From The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – John M. Gottman
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Part 2 of my newsletter on SORRY
If you’re in a relationship with another thing called a human being (wonderful, annoying, unfathomable, magnificent, lovable) – and you want it to last . . . YOU NEED THIS BOOK.
Filled with stories from his research with hundreds of couples over 30 years, it’s easy to recognise yourself among them. Gottman says he can spend 15 minutes watching a couple who have been together for 12 months and tell you with over 90% accuracy if they’ll be together in 5 years. He identifies the behaviours that destroy relationships and gives you practical exercises you can do alone or together to reduce their impact in yours.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Criticism and blaming
In which he makes a distinction between a COMPLAINT (We’ve no eggs. You said you would buy some on the way home. I’m upset because I can’t make the cake for the cake sale. Will you go and buy some now) and a CRITICISM (You told me you’d buy eggs. You’re so useless. Now I’ll have to go and get some. It’s time you shaped up).
When you claim superiority over your partner in some way. A “better than” way of thinking. Contempt includes things like sarcasm, sneering, cynicism or making your values seem better than your partners. By the way, couples who do contempt have more colds and flu than those who don’t!
A way of blaming your partner back and saying, “It’s not me, it’s you”. This includes playing the innocent victim, saying “I’m doing my best”.
In all its horrible forms . . . like not making eye contact, reading a book/newspaper to avoid a conversation, walking away, turning to social media, shutting yourself in another room.
Now that you know about the The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse you can learn more in the book or on 4 videos with John Gottman below. He’s remarkably droll and funny about his learning, well worth watching.