Maybe you heard the rumor that almost 50% of marriages end up in divorce. What if we tell you that there is scientifically proven method to significantly increase your odds of staying happily married and decrease the odds that you’ll get divorced? Dr. John Gottman with his team found that the secret ingredient for a long-term, happy marriage is to turn towards your partner.
Turn Towards Your Partner for Long-Lasting, Happy Marriage
First of all, what it even means to “turn toward” your partner? It means accepting your partner’s bids instead of ignoring them. A bid is any attempt from one partner to another for attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection. Bids show up in simple ways, a smile or wink, and more complex ways, like a request for advice or help (read more here: Turn Towards Instead of Away). Dr. Gottman puts it nicely:
“Going to someone for comfort is a Bid for Connection. Turning Towards is any form of communication both verbal and non-verbal which communicates that I hear you or see that you are making a Bid to Connect, and I am Turning Towards you to connect.”
Now, dr. Gottman and his team found that couples who were divorced 6 years after their wedding turned toward each other only 33% of the time; the ones still together after six years had an 86% turning-toward rate (The Science of Trust, Dr. John Gottman). This is truly one incredible piece of data. It tells us that recognizing your partner’s “bids” for attention and responding to them in a right way instead of ignoring them is probably the most important thing for a happy long-term relationship and marriage.
It is easy to get caught up in other things. However, make an effort to turn towards your partner and your relationship will thank you.