Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last

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Product Description

If You Love Your Mate but Your Marriage Seems to Be Off Track, Then This Book Is for You

Psychologist John Gottman has spent 20 years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage.

You'll also learn:

* More sex doesn't necessarily improve a marriage
* Frequent arguing will not lead to divorce
* Financial problems do not always spell trouble in a relationship
* Wives who make sour facial expressions when their husbands talk are likely to be separated within four years
* There is a reason husbands withdraw from arguments -- and there's a way around it

Dr. Gottman tells you how to recognize attitudes that doom a marriage -- contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling -- and provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, and techniques that will help you understand and make the most of your relationship. You can avoid patterns that lead to divorce, and -- Why Marriages Succeed or Fail will show you how.

Customer Reviews:

  • The science is new, but not the conclusions
    Gottman's research integrity is impeccable and his data and conclusions deserve attention. One thing that irks me however is his disdain for his predecessors. The fact that many in the marriage field reached the same exact conclusions intuitively that Gottman verified empirically tells me that the intuitive method is not so bad in this arena. More than he admits, he is standing on the shoulders of others. That said, his warmth and humor is evident, and impartiality to any type of agenda is evident. In our present cultural environment, he is bringing an apparatus of credibility to the marriage and family field...more info
  • It explains exactly how to avoid what ruins marriages.
    About 25 years ago John Gottman, a researcher at the University of Washington, started interviewing newlyweds in his laboratory. He hooked them up to devices that measure physical responses (blood pressure, heart rate, sweat on the palms, etc.) and videotaped them while they discussed a subject that was volatile for them. What topic was sure to create a heated argument? That's the one he wanted them to talk about. He was then able to go back and study the videotapes and watch the records of blood pressure and heart rate and see how the person responded both outwardly and inwardly. And then he tracked these couples over the years. Some broke up. Some stayed together. He found something very specific that enabled him to predict, with an astoundingly high degree of accuracy, who will break up and who will stay together: How do they fight? He found four things -- four kinds of communication -- that ruin a marriage. If those four are present during an argument, the marriage is headed for disaster. His most important discovery, I think, is that it isn't the CONTENT of the fight that makes a difference, it's the PROCESS you use during an argument. If you use a lousy method of fighting, it doesn't matter if you're only arguing about a toothpaste tube, it can destroy your marriage. But with the right PROCESS -- one that avoids those four disaster-creating methods -- you can talk about a highly volatile issue like infidelity and still keep the marriage together and your love alive. When you're in an argument with your spouse, it always SEEMS that the important thing is WHAT you're arguing about. But that's not what matters. The important thing is HOW you argue. And Gottman's book tells you exactly how to avoid what doesn't work....more info
  • You can change your relationships
    This book is based on scientific studies of how couples actually fight rather than on any generalized theory of categorizing types. By reading his analysis I was able to see how dysfunctional interactions contributed to the breakup of my marriage and I was able to retrain myself in communication methods. This new, more aware way of communicating has worked wonders in my new relationship. It's like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how to communicate effectively it will stick with you....more info
  • Very typical... Most of it is common knowledge
    Dr. Gottman's book didn't cover anything most people have already heard. It's not what you fight about but how you fight. Who hasn't heard this line? Some of the quizzes to assess your marriage were interesting (for example, I didn't think I would be comfortable in an avoidance style marriage, but a quiz proved me wrong), but for the most part this book didn't offer me any new insight. I don't feel like any information in this book will be able to applied to help my marriage last. My husband and I also have a very good marriage, so I felt like a lot of the points presented do not apply to me. Dr. Gottman seemd to present too many scenerios between other couples instead of presenting practical information that is useable. I was disppointed, because I usually like most self-help books and find them useful....more info
  • Not as well written as the companion book by the author
    This book is very similar to "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work : A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert". It almost seems like a first draft of the other book. Not as well organized or clearly written. It is a very good book, but I would recommend "The Seven Principles" over this one. ...more info
  • very helpful
    We really enjoyed this book. It was easy to understand and made sense. I probably shouldn't say this but I wouldn't bother with the tests in the book. They pretty much point out your OBVIOUS differences that I believe all married couples who are having problems are pretty much already aware of! LOL...more info
  • Why Marriages Succeed or Fail
    An excellent book with a lot of worthy information. Enjoyed it.
    Authors of "Creating Your own way to Happiness....more info
  • Positive advice on strengthening your marriage
    If you and your spouse are screaming at each other over what color to paint the downstairs bathroom, it might be a sign that your marriage is in danger - but then again, it might not. The fact that you argue is not the issue. Problems, conflicts and disagreements are inevitable and unavoidable in life and in a marriage. The key to a stable, healthy marriage is the way you air and resolve conflict. Dr. John Gottman studied hundreds of couples for more than 20 years to identify what, if anything, healthy and failing marriages have in common. Based on his research, the most innovative part of the book, he believes that he can predict with 94% accuracy which couples will stay together and which ones will fall apart. Failing marriages tend to follow the same downward spiral, a path that leads to loneliness, anger, negativity and, eventually, dissolution. Recognizing these destructive communication patterns is the first step back to a healthy relationship. Gottman's research, conclusions and recommendations hold up surprisingly well. We recommend his timeless advice to couples who want to avoid - or address - marital pitfalls....more info
  • Good insight and realistic advice
    Excellent book for building a strong marriage. Helps you realize that some of the 'little' things you haven't been doing are really BIG things to the success of a marriage. Gives very specific examples, such as the idea of talking to each other about your hopes, dreams and fears. If you are parents you'll find a renewed sparkle between you. (Also, if you have kids, check out Perfect Parenting by Elizabeth Pantley)...more info
  • First scientific self help book I've ever read.
    The author is using real science to analyze relationships moving the wacky field of psychology (almost) into one of true science. I found it enormously refreshing. It's not just a bunch of touchy-feely gibberish like most relationship books....more info
  • Based on research with over 3000 couples
    Many marraige manuals are a therapist or educators ideas from their expereince with on couples seeking therapy. This is based on research on all types of couples, studied from various perspectives to determine what works and what doesn't. Great questionnaires for your and your partner to complete and help identify challenges that you may need to overcome, and suggests ways to work it out. All couples are different, but the more different you are the more you each have to adapt to make the marriage work. This book helps with both, identifying what work needs to be done and helping to learn what to do to make repairs. ...more info
    Not as useful as his later work...more info
  • Good buy!
    After reading this book, I feel that it was worth it. Although no book is going to make a marriage perfect, this is very informative on different relationship styles and pitfalls. ...more info
  • honest check list for relationship status & how to improve
    Reading this book was like a check list for me. My marriage has gotten to the point that my husband's councelor suggested we both read this book, then meet together with him. I found this helpful for me to see exactly where I was in my opinion of our marriage. The occasional "tests" helped me to see myself honestly and admit the mistakes I've been making for the past 22 years. It was difficult to admit that I was in such an unsuccessful relationship, but when I was the one taking the tests and answering the questions, it was obvious that I needed to take some of the advice the author suggests for each "problem". Now I can only hope that my husband will do the same. Atleast for me, I know that I really need to consider a divorce as an alternative to being lonely, depressed and unhappy. Even though it was not easy, I am glad I read this book....more info
  • Great book for starting a new chapter in working on your marriage
    This is one of the better books on helping marriages in crisis. I enjoy the writing style and "real world" applications of theories. Compared to other marriage help authors, you can't go wrong with Gottman....more info


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