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Relationships are terrifying. I mean, did you know half of all marriages last forever??
'Ello loves, Julian here for DNews. Alright, first of all the oft-quoted statistic that
50% of marriages fail is just plain wrong. The actual number for first marriages is closer
to 20-25%, but that still begs the question; why do they fail? Why do people who have avowed
themselves to one another for their whole lives come up short?
Well, John and Julie Gottman have been pondering that question for decades. By the way, they’re
both psychologists, and yes, they’re married. Feel free to "d’awwww" now.
According to the Gottmans, you can actually predict with 94% certainty which relationships will be healthy and which will be festering quagmires of misery and stress simply
by how they support each other.
Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that sometimes you and your partner’s interests
don’t align. Maybe you like hockey but they’re not so hot in it. Or maybe they like camping
and you understandably think sleeping on the dirty ground in the woods with no wifi is
a terrible way to spend a vacation. But when one person tries to share their interests
with their significant other, that’s a bid for emotional support.
How often they get that acknowledgment makes all the difference.
John Gottman conducted a study where he invited 130 newlywed couples to what looked
like a bed and breakfast, but was actually a lab where they could observe the subjects.
He was watching for how often one person would say something seemingly inconsequential, like,
"hey check out that bird," or, "I have the weirdest feeling we’re being watched right now."
Gottman called these "bids" for emotional support, and noted how often their partner
would respond in a meaningful way. Their findings show that couples stay together when they
show bids of interest or support 9 out of 10 times, while couples who only support each
other one third of the time split within six years.
Ignoring those bids for support and acceptance can have an actual physiological effect.
The Gottmans and a team of researchers brought in newlyweds to interview them. They were
asked some pretty tough questions on their relationships while electrodes monitored their
heart rates, blood flow, and sweatiness. while across the board, everyone responded calmly to the questions,
some couples showed higher heart rates, blood flow, and sweat production.
In other words, their palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy. They’re nervous, but
on the surface they look calm and ready. The stress of being in the same room as their spouse and talking about their relationship
caused their sympathetic nervous system to
kick in and they had a fight-or-flight response. Those couples were usually divorced within 6 years.
So if you want to have a healthy and less stressful relationship, it’s important you both work actively to support each other’s emotional bids,
even if camping is just the worst.
If you want to learn another trick to keeping the fire lit, check out Anthony’s explanation
of how texting can ruin a relationship.
What do you think the key is to living happily ever after? Tell us your secret in the comments,
and I’ll see you next time on DNews.
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The Secret To A Successful Relationship

85222 Folder Collection
pao2ge published on May 2, 2016    Debra Liu translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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