Why Marriages Succeed Or Fail: What You Can Learn From The Breakthrough Research To Make Your Marriage Last By John Gottman
(59 customer reviews)
Counters conventional wisdom about marriage and divorce, providing curative techniques and describing how marital satisfaction is not the key to marital stability, emotional divorce precedes actual divorce, and arguing can be a healthy sign. 75,000 first printing. Tour.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #445386 in Books
- Published on: 1994-02-14
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Hardcover
- 240 pages
From Kirkus Reviews
From psychology professor (Univ. of Washington) and marriage researcher Gottman: an upbeat, easy-to-follow manual based on research into the dynamics of married couples. Gottman describes his studies as being akin to a CAT scan of a living relationship and asserts that he's been able to predict the future of marriages with an accuracy rate of over 90 percent. In 1983 and 1986, his research team monitored more than a hundred married couples in Indiana and Illinois with electrodes, video cameras, and microphones as they attempted to work out real conflicts. Using the information derived from these sessions, Gottman concludes here that a lasting relationship results from a couple's ability to resolve conflicts through any of the three styles of problem-solving that are found in healthy marriages- -validating, conflict-avoiding, and volatile. Numerous self-quizzes help couples determine the style that best suits them. Gottman points out, however, that couples whose interactions are marked by four characteristics--criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and withdrawal--are in trouble, and he includes self-tests for diagnosing these destructive tactics, as well as steps for countering them. Interestingly, Gottman asserts that the basis of a stable marriage can be expressed mathematically: the ratio of positive to negative moments must be at least 5:1--and he offers a four-step program for breaking through negativity and allowing one's natural communication and problem-solving abilities to flourish. Mathematics and science aside, there's plenty of old- fashioned, helpful, and worthwhile advice here about gender differences, realistic expectations, love, and respect--advice that may appeal especially to those who enjoy taking quizzes and analyzing relationships. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
Psychologist John Gottman has spent 20 years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage.
You'll also learn:
More sex doesn't necessarily improve a marriage
Frequent arguing will not lead to a divorce
Financial problems do not always spell trouble in a relationship
Wives who make sour facial expressions when their husbands talk are likely to be separated within four years
There is a reason husbands withdraw from arguments--and there's a way around it
Dr. Gottman tells you how to recognize attitudes that doom a marriage--contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling--and provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, and techniques that will help you understand and make the most of your relationship. You can avoid patterns that lead to divorce, and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail will show you how.
About the Author
John M. Gottman, Ph.D., whose breakthrough study of 2,000 married couples over two decades resulted in this book, is renowned for his ability to predict -- with 94 percent accuracy -- which people will stay married and which will divorce. He is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Most helpful customer reviews
86 of 87 people found the following review helpful.
A must read for married couples!!!
By merrie lee peterson
I read this book on the advice of my marriage therapist, right after my divorce was final. No advice has ever rung so true. It was a little too late to fix that one, but it's given me a lot to practice for the future. Of course, no book can answer all the questions, solve all your problems, but if you want to understand some of the more intricate patterns of communication that can subtly erode your marriage, I think this book is exceptional. I recently read it again with my partner, and it drew us together, helped us understand the goings on of our communication, where each of us has difficulty, and gave us sensible, reasonable solutions to mend our relationship and make it more positive. The best part of all: neither of us felt horrible for behaving like children; it just helped us understand what the consequences of our actions might be.
One little bit of data he uncovered, the impact of positive to negative interactions between couples, was reduced to a rather mathematical forumula: to practice a ratio of five positive to every one negative interaction. Sounds scientific enough, but in practice it's remarkable how much that little habit has done to improve all of my relationships. I think Gottman's work is a significant contribution to understanding how marriages do work, and what couples can do to avoid the pitfalls of harmful communication patterns. I have recommended it to everyone I know whose relationships are ailing and have gotten a lot of grateful thanks from them.
He's got a great writing style, humorous at times, and the book is fun to read with your significant other. I feel his information is practical, authentic, and gives the people like me, who don't quite understand all the ins and outs of communication, hope to have a better relationship.
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful.
Professional information accessible to anyone
By A Customer
This book was required reading in my clinical psychology, masters level course. I was surprised to see a "popular psych" book in a graduate course but it turned out to be a great text. This book combines an academic and research perspective with accessible and easily generalized examples that can benefit anyone. Since reading it, I have significantly improved my relationship skills and use them frequently in my marriage. The self-tests, the simple practices, and the engaging writing style place this book at the top of the stack for relationship advice. This book is not just for couples in trouble--new couples or anyone looking to improve their relationship skills can benefit. I give it as a wedding gift all the time.
121 of 126 people found the following review helpful.
Not as well written as the companion book by the author
This book is very similar to "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work : A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert". It almost seems like a first draft of the other book. Not as well organized or clearly written. It is a very good book, but I would recommend "The Seven Principles" over this one.
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