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The mathematics of marriage. About things real and provable

I’m sorry, but I’m talking about the obvious today. Science knows a lot hityk, especially if you do it thoughtfully. Watch, explore, analyze and be patient. And on popular lectures psychologists do not necessarily have to report the obvious “Mouse, you have to become hedgehogs!”, and can talk about simple and practical things that are quite capable of changing something in your life.

Yesterday I was at Professor Joram yuvel’s lecture “does Love hurt?”He talked a lot about the research of John Gottman, who once struck me with thoroughness and patience. No wonder, Gottman’s first doctorate was in mathematics.

Its theme is the sustainability of the marriage. What does it depend on? Professor John Gottman approaches the question differently from most sociologists and psychologists who pester thousands of divorced couples with kilometer-long questionnaires. No matter how much you ask, there’s not much information at this stage. In fact, that it is possible to answer the question “Why did you split up?”– “Because life has become unbearable.” Point. Now, if it was possible in the beginning to find the symptoms that predict the strength of the relationship or on the contrary – their fragility…

In order to find this dependence, long-term studies are needed. For 10 years, 20, 30, or even more. It is necessary to find couples who agree to follow this path together with researchers, budget and hellishly patient scientists who agree to work for decades for the sake of pearl grain regularities.

Gottman did it. Scientists of his Institute for many years recorded the behavior of couples, inviting them to the weekend in specially equipped cottages, recorded quarrels, conflicts, ordinary conversations. Analyzed tone, vocabulary, body language, facial expression. Tons of questionnaires found out what the daily routine of such couples looks like. And all this in order to, for example, 20 years to rewind the film and to understand what is the difference between those couples who divorced from those that have kept their marriage.

Simply the facts – who has kept the marriage, who are divorced. Gottman didn’t find out how happy the couple were in their Union.

I will note in passing that in the modern Western world still remain, rather, those families where people are well together. The economic need to preserve marriage is less pressing. This is one of the reasons for the large number of divorces, by the way.

The mathematics of marriage. About things real and provable

The level of analysis of the details reached the point that Professor Gottman, viewing a five-minute record of the quarrel could be accurate to 94% (!) to predict the strength of the relationship of this pair. Why quarrels? Because the ability to quarrel is one of the most important skills for family life, and for life in General. I already in detail wrote about it, (“Quarrel. Instructions for use”), and today I want to remind you of something else that I remembered listening to a lecture about the studies of Gottman.

The number of quarrels does not affect the strength of the relationship. If you often quarrel, it does not mean that you are sure to divorce, as well as constant conflicts do not guarantee you a strong marriage. It’s how you do it that matters. Why? Because someone lied to you about the importance of compromise. More than 60% of family and other conflicts are unsolvable. Just like this. There is no promotional win-win. If it is important for a wife to get a second education and change her profession, for example, and her husband believes that they need a third child, then there is no compromise. And don’t tell me that my wife can study in between toxicity and feeding. For example, because she doesn’t want to. Or husband wants to live in one country, and wife wants to move. Option – to stay on the island in the middle is unlikely to suit anyone.

Still the same simple thought, “do You want to be right or happy?”Every time I think about a relationship, I run into her one way or another.

And if the conflict is unsolvable, it ends when the parties get tired of quarreling and someone first stretches the olive branch of the world. Makes it almost unnoticeable or quite apparent gesture of reconciliation. And that’s where the moment of truth comes. This is a very important predictive moment for a relationship. If the other party is able at this point, too, to stop and reach out in response, most likely, such a relationship will survive. It is not necessary to rush into each other’s arms, not everyone can immediately in the heat of a quarrel, but do not bite the outstretched hand, do not sting, do not pour boiling water after all?

By the way, another important “symptom” is the mutual efforts of partners. If someone tries one, the more he tries, the worse the prognosis of marriage – at some point there is too much disappointment. Most often, the “trying” side are women, although men often fall into this trap.

Now the facts. Nothing new, But efficiency is not about “new”, it is about what works and tested by long-term research. What did the couple who managed to save the marriage for many years?

1. Spent 2 minutes in the morning to tell each other about the plans for the day. Yes, among the morning bustle of getting the kids to kindergarten, the school, spilled coffee and unfed cats. 2 x 5 = 10. Only 10 minutes a week (with a weekend break).

2. Don’t forget to turn off the TV. Today there is another “devil’s hand” – smartphone. No TV is not necessary, at any time fell on the phone and read the news, scroll through my friends page on Facebook, watch TV series or read “Snob”. So, the surviving couples, they say, had dinner without a TV and spent as much as 20 minutes a day to talk to each other. No interrogation, just “of shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages, kings…”. 20 x 5 = 1 hour 20 minutes a week.

3. Every day found something to admire in a partner or something to praise. Well, what if a man suddenly put dishes in the dishwasher or solved Fermat’s theorem? When I write “man,” I mean both men and women. We, thank God, are not born with the gene of love for the household. Just 5 minutes. Every day. 5 x 7 = 35 minutes (here without discounts for the weekend).

4. Body contact. No, it’s not about passionate, stormy and unforgettable sex, although it is also not forbidden. Surviving couples did not miss the opportunity to hug each other, stroke, kiss, touch “Hey, I’m here! My body still rejoices at yours.” At least five minutes a day and also seven days a week )) 5 x 7 = 35

Total: Three hours a week.

More from John Gottman’s research. It is believed that “there are different tenderness” is mostly women, and the men and minipimer this at all. Pipes. If a woman does not receive tender words and even just touches from a man, she can often add friends or relatives. We girls are much more generous with a good word. But a man usually has nowhere else to get his “portion”. Well, unless there are voluntary donors.

5. Weekly date. At least two hours. Necessarily with way out of homes. Romantic dinner in front of the TV, even with candles – a typical cheating and, in General, does not count. Science has fixed: scoring a date is when you a) left the house b) just the two of C ) do what you like both.

In General, everything is simple. And no, I don’t recommend it. You remember, this is meticulously collected data from long-term studies.

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