10 Feb, 2010 in Communication by +

The Magic Relationship Ratio – Dr. John Gottman

Did you know that you can predict your own risk of divorce with 1 simple number?

It’s called the Magic Relationship Ratio, and it is the work of relationship expert Dr. John Gottman.

Dr. John Gottman’s research discovered that it is very easy to predict divorce or stability with very high accuracy.

A powerful tool is to take a look at the ratio of positive to negative interactions during conflict.

When in conflict with your partner, look at the positive things you do, like:

  • showing interest
  • asking questions
  • being nice to one another
  • being kind
  • being affectionate
  • being empathetic

then look at all the negative stuff like:

  • criticism
  • hostility
  • anger
  • hurt feelings

The the ratio of positive to negative in relationships that stay together, is 5 to 1. There are 5 times as many positive things going on in relationships that work as negative. A suggestion is that if you do something negative to hurt your partners feelings, remember to make up for it with five positive things.

The equation is not balanced in terms of positive and negative, negative has a lot more ability to inflict pain and damage than positive things have to heal and bring you closer.

Research indicates that couples who end up divorced, show a  ratio of 0.8 to 1.  If there is more negativity than positivity in your relationship, you may be heading for divorce….

How can you put this into practice today? Can you go do 5 nice things for your partner right now?