Book Review: Why Marriages Succeed or Fail

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail…And How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman, PhD

John Gottman, professor and researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, began studying couples and relationships in the 1970s. In this book, he shares what he has learned over years of research in the “love lab.” He brings couples into the “love lab” and observes their heart rate, pulse, blood flow, sweat, facial expressions, and the emotional content of their words as they have a disagreement. From this research, he has learned what leads to success or failure in relationships. In Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, Gottman identifies the four horsemen of the apocalypse that can disrupt a marriage as well as four keys to strengthen a marriage. He also reviews three types of relationships and myths about them, how thoughts impact marriage, and the difference between men and women in relationship. Gottman notes that the “magic ratio” of five positive experiences to every one negative experience is crucial to establishing a successful marriage. In other words, successful marriages honor one another fives times more often than they dishonor one another. Why Marriages Succeed or Fail is filled with questionnaires to help each person assess their marriage and practical ideas to promote stronger marriages. An excellent resource to help strengthen your marriage. Available through Favorite Picks & Resources.

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