Marriages rarely end overnight. They tend to unravel over time…
“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source, it dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds, it dies of weariness, of witherings or tarnishings, but never a natural death.” – Anais Nin
Marriages rarely end overnight. They tend to unravel over time, in ways that are now fairly predictable thanks to research by Dr. John Gottman. In 1986 Dr. Gottman and his colleagues built a Love Lab to learn the secrets of lasting love and understand why love dies.
By studying couples for over 40 years, Dr. Gottman could predict with a 90% accuracy which marriages would fail, and which would succeed. These are the factors he found most often contribute to the dissolution of a marriage:
Step 1: A lack of emotional support
A deep friendship is the best buffer against nasty conflict. Dr. Gottman’s research concluded that couples who last turn toward each other 86% of the time, while those separated turned towards 33% of the time.
A lack of responsiveness and affection creates ambivalence about the relationship.
- “Does my partner love me?”
- “Do I matter to my spouse?”
A research study that followed 168 couples for 13 years discovered that the number one predictor of why couples split was not how often the couple fought, but how little affection and emotional responsiveness they offered each other.1
Additional research validates that relationship distress was predicted by a partner who was un-supportive in their response – by minimising a problem, not wanting feelings to be expressed, offering unhelpful advice, and insisting on their partner using that advice.2
When we become deprived of the emotional connection in our relationship, we become insecure. We feel uncertain about the strength of our relationship.
- “Can I trust my partner to be there for me when I need them?”
- “Is my partner hiding something?”