Summary of Why Marriages Succeed or Fail
Copyright © 1994 by John Gottman
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., N.Y.
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If you and your spouse are screaming at each other over what color to paint the downstairs bathroom, it might be a sign that your marriage is in danger – but then again, it might not. The fact that you argue is not the issue. Problems, conflicts and disagreements are inevitable and unavoidable in life and in a marriage. The key to a stable, healthy marriage is the way you air and resolve conflict. Dr. John Gottman studied hundreds of couples for more than 20 years to identify what, if anything, healthy and failing marriages have in common. Based on his research, the most innovative part of the book, he believes that he can predict with 94% accuracy which couples will stay together and which ones will fall apart. Failing marriages tend to follow the same downward spiral, a path that leads to loneliness, anger, negativity and, eventually, dissolution. Recognizing these destructive communication patterns is the first step back to a healthy relationship. Gottman's research, conclusions and recommendations hold up surprisingly well. getAbstract recommends his timeless advice to couples who want to avoid – or address – marital pitfalls.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why the way a couple communicates and resolves conflict is the key to a solid marriage;
- What four forces can corrode the foundation of your marriage; and
- How to argue constructively, communicate effectively and combat negativity in your relationship.
About the Author
Marriage and relationship researcher John Gottman, Ph.D., conducted the breakthrough study cited in this book. It is partially responsible for modern relationship counseling that emphasizes behavioral modifications. His other books include The Relationship Cure and The Marriage Clinic. He is a psychology professor emeritus at the University of Washington, where he founded the "love lab."