John Gottman is the worlds greatest expert on love and relationships. In this episode, Owen explores his life’s work.

John Gottman is an American psychological researcher who did extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability. Dr. John Gottman and Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman co-founded and lead a relationship company and therapist training entity called The Gottman Institute. Gottman’s research showed that it wasn’t only how couples fought that mattered, but how they made up.

Gottman had a good record of being able to predict divorce after watching and listening for five minutes

Arguments don’t hurt marriage. It’s HOW you argue

Common interests are not always critical. Avoiding conflict will ruin marriage

70% of satisfied with marriage is friendship

Most marital arguments can’t be resolved. Friendship is what gets them through

96% predict how conversation end based upon first three minutes: HARSH START UP

4 Horsemen: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, Stonewalling


Failure of Repair attempts

Four horsemen predicts 82% of breakups. A failure of repair added to this makes it 90%

Gottman developed multiple models to predict marital stability and divorce in couples.

This work concludes that the four negative behaviors that most predict divorce are criticism of partners’ personality, contempt (from a position of superiority), defensiveness and stonewalling, or emotional withdrawal from interaction usually due to feeling overwhelmed by criticism. On the other hand, stable couples handle conflicts in gentle, positive ways, and are supportive of each other.[

Gottman’s therapy model focuses on the process of conflict within the marriage, and less on the content. It should be noted that his research is longitudinal, meaning that he gathers data on the couples over several years.

What Makes Love Last?, by John Gottman, is a discussion of trust, intimacy and what the authors claim to be the secrets to love’s longevity. The book is the product of 40 years of research culled from Gottman’s “Love Lab,”

It also discusses attunement, which Gottman describes as the desire and the ability to understand and respect one’s partner’s inner world. According to Gottman, attunement offers a blueprint for building and reviving trust in a long-term committed relationship.

Mnemonic “ATTUNE” to emphasize the speaker’s job of awareness, tolerance, and transforming criticism into wishes and positive needs, and the listener’s job of understanding, nondefensive listening, and empathy.

Attunement: feelings into words, open ended question, deepen connection, compassion n empathy

Turn towards

Cognitive repairs: define conflict, ask credit, compromise, guard, monitor conflict, request direction, stop

Emotional repairs: agree, question, affection express, change topics, make promises, humour, self disclose, take responsibility, understand, Reinforce we ness

We’re okay



Transforming criticism into wishes

Understanding not problem solving

Non defensive listening




The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Enhancing love maps

Nurturing fondness and admiration

Turning toward each other

Stress reduction

Accepting influence

Solving solvable problems

Overcoming gridlock

Creating shared meaning


Mans guide to understanding a woman

  • LOVE LAB studied 3000 couples
  • The Number one thing women look for trustworthiness
  • Attuning to her emotions = trustworthiness
  • Turn towards them
  • Understand them
  • Non defensively listen
  • Empathize
  • Women are good at dealing with Emotions. Men avoid them.
  • Women want Safety. Men high stress, less fearful. Women high stress, more fearful
  • Flooding: can’t self soothe, shock of attach and need defend, emotional shutdown
  • 6 second kiss, date, honor her dreams, appreciate her, get to know her

Recommended Reading:

The Seven Principles to Making Marriage Work John Gottman Nan Silver

What makes love last John Gottman Nan Silver

A Mans Guide to Women John Gottman Julie Gottman Doug Abrams Rachel Abrams



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