Do you have enough positives in your relationship to counter the negatives?
Marriages are much more likely to succeed when couples experience 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. John Gottman‘s pioneering research on marriages suggests that 5:1 is the ‘magic ratio’. When the ratio approaches 1 to 1, marriages ‘cascade to divorce.’
The frequency of small, positive acts is critical. The more couples look for positive ‘little things’ in their relationship & acknowledge them, the more they like and trust each other. Building fondness and admiration with your partner by using simple words to thank him/her frequently.
Time spent with your partner is also crucial. Spending an extra 5 hours on your relationship each week including a weekly ‘date night’ will help it flourish.
Positive interactions include fondness and appreciation of partner’s strengths, responsive and attentive listening, validation, optimistic thinking, positive partings each morning and reunions each evening and displays of affection and admiration for your partner.
Negative interactions include a harsh start-up in a disagreement, criticism of partner, displays of contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling (unresponsive silences) and negative body language.
“A relationship is a contract of mutual nurturance. Relationships have to be a rich climate of positivity. For relationships to be strong, the ideal climate is one teeming with positive interactions.”
“Respect, gratitude, affection, friendship, and noticing what’s going right is a ‘habit of mind’ which creates a culture of appreciation.”
“Scan for things which go right, notice them more. This leads to more searching for positive things, to positive feedback, and therefore positive actions.”
Only you can measure if your relationship has 5 times as many positives as negatives. A great way to tip the balance in favour of the 5:1 ratio is to focus on your partner’s STRENGTHS.
*See research of John Gottman @GottmanInst. Recommended book ’The 7 Principles For Making Marriages Work’ by Gottman & Silver.