8 Secrets to Long-Term Monogamy: The Science of Happy Marriages

Certain behaviors predict successful monogamy.

his “Love Lab,” researcher John Gottman and his team also observed couples during conflict, and found that these behaviors existed in the happiest long-term couples:

Five positive exchanges/communications for every one negative exchange/communication

Wife approached husband during conflict, and does so “softly”

Husband allowed wife to influence him

Wife used humor to soothe husband

Husband was able to use positive feelings to soothe himself

There is a general culture of gentleness, soothing, and meeting negativity by neutral effect

 “Love” is not sufficient to sustain a relationship.

“Love” is at first a biological, chemical, and hormonal experience of attachment and infatuation for another person (the complete roses, sunshine, and fireworks deal.) This lasts anywhere from a few months to about two to three years. Put bluntly, this biological infatuation stage exists to ensure that two people can stand being around each other long enough to reproduce. Love after the infatuation stage is a mindset of commitment and respect for the other person that is not always butterflies and rainbows and the ability to behave consistently with this mindset. A feeling of love is not sufficient to sustain a happy relationship long term. There must also be behaviors consistent with commitment and respect.

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