In the Media
Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.
Psychologist John Gottman and applied mathematicians James Murray and Kristin Swanson claim their predictions have 94% accuracy — and this after viewing just the first few moments of a conversation about an area of marital contention.
How can he tell who will split up? There are a number of indicators but at the core of Gottman’s research are “The Four Horsemen.” These are the four things that indicate a marriage apocalypse is on its way.
John Gottman’s finding that a happy relationship needs five positive interactions for every negative interaction is widely cited; he and Julie Gottman have founded an institute that hosts couples workshops and other events; they even have apps.
Over decades, John has observed more than 3,000 couples longitudinally, discovering patterns of argument and subtle behaviors that can predict whether a couple would be happily partnered years later or unhappy or divorced.
Dr. John Gottman runs the “Love Lab” at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he analyzes the way couples communicate with each other and studies what their bodies are doing as they discuss issues in their relationship.
The Gottmans have found that later happiness in a relationship can be predicted by the way each person talks about the early days: they way they met, their first date.
John Gottman might be the world’s most calculating romantic. Love is a form of energy, he insists, and by expressing the dynamics of human relationships in mathematical terms, he aims to save more of them.
There’s a large and fast-growing support industry to help us develop our “softer” relationship skills; many CEOs hire executive coaches, and libraries of self-help books detail how best to build and manage relationships on the way to the top.
Thanks to longitudinal studies of thousands of couples and emerging research on previously understudied partnerships, one answer is becoming more apparent: Why some couples stick together isn’t so much a coin toss as a science.
From building a “Love Map” to an “Emotional Bank Account,” The Gottman Institute teaches many effective relationship techniques to help couples keep the romance alive and stay emotionally connected to one another.