While talking to my sister the other day, the question of “what makes a healthy relationship?” came up. We discussed it a little but I was left feeling unsatisfied. I pondered some more. Then I remembered two things. One, we won’t get to be prefect in this life therefore our relationships will probably never be 100% perfect or “healthy”.
Two was the 7:1 ratio. They used to think it was 3:1 but after more research they found it was high than they first guessed.
In marriage prep class, I learned about research that had been being conducted for several years (over 30) by a leader in the field of “healthy relationships”. He wanted to know what were the indicators of whether or not a couple would stay together and consider themselves happy in their marriages. So he set up these get away houses where couples would come to stay for free and he could observe them. Then he did follow up and questionnaires ect. But they found there was only one thing they could find that was consistent among the couples that stayed together and were happy. It was the 7:1 ratio. For every one negative thing said, they also had 7 positive things.
http://www.gottman.com/ This is the researcher/institution conducting the research.
The moral I took away was… if it’s bothering you, get it off your chest. If you need to scream and yell, scream and yell. But make sure you give seven times the love and kindness. Always make sure the positive you say to your spouse out ways the negative excessively!
This is why I know my marriage has problems but I’m not worried about it. We’re working on it, but mainly we say more positive things and loving things than negative ones. Yrygsh actually has me beat on this. I am more critical of him than he has ever been of me. I have blossomed into a woman I never thought I could be under his praise and gentle encouragement. I need to learn to do the same for him.
There’s my two cents.