#1 Secret to a Happy Marriage Revealed!

Wanna know the secret to fostering healthy relationships?

Relationships with your kids, your co-wokers
your family, your MARRIAGE?

Ummm…yes please!

Every year around Valentine’s Day, magazines,
newspapers, radio shows etc… run stories that highlight married couples who have endured the test of time.

In each piece the question is asked…

What’s your secret?

Most couples give the standard answers that stem around communication, trust, respect, love and all of that goodness.

However, and maybe this is just the “guy” in me,

I always finish these articles wanting more.

Give me something specific, something tangible.
I want to know the how behind all of these.

Here’s the how…


The ratio that will instantly improve your relationships

John Gottman PhD, is a marriage expert who after sitting down with a couple can predict with a stunning 94% accuracy, if they are going to thrive as a couple, or deteriorate into a life of unhappiness or divorce.

How can he make such a bold prediction with such precise accuracy?   What elaborate tool does he use?  How many pulsating wires does he stick to your forehead while the EEG spikes up and down?

None of these.  In fact, it’s a simple little ratio.


 Gottman explains that in his experience a healthy couple needs to have 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative.   Positive interaction can be anything from a compliment, a non-verbal guessture, a pinch on the butt, a kiss good night, asking “how was your day,” public praising, a random call in the middle of the day just to say “I love you,” or any other form of gratitude.

Think about all the opportunities you have in a given day to have these positive interactions.  Even if they don’t come naturally for you, they are vitally important, and you need to get in the habit today. 

Note: When you are finished reading, take 10 min. to write these ideas down.   Seriously.  (when you write them down more ideas will come, and you’ll be much more likely to remember and implement them when the time is right).

The price for being right

 Somewhere over the years I’ve inherited a trait that gets me in to a lot of trouble.

I MUST be right…on everything.  And this rears it’s ugly head the most when I’m dealing with my wife.

Whether it’s how to parent our kids, the fastest way to get to the Mall of America when traffic is bad, or which of us put the sour cream in the fridge in the wrong spot, I argue my point and get the last word in.  Even when I am 100% wrong, I have to squeeze in the reasoning behind my decisions…as if that will somehow justify my mistake, and upon hearing it my wife will somehow grant me absolution.

The more I think about it…even when I end up “winning” in those situations, I always “lose.”

Why?  Because I’m creating negative interactions.  And one negative interaction must be made up by 5 positive ones.   That seems like quite a bit of make-up work that I need to put in just so that I can have the small satisfaction of being right.  The return on investment is just not there.

I would be better just to shut my mouth, eat some crow, and move on.

What’s it for you?  Where are you creating negative interactions in your relationship? Is it like mine or is it the constant nit-picking, the rolling of the eyes, the jokes told at your partners expense, the constant second-guessing of every damn decision?   If you don’t know…figure it out, because there’s a good chance that if you can identify and eliminate it (or atleast reduce it), your relationship will improve.

5 Steps to Reduce the Negativity

#1.  Identify the negativity:  Take 20 min., and write down what the pet peeves that your partner does that makes you go negative.  Also identify how you negatively react to this pet peeve.

#2. Get specific:  Choose one of your negative reactions and focus on improving it for a week.  (Don’t try to solve all of them at once!!!!)

#3.  Change your mindset:  Next time this pet peeve rears its ugly head, intentionally change how you react to it.   Instead of rolling your eyes/getting angry/internally criticizing, try to laugh at it or chalk it up to the “stuff” that makes your partner uniquely them.  

#4.  Celebrate your successes:  Make note of the instances when that negative interaction could have crept in but didn’t because of your awareness around it.

#5.  Rinse and repeat: Next week pick something else, or if you’re still struggling with the one you are currently working on, take it on for another week.


Share Your Thoughts!

What about you?  Experience couples who are more in love now then ever…share what’s worked for you.  Or just share a comment and let us know what you think about the old 5:1.

Also, if you feel this post is of value, please share it with others, send it to Facebook, or Tweet the living daylight out of it.


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