What’s Your Positivity Ratio? Could Your Couple Be Headed Towards Divorce?

What’s Your Positivity Ratio? Could Your Couple Be Headed Towards Divorce?
May 9, 2011 Leslie Juvin-Acker

Does your relationship or marriage meet the 5:1 ratio? Learn how Dr. Susan Heitler says how couples can determine their long term success by identifying the ratio of positive vs negative interactions in a Power of Two marriage counseling podcast. Maintain positivity, channel negativity, and resolve anger with the “good news, bad news” formula.

Dr. Susan Heitler’s marriage positivity podcast asks listeners to consider how effective they are in staying in the positive end when they’re faced with big challenges. Dr. John Gottman’s study on a couple’s 15 minute conversation is referenced as the 5:1 positive to negative ratio by Dr. Heitler, “It highlighted how important emotional tone is attached to the things we do and say in a relationship… in high quality marriages in which couples feel really good, there are virtually no negative interactions.”

In this podcast, Dr. Heitler says an excellent technique for dealing with “repeat” offenses such as failure to take out the trash or handle the kids is to use the “good news, bad news” formula with the following example,

You know, I do love you and I love your humor and I love the way you are with the kids – AND, not but – and the same time, I find myself getting frustrated when I see the garbage can overflowing.” To add your concerns, you can be even more effective, “I worry in this humid weather that we’re having that overflowing garbage like that is really attracts bugs into the house. A statement about yourself is a kind of a sharing instead of ‘I’m mad or angry,’

In the podcast, Dr. Heitler says that sarcasm at the other’s expense can hurt a marriage. Dr. Susan Heitler features the work of Dr. Gottman sarcasm is a death nail in a relationship and that dismissiveness leads to an end to a relationship.

Check out this 15 minute Marriage Positivity Podcast of Dr. Heitler and the coaching of Dr. Abigail Hirsch at the Power of Two, the internet’s premiere marriage and relationship counseling website.

Here, you can also see John Gottman’s short explanation on the 5:1 ratio.


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