Book Review – ‘Why Marriages Succeed or Fail And How To Make Yours Last’ By Dr John Gottman

Dr. John Gottman says: ‘If there is one lesson I have learned from my years of research it is that a lasting marriage results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship’. The following book is not just a couples therapist’s opinion but a compilation of the findings of the work of a relationship expert and scientist who researched his topic over the past 40 years.


In this book, Dr. John Gottman gives his readers the ability to find out more about their relationship through self-tests and evaluations. Beyond that this book also provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, techniques and proven strategies to improve your relationship or marriage.

More in details

Based on his years of research with real-life couples, Dr. John Gottman first answers the question ‘What makes marriage work?’ By reading this book you will learn that there are significantly different marriage styles, which he calls ‘The Good, The Bad and the Volatile’ and that frequent arguing doesn’t necessarily have to lead to divorce if other factors are in balance.

Dr. John Gottman is famous for ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’, the warning signs in every relationship tumbling towards martial disaster. Dr. Gottman argues that these pitfalls – criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling – can be observed in couples who are moving towards less and less satisfaction in their relationship.

This book is not just another set of opinions of a relationship therapist, instead this is the result of his work with thousands of couples over many years of empirical study. This research has enabled Dr. Gottman to predict which couples relationships will last with 94 percent accuracy where normal relationship experts are only able to predict this in 10 percent of their cases.

About the author

As mentioned above Dr. John Gottman has collected significant amounts of data researching couples in what he calls ‘The Love Lab’. He has also written and co-authored 40 books and published 190 academic articles. He has appeared on television in shows like Good Morning America, Today, CBS Morning News and Oprah and published some of his work in various publications like The New York Times, Women’s Day, Reader’s Digest and Psychology Today, just to name a few.

Together with his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, they founded the Gottman Relationship Institute; they schedule appointments for marathon therapy and lead relationship workshops.


This is a ‘must read’ if you are interested to improve your relationship and really, who doesn’t? The best case would be if both, husband and wife, would read the book, but it is already very beneficial for one to read and introduce the concepts to the other.

Personally John Gottman’s work forms the basis of my work with couple clients in my practice and his concepts work with great success.

Source by Nathalie Himmelrich

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