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"Active Construction" Is the Key to Successful Relationships. But What Is That?

July 1, 2014, 4:15 PM

What's the Latest?

By simply watching how couples interact, psychologist John Gottman claims that he can predict with 94% accuracy whether the couple will stay together or split up--are they masters of their relationship or are they disasters? The key, according to Gottman, is how each person responds to the other's "bids", attempts to involve the other personal in a meaningful interaction. If a husband happens to be a bird enthusiast and comments on the goldfinch he sees out the window, the comment is more than a remark on the bird. It is an invitation to his partner to show a sign of interest or support so the two may share a small and momentary connection together.

What's the Big Idea?

It was in the 1970s that a majority of marriages began to fail in America with couples either splitting up or remaining together but in a deeply unhappy cohabitation. So what is the trick to a long and successful relationship? Responding conscientiously during the little interactions in life is absolutely essential, and a behavior called "active constructing" is the best known way. If your partner announces an event like getting into medical school, an active construction would include praise and encouraging questions. Other kinds of inactive or destructive responses would include a one-word response or peppering your partner with questions about money and time.

Read more at the Atlantic

Photo credit: Shutterstock 


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