article: Which relationships last? Masters vs. Disasters

Submitted by undying on
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Following thousands of couples longitudinally, Gottman found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

... among couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward.


I actually heard Gottman speak about all this

in Feb. I went up to him during the break and asked if he thought perhaps the neurochemistry of orgasm might be playing a role by making it easier to keep a loving perspective (by sidestepping it). He acted like a Martian had just landed, especially when I offered to give him information about the study that found 8% of women reported weeping and irritability after climax! I liked the material he shared though.

just finished a Gottman book

about trust and betrayal, trust in the widest possible definition...

And it has a chapter on sex where he talks about the usual stuff to reignite a couple's sex life, date nights, new positions, toys, etc.

Nothing indicates he has any grasp of the effects of orgasm or the effects of forgoing orgasm, and having a ton of sex with minimal orgasms and how that can utterly transform relationships.

yes that one


As the book points out at the beginning, we haven't had the chance to pair up based upon romantic bonds for very long in history, only the past 150 years (and I'd argue that birth control from the 1960s on has created another huge change in marriage and pair bonding.) And yet we have an extremely poor outcome in most of our relationships, even compared to the past when people had marriages selected for them or selected based upon reproductive fitness, rather than just love.

The reasons for that is that we select partners extremely badly, and this book is designed to provide the science to help us select better. 

I think you'll really like it Quizure.

It is very scientifically backed up.

And yet very entertaining.

It answers the question, how can I ensure that the person I'm getting together with can be my partner for life?

It says that traits in personality start very early and are virtually immutable.

And that we can fairly easily evaulate personality traits using the "big 5" scale.

And that we can do a process to give us a great idea of if this person is "the one" we can spend our life with, before we've gone so far that we have too many "sunken costs" in the existing relationships and don't want to give it up even though we should.

One thing that was really interesting to me is the idea of attachment and the 3 types: secure, avoidant and anxious. I can see how friends and lovers in the past have had one or other of these attachment styles, based upon their mothers and their upbringing. And how we can see that in advance before we decide to get too involved.