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Is Negativity Bad For Relationships?

John and Julie Gottman are experts in researching what makes marriages last. They can determine whether or not a couple will stay married in just 15 minutes, with over 85% accuracy. Having researched over 3000 couples of various ages and sexuality over 32 years, they have studied various couples and have found what makes or breaks a relationship (Gottman, Making Marriage Work, 2006). They followed some couples for 20 years. Those who stayed married were called “masters” while those who got divorced or stayed together but were miserable were called the “disasters.” After following couples for fourteen years they were able to determine if and when a couple would get divorced (Gottman, audibles, 2006).

Happily Ever Never Or After?

Last week I had the honor of witnessing the best couples therapy session of my entire career. This beautiful, fragile couple who has had so much betrayal, devastation, and hurt, sat facing one another, both tearful and raw. The spouse who has the addictions expressed empathy, humility, tenderness, and compassion for the first time towards his partner, who has been through so much and was so tired. I sat quietly most of the session paying witness to this beautiful site as he talked softly to her, validating her pain, asking how he could support her, and listening to her concerns. It was something that as addiction specialists, we hope to witness with all of our couples.