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Tampa Family Lawyer > Blog > Family > Study Reveals This One Communication Error Is A Predictor Of Divorce

Study Reveals This One Communication Error Is A Predictor Of Divorce


If you’re reading a divorce lawyer’s blog, the time for successful communication tips may have passed you by. Nonetheless, we like to survey the most recent studies revealing key aspects of divorce across the U.S. There is no shortage of researchers who are studying divorce trends in America. Sometimes they review divorce statistics to uncover greater themes, but other times, they study individual couples and the way they interact.

In one recent study, John Gottman, Ph.D. and his wife, Julie Gottman, Ph.D. uncovered one key communication error that they theorize is a major predictor for divorce. The spouses co-founded the Gottman Institute which provides data on divorce probability and tips for successful marriages.

After performing decades’ worth of research and observing thousands of couples, the Gottman Institute has uncovered the most common relationship errors that lead to divorce. The Gottmans claim they can predict the odds that a couple will divorce with 94% accuracy. After surveying the behavior of over 40,000 couples, they contend that this one communication error is a prime predictor of whether or not the marriage is destined to fail.

What is it? According to the Gottmans, it’s whether or not the couple “turns toward” one another while they are communicating. The Gottmans believe that “turning toward” your partner can make a massive difference in the relationship’s longevity.

“When a couple turns toward each other, they make and respond to what we call ‘bids for connection,’” the Gottmans said.

What does “turning toward one another” really mean? 

According to the Gottmans, while turning toward your partner may seem like a small gesture, it actually signals to your partner that they are being seen, heard, and appreciated. The Gottmans say that “bids for connection” can range from little things, like trying to get your partner’s attention, to bigger things like asking for deeper needs to be met. Their research indicates that happy couples are 20 times more likely to “turn toward” their partners than couples who are in a state of distress. Six years after the wedding, couples who stayed together turned toward their partners 86% of the time while communicating. Couples that got divorced only turned toward their partners 33% of the time.

The Gottmans’ research found that responses to bids are a critical part of a healthy marriage regardless of how subtle they may seem. Bids often contain a subtext. If you ask your partner to come make a cheese board with you, it also means “join me on an adventure” and “I want to spend quality time with you.” The Gottmans believe that missing a bid can actually be more harmful than rejecting one. At least when you reject one, you are acknowledging the bid.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Divorce Lawyer Today 

Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of Tampa residents who want to get divorced. Call our Tampa family lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing you for the divorce process immediately.



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