| Tuesday, September 20, 2005
| LOVE LAB
|Can a dirty look or exasperated sigh signal trouble for the future of your marraige? Renowned marriage researcher John M. Giottman, Ph.D, says if such reactions are habituated, they could very well spell divorce.
Cofounder of the Gotmman Institute, executive director of the Relationship Research Institute and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Gotmman has studied couples since 1973 and is an internationally recorgnized expert in marital relations. His primary research method involves videotaping copuple while they are engaged in emotionally charged conversation, then analyzing the footage. By monitoring each partner's facial expressions and additional tracked data (including pulse rates, blood pressure and tone of voice) for 15minutes, Gottman is able to indentify important relational patterns and reactins that he says can make or break the fabric of romantic relatinship.
Amazingly, after reviewing just three minutes of vieotape, Gottman can predict with more than 90 percent accuracy whether or not a couple will stay together. Specifically, Gottman's research team watches for four red flags -- signs of criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonwalling --that he asserts will likely lead to divorce if left unchecked. Contempt, he says is particualry poisonous. You can find out moe about Gotmman's method and findings at www.gottman.com.
Looking to improve your own skills in handling conversation instead of conflict Gottman recommends the following:
*** SOFTEN YOUR START-UP.
Don't start an argument with confrontation. Begin easy and you'll both be able to hear each other.
*** ACCEPT INFLUENCE.
Bothmen and women need to be flexible, willing to bend to the wishes and influence oftheir partners on occasion. Men typically have a hearder time witht this, but the health of their marriage greatly improves when they are able to let their wives opinions influence their decisions.
** RAVE HIGH STANDARDS.
Refuse to accept hurtful behavior from each other. Donot lower your expectations of being treted well and with respect.
*** LEARN TO MAKE REPAIRS AND EXITS.
Happy couples know how to repair a situation before the argument gets out of control. "Repair attempts" might include interjecting some soothing humor or a caring remark, or making it clear you're on common ground. If your discussion gets too heated, taking a 20-minute break can add some much needed air.
*** STAY POSITIVE.
Gottman's research had demonstrated that satisfying relationsions (looks, exchanges, comments) to every negative one.When the ratio dips lower than that,the odds for divorce increase.
www.jhu.edu/civility -- John Hopkings Civilioty Project
www.gottman.com -- The Gottman Institute
www.rrinstitute.com -- The Relationship Research Institute
(abstracted from: EXPERIENCE MAG by: Jacquelinr B. Fletcher)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 2:30 AM