his so-called ‘Love Lab’ at the University of Washington trying to figure out the right mathematical formula for… well, love. More precisely, the genius analyzed relationship evolutions over the years and how their communication (both verbal and non-verbal) changed in time.
With over 200 published studies and specialty articles, Dr. Gottman now claims the ability to predict how a relationship will continue with a 94% accuracy.
Today, this specialist helps us bust 7 common myths about what makes a marriage good. I think this is a great starting point for each of us to figure out where we are in our relationships right now, so let’s get started!
Myth #1: Marriage must be fair
I’m not talking about the philosophical sense of the word. However, if your partner does something and immediately expects something else in return, there’s something seriously wrong.
‘I’ll cook but you have to do the dishes’ is probably the least harmful way of how quid pro quo thinking can negatively impact you.
Through his work, Dr. Gottman found that the most successful relationships are those in which a partner genuinely cares about meeting the other’s interests, not your own. This quality comes along with self-trust, altruism and genuine care for the other one’s happiness and wellbeing.
Myth #2: Tell your partner what you want
We already know that open communication is the most important tool for long-term happiness. However, Gottman found that couples who are truly happy pay enough attention to each other to notice when something’s wrong.
If you feel like you constantly have to explain your needs and complaints to your significant other, it might be time to review your level of trust, how much time you spend together and other important aspects.
Myth #3: Screaming fights often lead to divorce
According to Dr. Gottman, there are three types of happy-stable relationships: validaters, avoiders and volatiles.
Volatiles are couples that have five times more positive interactions than negative ones. However, the negative ones may turn into screaming fights – that kind of fight we notice sometimes in others and think they may end up getting a divorce.
Avoiders, on the other hand, are described by Gottman as couples who live a very peaceful life which can in return make them very distant. In the end, he admits, it’s all about maintaining a healthy balance.