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Masters & Disasters of Relationships

Masters & Disasters of Relationships

Throughout these articles on relationships you’ll commonly see a reference to the Masters of Relationships, and the Disasters, so I thought we thought it would be a good idea to explain a little about the terms.  While on the surface the terms likely seem obvious, there has been a lot more going on behind the scenes than one might think to categorize these two groups.

For decades, Professor Emeritus John Gottman and his staff have been researching couples ranging from newlyweds to old age.  In fact long before there was a “Big Brother House,” there was “The Love Lab,” a resort style apartment on the medical school campus where couples were allowed to stay and simply live their lives with no direction from the researchers.  Cameras watch their every move during research hours, and trained observers catalog their every interaction.

Over the course of time, these couples have been brought back every few years to find out how they’re doing.  Some are now divorced, some are still happily married, some have kids, and some from the earlier studies now now have kids that are getting married.  So how does this play into our two groups?

A “master couple” is defined as a couple who stays together and is happy with the relationship.  Conversely, a “disaster couple” is defined as one who breaks up, or who stays together, but is unhappy with the relationship.  With these definitions in hand, the researchers along the way would separate the two groups and look at the mountains of data they had compiled, and ask, “What common threads can we find?”  “What did the masters group do in their interactions that led long happy relationships that the disasters group failed to do?”  

Over the years, this compilation of data has led to the most clinically and empirically tested protocol for couples counseling in history.  As a testament to its validity, Dr. Gottman has been able to predict with 96.3% accuracy how long a couple will stay married by using the data that we now know defines a master couple vs. a disaster couple.  

So as you read through these articles and see the term masters and disasters, take a moment to realize how important they are.  These often seemingly little, insignificant things are anything but, and applying them to relationships, romantic or otherwise, are the difference in success and failure.  

If you or someone you know is having relationship issues, call me at 469-225-9040 or contact us online for a free consultation.